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New Retail tech is backbone of Singles’ Day for Alibaba

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Jerry Turk
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Technology is really taking a front row seat in this year’s event to “gamify” consumers’ shopping experience and to showcase its successful integration of online and offline channels to bring operation efficiency.

Over the year, Alibaba has transformed multiple store fronts into smart stores with the application of virtual reality (VR) technology, facial recognition, artificial intelligence, virtual fitting and artificial intelligence.

Alibaba introduced the concept of New Retail in last year’s Double 11 when it launched 60 pop-up stores with New Retail features in 12 Chinese cities.

This year, around 100 Hema supermarkets—Alibaba’s signature cross-channel New Retail venture—will be turned into 11.11-themed stores to provide customers with a convenient, fun and smooth shopping experience.

Along with the Hema outlets, approximately 400 RT-Mart supermarkets, an Alibaba-invested hypermarket chain partly owned by the Taiwan-based company Ruentex Group, will also feature the 11.11 theme and provide shoppers with New Retail services—for example, customers who are within a three-kilometer radius of any of these supermarkets will enjoy one-hour delivery services.

If they like the product, they can add it to their Tmall or Taobao cart on the respective mobile apps and take it home after paying through Alipay or request delivery service instead.

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