The luxury sector has suffered as much as those further down the price scale during global lockdowns and this week Alibaba said its 6.18 Mid-Year Shopping Festival (running on Tmall and Taobao) has seen a luxury surge. Almost double the number of luxury brands is participating compared to the last big event, 2019’s Singles Day in November.
The event has just kicked off and will be running for a month with the firm also saying that general merchandise value (GMV) in the first 10 hours was 50% higher than over the same period last year.
Close to 180 luxury brands are taking part this year, including Burberry, Montblanc, Cartier, and Michael Kors that are offering customized special edition items co-created with Tmall just for 6.18.
Coach, MCM, and Theory are participating in the campaign for the first time and all recently launched outlets on Tmall Luxury Soho.
Looking at a wider price range, the firm said growth in the first 10 hours came mainly from a doubling of sales in categories such as cosmetics, home appliances, laptop computers, and even electric cars.
The Chinese consumer remains a key target for brands at all price levels and with those consumers not indulging in their usual tourist shopping behavior at present, reaching them online becomes even more important.
“Online consumption has seen a post-pandemic revival since March, and the sales rebound that we have observed on Taobao and Tmall has been very encouraging," said Liu Bo, VP of Alibaba Group and general manager of Tmall and Taobao marketing and operations.
The shopping event is seeing the participation of more than 25,000 brands from 92 countries and regions offering over 400,000 new products this year. The number of new brands participating in Tmall Global increased by 64% year-on-year.
On Taobao, live-streaming is important this year with 300+ celebrities and 600 brand executives engaging directly with consumers in real-time. More than 10,000 physical retail stores will also be live-streaming to promote their products.
The company said, “live-streaming played a vital role for many brands during the height of the outbreak [and] the overall sales result generated by live-streaming has already increased significantly from last year”. The GMV generated through Taobao Live hit CNY5.1 billion (€188m/£167m/$211m) on the first day.