Alibaba Group Holding Limited officially kicked off the 2018 11.11 Global Shopping Festival in China’s capital, promising this year’s mega-event will be the largest-ever in terms of scale and reach.
Businesses within the Alibaba ecosystem will jointly offer hundreds of millions of consumers an enriching experience that supports their pursuit of high-quality products, entertainment and fast, reliable services. The Festival will also demonstrate the enthusiasm of consumers and brands embrace Alibaba’s New Retail strategy – the convergence of online and offline retail through technology.
“This year marks the 10th anniversary of 11.11. On the back of China’s explosive digital transformation, the Festival’s astounding growth over the past decade has powered the steady growth of quality consumption sought by Chinese shoppers. The evolution also showcases the development of the Alibaba ecosystem over time expanding well beyond e-commerce,” said Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang.
Zhang conceived 11.11 as a concept a decade ago, turning “Single’s Day” on the Chinese calendar into the world’s largest annual shopping event. The first 11.11 in 2009 brought in US$7.8 million in gross merchandise value (GMV). Total GMV generated in 2017 was US$25.3 billion. Over the past decade, China’s number of Internet users has risen to 802 million and 98% of them are mobile. Alibaba has captured the hearts and minds of these Chinese consumers and expects to keep leading the way in retail innovation.
“Over the last two years, we have pioneered the concept of New Retail to accelerate the digital transformation of the offline. We are excited by the impressive results achieved to date and will continue to be the driving force innovating for merchants and customers in the coming decades. We aim to become both the number-one business partner for brands and the number-one shopping destination for consumers,” Zhang added.
This year, 500,000 items will be available for pre-order on Tmall from October 20. Customers can enjoy additional promotional coupons on Mobile Taobao and Mobile Tmall. Specifically, the 2018 11.11 Global Shopping Festival will have the following features made possible by New Retail and interactive initiatives:
- Brand Innovation
Tmall will continue to give brands access to new digital capabilities – 180,000 brands from China and around the world will participate in this year’s celebration. 200,000 smart stores in China across the apparel, fast-moving consumer goods, beauty products, automobile and home décor industries will help boost traffic to offline and online shopping destinations. Tmall Global provides 3,700 categories of imported goods from 75 countries and regions on its platform.
- International Consumers
Tmall World, AliExpress and Lazada will bring the event to hundreds of millions of overseas users, making 11.11 a truly global event. Lazada will host its first 11.11 Shopping Festival across six countries in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam, offering more engaged consumer experience and the biggest discounts of the year from LazMall and Lazada marketplace.
- Participation of Local Services
Ele.me’s on-demand platform will provide delivery services for select Starbucks stores across 11 Chinese cities, including full-service coverage in Beijing and Shanghai. In addition, 150,000 merchant partners of Koubei will offer half-price discounts on catering, beauty and hair salons and karaoke bars.
- New Opportunities for Small Merchants
200,000 mom-and-pop stores powered by Alibaba’s Ling Shou Tong (which translates as “retail integrated”) will provide online sales promotions, along with augmented reality-based red packets that offer discounts at 3,000 “Tmall Corner Stores.” Rural Taobao will also bring coupons to its services in 800 counties across 29 provinces in China.
- Dining and Supermarket
Hema supermarket will designate 11.11 signature stores featuring a number of promotions. RT-Mart will complete the makeover of its nearly 400 stores, fully equipping them with New Retail capabilities.
- Star-studded Entertainment
Tmall Collection’s “See Now, Buy Now” Fashion Show will be broadcast live on ten platforms including Taobao, Youku, Weibo and Toutiao on October 20, starting at 6pm in China. This will provide millions of customers the opportunity to buy their favorite items on the spot and vote for their favorite looks to create a trend report. In addition, the signature countdown Gala will be held on November 10 in Shanghai’s Mercedes Benz Arena, featuringrenowned stars.
Paytm Offering Payment Gateway Services at Zero Transaction Fees to NGOs
Paytm announced that it is offering its Payment Gateway services at 0% transaction fees to all registered NGOs across the country, in an effort to help them secure maximum resources for swift, seamless, and smooth Covid Relief work. This service would be applicable on donations of up to Rs. 10 lakh. This move will help NGOs save lakhs of rupees in transaction fees, which they would be able to use for providing more aid and relief to those affected by the pandemic.
To help NGOs immediately start accepting all forms of digital payments, the company is offering instant account activation and same-day settlement facility along with zero charges on setup and maintenance. During these unprecedented times, the company wants to ensure that NGOs that are tirelessly working to help those affected by the pandemic by providing food, medicines, oxygen cylinders do not have to wait for 2-3 days to receive contributions made to them by aware citizens and companies. With the Paytm Payment Gateway NGOs are able to get the funds the same day so that they can immediately put the resources to good use.
The company is already offering its payment gateway services to few of the largest NGOs in the country who are doing commendable work in helping people during the pandemic. It is aiding several small NGOs in tier-II, tier-III and beyond cities to start accepting contributions digitally so that they have adequate funds. Over the last several weeks, the Paytm Payment Gateway has seen a 400% increase in donations to NGOs via its payment gateway.
Paytm Spokesperson said, “NGOs have always been an integral part of social welfare in India. During this ongoing pandemic, they have played an important role in helping millions of citizens get access to food, healthcare, monetary support among other things. We want to do our part in helping them perform their services better by ensuring that they are able to seamlessly, smoothly and immediately get access to funds. Our aim is to help NGOs serve millions of more people and contribute in saving many more lives.”
Paytm recently announced that Paytm Foundation will be setting up oxygen plants in 12-13 cities as hospitals across pan-India face oxygen shortage amid the tumultuous second Covid-19 wave. These oxygen plants would be directly installed at hospitals, which would serve the oxygen needs for the entire hospital. Paytm Foundation, in association with AIF, Act foundation and Elevation Capital is sourcing Oxygen Concentrators that would be sent to government hospitals, COVID care facilities, private hospitals, nursing homes among others.
Top Google Play Store Alternatives for Android Users
World over individuals, institutions, and Governments are more aware of the role that technology plays in their lives. One aspect that we tend to overlook with our smartphone usage is our choice of store for apps. Here are the best options for Android users for other stores that ought to explore.
Google Play Store
One of the first mobile app stores, Google Play Store was introduced in 2008 with a vision to target the Android market. We all know how successful and popular this app store is across the globe. On average, this store comprises 2,714,499 apps, with 3739 new apps being added regularly.
Samsung Galaxy Store
Available to Samsung app users, the Galaxy Store comes with a minimalistic interface with two tabs on the home screen: games and apps. The store which previously contained themes, wallpapers, games, etc. has recently reshaped itself with more focus on app and content delivery in local languages. As a result, it now also provides a curated list of app, game recommendations, better gaming perks, and app-exclusive features and offers.
Indus App Bazaar
Designed to help users discover new and trending apps in their preferred language, Indus App Bazaar houses over 400,000 apps in English as well as 12 Indian languages, including Hindi, Marathi, Gujrati, Tamil and Bengali. Driven to support ‘Made in India’ and ‘Vocal for Local’ initiatives, this app store aims to address the needs of Indian consumers using local and linguistic content. Indus App Bazaar has delivered 1 billion installs+ updates to over 100 million users.
Amazon App Store
Available on all Amazon Fire devices, the Amazon App Store is not just limited to these devices but is accessible to more. To make it more rewarding, Amazon has recently redesigned the store by introducing Amazon Coins, which is a virtual currency to buy apps on discount or for free. This is what sets this store apart from others.
OPPO App Market
Created for ColorOS devices, the OPPO App Market enables users to download all types of Android apps and games for free. The app market offers a wide array of apps that span across categories such as music, social, office, books, photography, health, etc. Both Oppo and Vivo, top Chinese players joined forces to launch this app store to allow developers to market their creations in overseas markets.
Started as an online marketplace of apps for Xiaomi smartphone users, Xiaomi GetApps now supports devices from other manufacturers as well. The best part about this app store is that it offers all popular applications, including PUBG, VSCO, and more than that, it also has a section called ‘Today’, which comprises various useful and interesting apps that are updated regularly.
Huawei App Gallery
A perfect place to discover your next favorite apps and games, Huawei App Gallery offers a wide array of exclusive content, coupled with free welcome gifts, special in-game events, competitions, and prize draws to make app shopping more rewarding for users. Although it doesn’t have common apps like Zoom, Netflix, Facebook, and even WhatsApp, users don’t have to fret because the store has these apps in APK formats. So, nothing can stop you from using these apps anyway.
Times Music Signs Global Licensing Deal with Video Sharing App Triller
Times Music and viral music video sharing app, Triller – announce their global licensing partnership. Times Music is a dominant market shareholder in Punjabi, Bollywood, regional and independent music and this deal would result in making Times Music’s diverse repertoire being available for users of the Triller app, across the world.
All of Times Music’s catalog, with over 56,000 songs is now available on the Triller app, for its massive user base to use the music to create short-form content.
“Times Music’s diverse catalog and its dominating position in the Punjabi and regional marketplaces, gives Triller a significant advantage to navigate the length and breadth of the country. We are very thrilled to have our entire library on Triller,” said Mandar Thakur, COO, Times Music.
“Times Music, one of India’s leading record music labels represents cultural diversity of Indian Music covering prime languages, among many others. As always our goal is to ease creations and move forward to offer our users with an even larger pannier of music to create and share content with freedom” said Raj Mishra, GM, Triller India
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