Shanghai (People’s Daily) - Improving the quality of digital transformation in Singles Day sales is an issue that no market players should skip, Chairman and CEO of Alibaba Group Daniel Zhang said on Monday at the 2020 Observing China Forum.
Drawing over five million retailers, the annual online shopping frenzy, also known as Double 11, raked in sales of more than 498 billion yuan ($74 billion) this year, according to data released by the e-commerce company. It also adopted an experimental change, by extending the originally 24-hour event to a longer stretch of time, from November 1 to November 11.
“Without doubt, the pandemic has accelerated digitalization,” Zhang said. “Twelve years on, we are glad to see Singles Day has entered a new stage of development. In the same way that Singles Day was born, we wanted to create something from scratch.”
Chinese consumers have become aware of the importance of digitization due to the COVID-19 outbreak. People are getting more and more used to working from home online, teleconferencing, and taking online courses, due to the lockdown caused by the pandemic. The digital industry has rapidly risen in response to this global outbreak.
“This year's shopping gala reflects the recovery of China's economy, people's confidence in the market, and offers encouragement to online platforms,” Lu Xiongwen, the dean of the School of the Management of Fudan University said at the forum. “Of course, the reason behind this continuous consumption ability is the development of the digital economy.”
With the recovery of the domestic economy, Chinese consumers began to increase their consumption demands.
“I have seen that many enterprises, whether fully scientific and creative enterprises, or the traditional enterprises aiming to upgrade and innovate, seeking advanced production lines, assembly lines and automatic production,” Lu said. “They have made extensive use of digital technology not only in automatic production, but also quality control, signal transmission and remote monitoring.”
Meanwhile, the emergence of new brands during this year’s shopping festival showcases the advantages of digital technology. “In fact, digital technology opened a door for us,” Zhang Ying, deputy dean of the Guanghua School of Management in Peking University, pointed during the discussion.
“Consumers have always had diverse needs, but we have never had an effective measure to meet them. But now, the various needs can be met during live streaming or on other digital platforms and new consumption opportunities have been created,” Zhang Ying said.
This year’s shopping festival was divided into two sections, reducing the pressure on the delivery industry and effectively adjusting production and demand as well, Lu added.