Tmall, the B2C unit under China’s largest e-commerce company Alibaba Group, yesterday said it will offer 300 million Yuan (US$48.4 million) worth of cash vouchers and encourage consumers to share gift coupons with friends to allow more participants at its annual shopping spree on November 11.
Consumers will be encouraged to distribute their vouchers with friends through social networking sites, including Sina’s microblogging site Weibo, so that more people will receive the benefits, the company said at a media briefing.
“It’s the latest attempt to combine social networking features to the e-commerce realm,” said Wang Yulei, vice president of Tmall.
The number of merchants involved in this year’s shopping spree will double to 20,000.
Last year, transactions on the so-called Single’s Day (November 11) recorded by both Tmall and Taobao reached 19.1 billion Yuan after discounts of at least 50 percent were promised on a massive range of goods.
The company also said it aims to double the capacity of its Internet servers to prepare for the large influx of visitors to its sites from both desktop PCs and mobile devices.
Wang said Tmall aims to better connect brick-and-mortar stores with its online operation for a win-win strategy.
Alibaba lets consumers link their login IDs to Sina after it bought 18 percent of Weibo in April for US$586 million.
Tmall is making a pretty aggressive push to motivate consumers to engage with its online store this year. The link between social media and online stores is evolving quickly, and its healthy partnership is necessary to drive online business, but not the only one.
As Tmall mentioned, better connecting with brick-and-mortar stores is a high priority. This connection will be important for both Tmall and brand owners with a network of physical stores to better their business productivity.