Biz / Tech

'Double 12' extends shopping spree to the real world

Consumers are embracing a new era of retail, with a shopping gala similar to Singles Day taking place on December 12, when online discounts extended to physical stores. 
Ti Gong

Fruit vendors hope to catch the attention of shoppers during the Double 12 shopping gala as physical retailers aim to woo consumers with discounted items and price cuts.

Consumers are embracing a new era of retail that better integrates online shopping and real-world shopping, with a gala similar to Singles Day taking place on December 12, extending online discounts to physical stores.

Koubei, a joint venture between Alibaba Group and Ant Financial Services, joined hands with over one million merchants including big names such as Starbucks, KFC, Pizza Hut and Alibaba's flagship new retail venture, Hema Fresh Market, to stage the event. 

Customers were also eligible to additional discounts of up to 25 yuan ($3.77) through Koubei's app.

Convenience store operator Family Mart also offered additional discounts to its own members where they could enjoy 20 yuan of further price cuts with purchases over 40 yuan. 

Store manager Liu Jian at the Family Mart store on Jinshajiang Road told Shanghai Daily that the average spend of each customer on Tuesday was higher than ordinary days.

Koubei chief executive officer Fan Chi said he hoped the occasion would allow merchants to learn to better leverage consumer data and technology capabilities to improve profitability and operation efficiency.

"We hope merchants can provide shoppers the most relevant discounts in order to draw more recurring customers and eventually boost sales," he added.

In Shanghai, as many as 6.3 million consumers participated in the shopping gala over the 24-hour period, helping the city keep top place among other domestic cities in terms of the total number of participants.

Shoppers born after 1995 made up 15 percent of total transactions in Shanghai, as the younger generation embrace digital services not only for their virtual life but also real-world entertainment and dining activities.

Consumers downloaded digital coupons to their Alipay accounts and enjoyed shopping and dining in major commercial areas all around the country.

Merchants in 15 overseas countries and regions also participated in the event, and Ant Financial’s partners in Hong Kong, India, Thailand and the Philippines introduced the campaign to their local e-wallet users for the first time.


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