Alibaba is expecting to surpass the record of $14.3 billion in sales it made on Singles’ Day in 2015 by rolling out some new activities like augmented reality games and virtual fashion shows to entice shoppers. At the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit in San Francisco, Alibaba President Michael Evans told Bloomberg TV that the numbers will be bigger than last year.
How Alibaba plans to get more sales
Evans added that the numbers are not their main focus, however.
“If the social experience isn’t a great event for all the people who participate, then we haven’t really achieved what we want.”
Singles’ Day began in the 1990s as an obscure holiday, but since the e-commerce giant changed it into a one-day online sales extravaganza in 2009, it has gained importance as a Chinese consumer phenomenon. With a Super Bowl-like celebration, the sales extravaganza begins in the final hours of Nov. 10 and counts down to midnight. Celebrities will be taking the stage this year, including Katy Perry, who serves as “global ambassador” for China.
Alibaba has many strategies to ensure the increase in sales during the first few seconds of Nov. 11. It is adding more activities this year to get products preloaded into customers’ digital shopping carts. Those transactions are completed at midnight through the Alipay payments service.
The Chinese firm will live-stream an eight-hour long show on Oct. 23 in Shanghai with 50 international brands. During this show, viewers can preorder clothes as models walk down the runway. Further, the e-commerce company will release an augmented reality mobile game two weeks ahead of Singles’ Day. Customers will follow a “Tmall Cat” mascot to retailers around China to earn prizes and discounts.
Price target raised before earnings, Singles’ Day
Alibaba received a price-target boost before its quarterly earnings report based on an improving profit picture and revenue upside potential. Needham analyst Kerry Rice hiked their price target from $105 to $125.
In a research report, Rice wrote, “While modestly lowering our revenue, we are raising our EPS estimates to better reflect Alibaba’s cost structure and noncash expenses.”
The e-commerce giant has invested heavily to grow the company. In 2015, it invested about $11 billion in acquisitions. The Chinese company is scheduled to post September quarter earnings on Nov. 2 before the market open.
On Thursday, Alibaba shares closed down 0.08% at $103.85. Year to date, the stock is up more than 27%, while in the last year, it is up more than 44%.