Alipay, the mobile payments unit of China’s Ant Financial Services Group, launched a major shopping event on Dec. 12, called the “Double 12” International Festival.
More than 10,000 shops in Hong Kong and Macau are participating in the event, which will continue throughout the month, providing discounts to shoppers who use Alipay to pay for goods and services.
Double 12, in fact, is not a new festival. It used to be called International e-Commerce Day.
In the past, retailers rarely offered big discounts except during New Year, Spring Festival, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. But since online shopping began to gain traction, the situation has changed.
Double 11 or Singles’ Day became a major online shopping event, with retailers, both online and offline, offering special promotions during the day.
In a survey of over 100 Hong Kong marketing executives, more than half said they participated in the festival or ramped up their supply during the period.
Online consumers may have different buying habits to those offline, and the marketing strategies for the two segments may differ. However, as more shopping festivals are held online, brick and mortar merchants have no choice but to follow. After all, all retailers need an excuse to pitch their goods.
While many of us enjoy shopping, give some thought to environmental protection, too, and try not to indulge too much.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Dec. 13
Translation by Julie Zhu
[Chinese version 中文版]
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