Ahead of China's 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, which aims to raise awareness of the value in online shopping on Nov. 11, ecommerce giant Alibaba has unveiled an array of promotions, events and deals to get Chinese shoppers excited for the marathon of consumerism that lies ahead.
Since it started in 2009, 11.11 has drawn more than 100,000 participating merchants. Last year, consumers spent $17.79 billion during the 24-hour period on Nov. 11. While most participating e-retailers refer to the event as 11.11 or the Global Shopping Festival, it was previously known as "Singles Day," or a celebration of those in China who are single, proud and willing to spend a little money.
For this year's 11.11 celebration, Alibaba has nearly two weeks of events and promotions on the books. Alibaba's Taobao app will feature a game called "Catch the Cat" aimed at driving online shoppers to its physical locations to catch an augmented reality cat and win special discounts. The company will also offer other interactive games that shoppers can play as a team - once your team spends a certain amount collectively, you win discounts and coupons.
Alibaba will also host a four-hour fashion show broadcast across seven TV and online channels in China. "Viewers can become consumers on the spot and immediately buy what they see in the fashion show, regardless of which platform they choose," Alibaba said in a statement.
Aside from its vast online offerings, Alibaba will collaborate with 52 shopping malls to open 60 pop-up stores across China. Additionally, nearly 100,000 stores in 31 provinces will be converted to "smart stores" to offer high tech shopping features including facial recognition payment scanning.
11.11 will consist of offerings from more than 140,000 brands with 15 million product listings. More than 60,000 non-Chinese brands will sell their goods on Alibaba, the company said.
Alibaba stock was higher as the market opened on Tuesday.
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