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Tmall programme aims to help retailers in UK ‘go global’ with 11.11 pitch fest

Brands like French Bull are already using Tmall internationally

Alibaba Group’s Tmall Global, the largest cross-border ecommerce platform in China, has launched a UK and Ireland edition of its ‘Go Global 11.11 Pitch Fest’, a virtual event designed to help international brands grow their businesses globally. Following the success of Pitch Fest 2020 in the US, the programme will be opened up to British and Irish brands looking to find success in China. 

The event will provide an opportunity for small and medium-sized businesses to be fast-tracked into the world’s biggest shopping event, Alibaba’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, which last year generated $74.1bn in GMV. The 2020 festival saw more than 31,000 overseas brands take part and of those 2,600 brands participated in 11.11 for the first time.  During the 11-day period $494m worth of goods from UK businesses were sold – showing continued strong demand for UK products among Chinese consumers. 

Eligible brands can register to pitch their products to an Alibaba expert panel to receive valuable advice on how to grow their business in China. Selected entrants will be fast-tracked and launched on Tmall Global via one of two routes: Tmall Global Flagship store or Tmall’s Overseas Fulfilment programme. Brands that are selected to participate will receive hands-on advice from Tmall Global, and their products will be featured on the marketplace during the shopping festival.

Successful businesses will work directly with the Tmall Global team and will receive marketing advice and tools to boost brand awareness. These brands will also feature in a dedicated livestreaming session hosted by the Tmall Global team in the lead up to and during 11.11, to ensure visibility within the market. Brands will also be pitched to some of the most famous influencers in China for inclusion in their 11.11 livestreams – potentially attracting hundreds of millions of followers and generating millions in revenue. In fact, in the lead-up to last year’s 11.11, Welsh beauty tech brand SmoothSkin broadcast a livestream which was viewed by more than 103 million Chinese consumers. 

“Given the dramatic shift to online shopping and the continued strong demand for British goods in China, a digital strategy and a China strategy are now essential to fuelling the recovery and growth of British businesses after this challenging year. Yet research we conducted in late 2020, showed that just one in five British SMEs are planning to export in the next 12 months, and of those, only 7% include China as part of their export strategy,” says David Lloyd, General Manager of UK, Nordics & The Netherlands, Alibaba Group.

All brands that apply, regardless of whether they are selected for fast tracking, will receive a 1-2-1 consultation with a Tmall Global expert and a bespoke report with market data and consumer insights. The feedback and report will be specifically tailored to each brand to allow them to consider ways to adapt their business to expand into China in the future.

“China is an exciting market with huge growth potential, but we recognise it can seem daunting to some. Pitch Fest is a unique and exciting opportunity for British and Irish brands to launch and test their products during the most high-profile shopping moment in the Chinese consumer’s calendar – Alibaba’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival – which had more than 800 million consumers participate last year. It is a fantastic way for brands to gauge the response from Chinese consumers to their brand and products,” adds Zarina Kanji, Business Development Manager for Tmall Global.

Since 2014, Tmall Global has helped hundreds of brands from the UK and Ireland to sell directly to hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers. Since the start of the year, the platform has launched more than 40 brands.

Brands that have recently joined Tmall Global include Holland & Barrett, Sweaty Betty, Rude Health, Jo Loves, Creed, Molton Brown and Child’s Farm among many others.

The Go Global 11.11 Pitch Fest welcomes applications from UK & Ireland-based small and medium-sized businesses that are e-commerce ready, with products suitable for cross border ecommerce. Suggested product categories could span all major retail verticals, including: apparel and accessories, beauty and personal care, electronics, home, food and beverage, health and wellness, baby and maternity, toys, and pet products. The deadline for submission is July 16 2021 and the Pitch Fest will take place virtually on July 17-31 2021. 

For more information and to apply for the event, please visit: Go Global 11.11 Pitch Fest | UK & Ireland 

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