New growth engines of the China–U.S. ecommerce economy: Research on the Double 11 Shopping Festival and Cyber Monday

The Double 11 Shopping Festival is a Chinese online shopping holiday celebrated each year on November 11. The Alibaba Group first held Double 11 in 2009 on (, with 27 ecommerce brands offering a 50% discount on their products. Over the past 11 years, the Double 11 Shopping Festival has gained traction at home […]

Jennifer Zhang
Jennifer Zhang
General Manager, Greater China

The Double 11 Shopping Festival is a Chinese online shopping holiday celebrated each year on November 11. The Alibaba Group first held Double 11 in 2009 on (, with 27 ecommerce brands offering a 50% discount on their products.

Over the past 11 years, the Double 11 Shopping Festival has gained traction at home and abroad, both online and offline. It now encompasses all kinds of consumption — from food and beverage to entertainment. It’s  a highly anticipated annual event for global consumers and the ecommerce industry.

This year, Double 11 has been upgraded from a shopping day to a shopping season. It will last for 31 days  and has attracted the participation of a number of mainstream ecommerce platforms in China. It is estimated that 14 million products from 5 million merchants will be for sale on Tmall alone, and that more than 800 million consumers will shop the festival. This year’s Double 11 is expected to be the largest shopping festival in ecommerce history. The event’s 11 years of continuous growth in trade volume — from 52 million yuan in 2009 to 268.4 billion yuan in 2019 — shows the rapid growth of the digital economy. It also represents the reform of the growth model, with the partnership economy taking an increasingly important role.

A key factor in growth: The partnership economy

According to AliResearch, the fastest growing ecommerce demand comes from younger consumers, and focuses on long-tail niche and specialty products. This demand is generated and boosted by social media platforms such as short videos, live streaming, and social ecommerce.

The process of “zhongcao” (or “planting grass”) finds consumers being influenced to long for a particular product by a key channel or someone they trust. This could be an influencer in makeup testing, popular science, or shopping; an internet celebrity; a familiar app or platform; a touching corporate social responsibility (CSR) or charity project; eye-catching news; or a fellow consumer who likes to share. Alliances based on trust and cooperation boost customer growth and contribute to  the partnership economy.

The partnership economy can be thought of as the hardworking, behind-the-scenes employee that is breaking records in the ecommerce industry. The C-beauty brand Florasis is a great example. Founded in 2017, Florasis, Huaxizi hosts a 100 million yuan campaign in the Double 11 Shopping Festival. The partnership economy has helped Florasis stand out in the beauty industry after only three years.

Officially partnering with Jiaqi Li — a top live stream ecommerce influencer — Florasis has built a partnership based on consumer trust. Its presold event at this year’s Double 11 is helping the brand build cross-border cooperation with Chinese-style IP and pop stars to attract Gen Z. The event is spreading the news about its products through macro-, mid-tier, and micro-influencers. Product testing influencers also help the brand maintain consumer trust. All these steps help Florasis convert website traffic into sales, and keep it at the top of Tmall’s trade volume list.

The partnership economy also is reconstructing traditional marketing strategy based on target advertising. By combining marketing elements, the partnership economy drives brands to break through and increase conversions. It also transforms one-way advertising into interactions between brands and consumers.

Early start of Cyber Monday 2020: How to boost demand

In western countries, Cyber Monday is similar to the Double 11 Shopping Festival. In mid-October, Amazon fired off the first shot of this year’s Cyber Monday shopping season with Amazon Prime Day, a deal event exclusively for its Prime members.

Unlike Double 11 — an ecommerce shopping spree since its inception — Cyber Monday originated offline. The event mainly featured live visits to shopping malls, a tradition that continues to this day.

Although the proportion of Amazon online shopping gradually is growing, offline shopping remains the most important component of the Cyber Monday campaign. People still prefer to rush to Walmart, Costco, Best Buy, and other brick-and-mortar stores to snap up goods. Adobe data showed that only 29% of Cyber Monday consumers placed orders through mobile phones. Tmall data, in the meantime, showed that 60.3% of Double 11 Shopping Festival users paid through facial recognition and fingerprint.

Cyber Monday’s 2019 online sales volume reached $7.4 billion (about 52 billion yuan), the highest on record. But that figure only equaled 20% of Double 11’s past volume of sales. Going back to 2018, combined sales of all  Cyber Monday campaign channels added up to less than half of the Tmall’s Double 11 Shopping Festival  sales.

This year, the Covid-19 outbreak has changed consumption patterns and behaviors. Avoiding large gatherings and maintaining social distance are now considered rules of thumb. Depending on the severity of a local epidemic, regions continually adjust restrictions on offline entities and shopping centers. Cinemas, shopping malls, restaurants, and other venues accordingly place restrictions on the allowed number of patrons and operating hours.

Today’s new consumption and work scenarios, like the stay-at-home economy, the cloud office, and cloud education, have accelerated development of the digital economy and changed which channels reach users. This year, Cyber Monday consumption is expected to exceed previous years, and the proportion of shopping that is online will grow further.

Cyber Monday’s reliance on online ecommerce platforms triggers a corresponding new demand for digital brand marketing.

Impact cultivates a new growth engine: Automated partnerships

Double 11 is a vivid footnote to the new ecommerce growth engine. The shopping festival unleashes the purchasing power of the large domestic market by leveraging the partnership economy. By adapting to the growing consumption and communication environment, new brands and new forces use Double 11 to stimulate growth in quality and efficiency. This partnership-driven digital marketing also may become a Cyber Monday scenario in the post-epidemic era.

Impact’s deep involvement in the concept of the partnership economy has turned it into a driving force for growth for over 12 years. As a leader in partnership management, Impact provides solutions for partnerships in all industry verticals. It enables companies to quickly coordinate external marketing channels and partner resources, integrate internal and external data, and effectively prevent and manage risks in the process of cooperation.

Impact leverages its Partnership Cloudtm software as a service (SaaS) platform to help companies automate outreach, recruiting, contracting, anti-fraud, relationship optimization, payment, and other processes. When marketing professionals open Impact’s back-end pages, they are  treated to an infinitely replicable business hive that is swarming with new channels, insights, and partnership opportunities — all driven by digital strategy.

Imagine the partner discovery and the cemented alliances, the consumer and partner communication, the impressive recommendations and the traceable orders. Imagine the potential a large automated partnership economy can bring to Double 11 and Cyber Monday!

Reach out to a growth technologist today here.









从直播电商带货头部达人李佳琦成为其品牌推荐官开始,花西子即通过这一重要的合作伙伴建筑了与电商平台核心购买力的信任基础。在今年双十一的预热活动中,我们看到花西子通过选择与Z世代契合的热门国风 IP跨界联合,发起与品牌调性高度契合的明星代言,头腰尾部 KOL组合渗透品销信息,并以产品体验官 /新品试用员等身份维护消费者关系,完成从流量到销量的电商转化,继而持续领跑天猫预售榜。



在西方,也有一个类似中国“双11”全年大促的狂欢购物季,那就是黑色星期五(Cyber Monday)。今年的黑五以十月中的亚马逊会员专属Prime Day为开端,早早地打响了2020购物季的第一炮。








近年来的双十一购物节,充分利用合作伙伴经济释放中国大市场的购买力正是对新增长引擎的生动注脚。一个个新品牌、新势力通过顺应消费与传播环境,以合作伙伴关系驱动品效合一式数字化营销, 借助购物节激发品效增长,这或许也将成为后疫情时代的”黑五”新景象。


Impact借助Partnership Cloud这 一 SaaS平台帮助企业拓展、招募、签约、反欺诈、关系优化、支付等流程实现自动化。当打开Impact后台页面时,营销专业人员就仿佛看到一栋无限复制的商业大厦,不断涌动着新渠道、新洞察、新合作机会,而这一切都在数字化的策略驱动中。想象一下,从发现合作伙伴到完成联盟合作、从消费者沟通到合作伙伴沟通、从高效种草到可追踪的下单……试想,大量的自动化合作伙伴经济将为”双11”、”黑五”带来多少更大的想象空间?

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