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Alibaba and JD.com are taking the battle for shoppers’ wallets to everything from the seasonal delicacy hairy crabs to luxury labels as China’s ecommerce titans prepare to face off on Singles Day.阿里巴巴(Alibaba)和京东(JD.com)的销售大战全线铺开——从季节性美味大闸蟹到奢侈品牌。眼下,中国电商巨头们正准备在“光棍节”(Singles Day)一较高下。
Thebrainchild of Alibaba, Singles Day turned the anti-Valentine’s Day on November 11 into the biggest frenzy of consumption in the retail calendar. It worked: last year consumers spent $18bn, triple the $5.9bn spent on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Thanksgiving combined in the US.阿里巴巴首创的“双十一”将年轻人庆祝单身的11月11日变成了零售日历表上最大规模的消费狂欢。效果显著:去年“双十一”,消费者支出了180亿美元,是美国“黑色星期五”(Black Friday)、“网购星期一”(Cyber Monday)和“感恩节”(Thanksgiving)合计59亿美元消费额的三倍。
“It has tremendous staying power,” says Alibaba vendor John McPheters, co-founder and chief executive of streetwear retailer Stadium Goods. “I think we’ll see much more 11.11 Singles Day activity in the US as it continues to grow.”“它一直很受欢迎,”入驻阿里巴巴的街头服饰零售商Stadium Goods的联合创始人兼首席执行官约翰麦克菲特斯(John McPheters)说,“我认为,随着这个购物节越做越大,我们将在美国看到更多的‘双十一’促销活动。”
The day is one of the biggest engines in China’s economy. Shoppers spent $750bn online last year, roughly equivalent to the annual economic output of the Netherlands. Goldman Sachs reckons that will double to $1.7tn by 2020. Chinese consumers are responsible for almost half of all online shopping, according to research consultancy eMarketer.“双十一”是中国经济中最大的引擎之一。去年,中国购物者在线支出了7500亿美元,大致相当于荷兰一年的经济产值。高盛估计,到2020年,这一数字将翻番至1.7万亿美元。研究咨询公司eMarketer的数据显示,中国消费者占了全球网购的几乎半壁江山。
JD.com has sought to counter rival Alibaba’s superior clout — with more than 500m shoppers it has roughly double JD.com’s 258m — by stitching up data-sharing deals with some of China’s biggest tech groups.京东试图通过与中国最大的一些科技集团达成数据共享协议,来抗衡竞争对手阿里巴巴更强大的影响力。阿里巴巴拥有逾5亿用户,差不多是京东2.58亿用户的两倍。
These include Tencent, the social media group with almost 1bn users on its WeChat service; Baidu, which runs China’s dominant search engine; news aggregator Toutiao; Tencent-backed search engine Sogou, and NetEase.这些科技集团包括旗下微信(WeChat)拥有近10亿用户的社交媒体集团腾讯(Tencent);在中国占主导地位的搜索引擎百度(Baidu);新闻整合商今日头条(Toutiao);腾讯支持的搜索引擎搜狗(Sogou);网易(NetEase)。
JD.com has some 50 such deals, allowing it to target individual customers. For example, someone reading news about young children on Toutiao can be targeted with?nappies.京东达成了约50项此类协议,使它可以精准地向个人消费者推送广告。例如,京东可以向在今日头条上阅读有关幼儿新闻的消费者推送纸尿裤广告。
Both companies are also offering subsidies to merchants and couriers. Alibaba’s logistics arm Cainiao is spending Rmb1.5bn ($226m) on subsidies, while JD.com is reportedly shelling out Rmb2.1bn.两家公司还向商家和快递员提供补贴。阿里巴巴旗下物流公司菜鸟拿出了15亿元人民币(合2.26亿美元)用于补贴,而京东据称砸了21亿元人民币。
“The scale of the?face-off?with JD.com needs watching,” writes Bhavtosh Vajpayee, analyst at Bernstein Research in a report. “Small discounts across Alibaba’s 500m-plus customer base can start adding up quickly if the competitive jostling gets out of hand.”“这场对决的规模有待观察,”伯恩斯坦研究公司(Bernstein Research)分析师巴夫托什?瓦杰帕伊(Bhavtosh Vajpayee)在一份报告中写道,“如果这场促销大战失控的话,阿里巴巴5亿多用户享受的小额折扣将迅速膨胀。”
An earlier battle over hairy crabs demonstrated the lengths to which the duo go. JD.com set up warehouses to shorten the supply chain, while one of Cainiao’s partners kitted themselves out with 40 refrigerated trucks to ensure multiple deliveries. Both promised to reimburse customers if thecrustaceans were dead on arrival.之前的大闸蟹之战显示出这两个对手都使出了浑身解数。京东自建仓库以缩短供应链,而菜鸟的一家合作伙伴准备了40辆冷链车以确保完成众多投送服务。两家公司都承诺,如果大闸蟹在送达时死亡,它们将赔偿消费者。
Similarly, the two companies are pushing into the luxury sector, with JD.com setting up a standalone “white gloves” service and buying into cultish ecommerce site Farfetch. “Mass-market categories such as consumer products?are already saturated on these sites, so they are branching out into other sectors such as luxury,” says Liz Flora, who heads up Asia Pacific Research at digital agency L2.此外,两家公司都在进军奢侈品领域,京东推出了“白手套”高端派送服务,并入股了奢侈品电商Farfetch。“这些网站上的消费品等大众品类早已饱和,因此,它们正向奢侈品等其他领域拓展,”数字咨询机构L2亚太研究部门负责人利兹?弗洛拉(Liz Flora)表示。

Platforms are also making a play for top-performing merchants, wooing them with incentives such assite placements and discounts. This year 40-odd brands have reportedly ditched JD.com to sell exclusively on Alibaba’s platforms.各电商平台还在设法吸引经营表现最优秀的商家,利用网站布置和折扣等激励手段招揽它们。据报道,今年有40多个品牌撤离了京东,只在阿里巴巴的平台上进行销售。
While Alibaba is widely expected to reveal a figure that comfortably surpasses last year’s Singles Day sales figure, “the number itself is not the primary objective”, says Jason Ding, a partner with consultancy Bain & Co.咨询公司贝恩(Bain & Co.)合伙人丁杰(Jason Ding)表示,虽然人们普遍预计阿里巴巴今年“双十一”的销售额将轻松超过去年,“但数字本身并不是首要目标”。

The controversial criteria used to measure sales on the day are the subject of a long-running probe by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.用于计算“双十一”当天销售额的有争议的标准,是美国证券交易委员会(SEC)长期以来调查的对象。
Analysts have also questioned the numbers, suggesting they have been inflated by “brushing” — the practice of merchants sending out empty packages to boost their rankings.分析人士也对这些数字提出了质疑,认为这些数据被“刷单”——商家发送空包裹来提高交易量排名的做法——做大了。
Mr Ding points to Alibaba’s move from ecommerce to “new retail” — a blend of online and offline shopping. “That will be the new trend going forward, so 11.11 in the original format is not that relevant any more,” he says.丁杰指出,阿里巴巴正在从电子商务转向“新零售”——线上和线下购物的融合——转型。他说:“这将是未来的新趋势,因此,原始形式的双十一不再那么重要了。”


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