Double 11: Strategies of Top E-Commerce players in China

Super informative article, insights and deep analysis done by eCommerce experts. CEO, top manager should enjoy.

For the upcoming Double 11 shopping festival, platforms such as Douyin and Kuaishou have taken the initiative to announce their promotional strategies. Traditional e-commerce giants, Taobao and, have also unveiled their game plans to attract more merchants.

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Challenger platforms, including Xiaohongshu and video accounts, are also entering the fray in an attempt to grab a piece of the pie.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Double 11 shopping festival, and the competition is more fierce than ever. In this post, we’ll dissect the strategies of six major e-commerce platforms to help merchants stand out during the shopping festival and find new solutions for growth.

Taobao and Tmall : Good Price Festival

  • Tmall’s Double 11 schedule is divided into three phases:
    • Pre-sale from October 24, 2 PM to November 3, 11:59 PM
    • In-stock sale from October 29, 12 AM to November 3, 11:59 PM
    • Main sale from November 9, 12 AM to November 11, 11:59 PM
  • Taobao has removed the pre-sale phase and is divided into “Pre-sale,” “Good Price Festival,” and “Main Sale,” with the earliest sale starting on October 31.
  • This year, both platforms will continue to offer official discounts (minimum 15%) and cross-store discounts (spend 300 and get 50 off).
  • Different stores will receive matching discounts according to their situation.
  • In terms of merchant support, Taobao and Tmall have gone all out. They have announced a 400 million RMB ecological incentive and over 3 billion RMB in subsidies from Alibaba Mama for merchants and Taobao affiliates.
  • This includes the “Million Merchant Plan” that provides 2 billion RMB in cash subsidies for small and medium-sized merchants, and over 1 billion RMB in subsidies from the Taobao Alliance for Taobao affiliates to help merchants with traffic and promotion.
  • The most anticipated collaboration this year is the “Double 11 Super Explosion Plan” launched by Alibaba Mama and Tencent Advertising. This collaboration allows advertising traffic from WeChat video accounts, Moments, and mini-programs to be directly linked to Taobao, Tmall merchants’ stores, product details, and live streaming rooms.
  • Additionally, there are various forms of billion-yuan subsidy incentives, such as traffic matching, consumption feedback, and bid subsidies.

Industry insiders believe that the cooperation between Alibaba Mama and Tencent Advertising will directly benefit the Taobao ecosystem, supplementing its traffic landscape and helping merchants reduce costs and increase efficiency.

JD : low-price mindset

For this year’s Double 11, continues to emphasize the “low-price mindset.”

  • During the merchant conference, Xin Lijun, CEO of JD Retail, stated that 2 billion RMB in subsidies will be allocated to support quality merchants focusing on “big promotions,” “content,” and “user” to provide consumers with a fast, high-quality, and economical shopping experience.
    • Merchants that can provide low-priced goods and high-quality services will be given priority in terms of traffic support and exposure opportunities.
    • In the past, only merchants with higher “store ratings” had the chance to receive support.
  • Another significant change is that will strengthen its content section this year, providing more content support for merchants from both inside and outside the platform.
    • Internally, there will be low-priced live broadcasts by ten top broadcasters over 20 days, as well as millions of red envelopes distributed by hundreds of presidents to help merchants and broadcasters grow their business rapidly.
    • Externally, the threshold for merchants to participate in marketing on Xiaohongshu and Bilibili will be lowered, and the cooperation process will be simplified to facilitate traffic backfeeding.

It’s worth noting that in August of this year, lowered the free shipping threshold for its self-operated stores, and JD PLUS members can enjoy free shipping throughout the year. This move is expected to further drive transactions of low-unit-price goods such as daily necessities during the big promotion period.

Douyin (TikTok) : Discount and Massive exposure

This year, Douyin’s approach is simpler and more direct.

  • The “cross-store discount” has been changed to “official discount” (15% discount offered by merchants) to enhance user experience.
  • Merchants participating in this campaign will be exposed in the Douyin Mall discount section and will receive comprehensive traffic exposure benefits.
  • The platform also introduced a new membership system, “Douyin Mall Gold Card,” which includes large discount coupons and 5% off on some products, to continuously improve the consumption stickiness of high-net-worth users.
  • To improve customer acquisition efficiency, Douyin focuses on traffic support, exposure resources, and new customer growth, launching a variety of activities such as Brand Carnival, Key Products, Festival Alliance Plan, and New Merchant Incentive Race to increase the scale of the target audience.
    • “Key Products” is one of the major initiatives launched by Douyin this year.
  • The platform will select key products that meet the requirements of the big promotion event and provide exposure to billions of traffic and full-domain resources to increase the repurchase rate of old customers and the first-order planting rate.
  • Douyin is also deepening its construction in “content + shelf” dual scenarios to help merchants achieve explosive growth.


Facing the big promotion, Kuaishou also showed its “implication.”

  • At the Double 11 merchant conference, Kuaishou announced that it would invest 18 billion RMB in traffic support and 2 billion RMB in product subsidies for this year’s Double 11.
  • Compared to previous years, Kuaishou has also made significant upgrades in its gameplay, including:
    • Efficiency upgrade for gameplay registration, meaning that merchants only need to register once through a single link to participate in multiple activities if they meet the multiple activity thresholds.
    • Official selection of products with one-click assembly, where officials will upgrade and release a selection package based on the initiative of popular broadcasters to select products.
    • Must-report good products to compete for traffic, where merchants can participate in product bidding by reporting platform-marked “must-report good products.”
    • Data warfare efficiency upgrade, where merchants can better assist decision-making through data visualization tools.
  • In addition, Kuaishou has also specially launched the “Fu Yao Plan” for the growth of platform merchants, optimizing mechanisms such as main broadcaster arena, traffic, marketing, and subsidies to help broadcasters achieve definite incremental growth during the big promotion.

Xiaohongshu, LIttle Red Book : Incentive & content

  1. This year, Xiaohongshu offers similar incentives to other platforms, with tens of billions of traffic support and hundreds of millions of subsidies.
  2. Instead of focusing on the “lowest price”, Xiaohongshu utilizes “content” as its main strategy.
  3. Xiaohongshu introduced several supportive policies, including:
    • “Three Major Resources”: live streaming, notes, searches, mall, and main event traffic exposure incentives, hundreds of millions of platform subsidies, and thousands of excellent buyers.
    • “Two Matchmaking Plans”: “Flash Buyer Plan” and “Flash Brand Plan”, for mutual growth of buyers and brands during the accumulation period.
    • “Three Live Streaming Methods”: Helping merchants increase live streaming appointments and later conversions.
    • “Eight Support Policies”: Including “Store Broadcast Start-up Plan”, “Store Broadcast Leap Plan”, and “Store Broadcast Promotion Plan” for shop live streaming; “New Star Buyer Growth Incentive” and “High-Quality Buyer Leap Plan” for buyers; and support policies for product notes.
  4. Video Account 视频号
    • For its third year participating in the Double 11 festival, Video Account is relatively new to the game.
    • Four incentive policies for brand merchants:
      • Reservation and Coupon Incentive: The platform provides flow ticket incentives for the top 50 merchants on the leaderboard.
      • GMV Target Task Incentive: Merchants can receive flow ticket incentives if they meet GMV thresholds, with a maximum of 600,000 flow tickets available for single broadcasters.
      • Technical Service Fee Reduction Incentive: All merchants enjoy a reduced technical service fee rate of 1% during the festival.
      • Ranking on the Leaderboard: Merchants are ranked based on live streaming transactions, viewership data, and heat value.
    • As Double 11 enters its 15th year, platforms are moving away from focusing solely on GMV (Gross Merchandise Volume) data.
    • Products, content, and services are now taking center stage, with platforms continuously evolving and embracing changes.
    • The intense market competition and rigorous preparation have introduced new challenges for merchants.

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