Ant Financial, one of the world’s leading digital financial services providers, had an unprecedented 110 million consumers participating in its Double 12 Global Shopping Festival.
Double 12, the offline version of the Singles’ Day Shopping Festival, kicked off December 10 and culminated on December 12. Alipay created the offline festival in 2014 to provide users with convenient mobile payment options at brick-and-mortar stores, while increasing merchants’ operational efficiency.
On the first day of the festival, 49 million Alipay users hit the pavement to shop in stores with Double 12 promotions using Alipay while searching for participating merchants using Koubei, a local service discovery platform within Alipay. Among the 1.5 million merchants who have connected to Koubei, 1 million merchants participated in this year’s Double 12 Shopping Festival by offering some kind of promotions. Consumers in Shanghai, Hangzhou and Beijing were the most enthusiastic shoppers with the highest number of transactions. During the three-day period, 110 million people used Alipay to pay for their purchases in-store. The post-1985 generation were especially active, comprising 68% of consumers during the three-day shopping festival.
Samuel Fan, the CEO of Koubei said, “We are thrilled that 1.5 million merchants and 110 million consumers were able to connect offline and complete their purchases through our platforms. Koubei provides merchants with growth opportunities and consumers with user convenience.”
Through the independent Koubei merchant app, Koubei merchants are able to apply for non-collateral and credit-based microloans from Ant Financial. So far, 30,000 Koubei merchants have done so and a total of RMB 1.3 billion (USD 18.8 million) has been granted, with the average loan size at RMB 43,000 (USD 6,215).
Many stores reached their own transaction peaks during the three-day period. Chen Qi, Director of Digital Marketing at KFC China said, “Aside from helping with our marketing, Alipay also improves our operational efficiency. Customers can pre-order and receive their meals by showing a number generated by each KFC store’s Koubei page.”
Beyond China, the Shopping Festival was truly global, covering more than 60,000 merchants from 16 countries and regions. On the first day of the festival, overseas Alipay transactions tripled and more than 300,000 transactions were processed.
Koubei allows users to look for local merchants, place orders, conduct payments and write reviews. It is a joint venture established in June 2015 by Alibaba Group and Ant Financial Services Group, each of which invested RMB 3 billion (USD 434 million) as well as user traffic diverted from other synergetic products and services such as Alipay. Koubei has a first-level entry point on Alipay – one of China’s most popular apps.
Launched in 2004, Alipay is the world’s leading third-party payment platform and offers online shopping payments, money transfers and utility bill payments as well as offline (in-person or in-store) payments. Alipay currently has over 450 million active registered users and more than 200 financial institution partners. Alipay has evolved from a digital wallet to a lifestyle enabler. Over 2 million brick-and-mortar merchants now accept Alipay as a payment method across China. Overseas, Alipay is accepted at more than 100,000 merchants, covering 70 countries and regions, where restaurants, malls, duty free shops and O2O sharing platforms like Uber and Airbnb accept Alipay.