Simon and Shop Premium Outlets (SPO) are partnering with Alibaba Group’s Tmall Global to launch a series of live shopping events in China. The livestreams will allow shoppers in China to virtually shop SPO’s online inventory as well as purchase directly from participating stores located within Woodbury Common Premium Outlets, a Simon property in Woodbury, N.Y., in time for Alibaba’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival and throughout the holiday season.
SPO, which is a joint venture between Simon and Rue Gilt Groupe, will provide the backend technology for Tmall Global to access its inventory and product information in real time. This will allow Chinese customers to shop SPO’s offerings using Tmall Global’s self-operated global discovery storefronts.
“Shop Premium Outlets has an ongoing commitment to deliver a best-in-class digital experience to all of our shoppers,” said Neel Grover, CEO of Shop Premium Outlets in a statement. “We’re excited to power these livestream shopping events with our innovative tech and offer a new avenue to sell on-sale premium and luxury brands to shoppers in China.”
Additionally, Woodbury Common Premium Outlets will open a pop-up studio to celebrate the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival where it will host some of the livestream events. Shoppers in China will be able to access the streams through Taobao Live and virtually browse inventory from participating brands. Celebrity influencers in China also will be part of the activation, helping introduce brands to Chinese shoppers.
“We’re excited to collaborate with Simon and Shop Premium Outlets to bring such an iconic shopping destination to consumers in China,” said Tony Shan, Head of Tmall Global for the Americas in a statement. “Chinese shoppers are eager to discover new brands, and this is a great way for them to explore new products and shop at their fingertips.”
The Alibaba partnership will help SPO achieve its mission of helping retailers — many of which are off-price banners of luxury or premium brands — bring new shoppers in, eventually guiding them from off-price purchases into the full-price ecosystem. Live shopping has been a growing channel for driving this strategy, and holding events in China will open up an entire new country of potential customers to SPO retailers.
“We’ve done [livestreams] all over, and it’s really fun because with every store there’s different inventory and different scenery,” said Neel Grover, CEO of Shop Premium Outlets in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “Now brands are asking to do it more often, because they’re seeing the halo effect of driving consumers into the store as well. At the end of the day, it’s about driving that store environment, driving that excitement and ultimately driving sales.”