AliExpo 2024: A Perfect Finale

AliExpo 2024: A Perfect Finale

During the slowdown caused by the pandemic over the past four years, our objective has been to rally the e-commerce community in Australia with the influential voice of Alibaba, as being trusted in the ANZ region over the last six years. This led to the sixth Alibaba E-Commerce Expo (AliExpo) that held in Sydney on 15-16 March, 2024. 

More than just an exhibition, AliExpo serves as a platform to facilitate partnerships, foster new opportunities, and provide practical solutions for businesses to achieve their goals. With the theme ‘Crafted Down Under, Loved Worldwide: Where Australia, New Zealand and Pacific meets Asia’, AliExpo aimed at to shine a spotlight on the hidden gems of Australia and New Zealand, showcasing them to a global audience.

As the curtains close on AliExpo 2024, the world is left buzzing with the excitement and success of this monumental event. Among the key players in ensuring its triumph was Brand Catalyser, whose exceptional contributions and strategic insights played a pivotal role in the expo’s success. From innovative marketing strategies to seamless execution, Brand Catalyser’s expertise shone brightly, making a lasting impact on AliExpo 2024 and setting new standards for future endeavors.

The AliExpo Attendees

AliExpo 2024 showcased the collaborative spirit of the e-commerce community, attracting a significant presence from the local Chinese and Southeast Asian communities. The event’s success reaffirms the immense potential for ANZ brands in the Southeast Asia and China market, igniting renewed belief and confidence among overseas buyers and personal shoppers.

  • Exhibition visitors: With a total of 15,946 registrations and over 12,000 visitors, the expo saw strong local representation of 71% Australians visitors. (Day one – more than 3,300 attendees, day two – more than 8,700 attendees). Overseas attendees made up 29% of the total, reflecting the event’s global appeal. The online registrations received were up by 149% from last (2019) expo in Sydney. 
  • Exhibitors: With 80 exhibitors representing over 150 brands, 88% of which are Australian, the expo showcased a strong local presence and more regional needs for Expo to be accommodated. 
  • Business Matching stakeholders: The participation of 54 exhibitors and 24 buyers in the 127 Alibaba Business Matching sessions highlights the expo’s effectiveness in facilitating overseas partnerships and deals.
  • Conference attendees: The Alibaba Business Conference attracted 123 attendees, with 85% coming from SMEs, showcasing its appeal and educational value for smaller businesses.
  • Opening VIP Cocktail: Over 380 VIP guests, including government officials and industry leaders, attended the event, emphasizing its significance and networking opportunities.
  • The treasure hunt‘s engagement of over 2,000 participants indicates its success in driving visitor interaction and appeal to the overall event experience.
  • B2B Visitors: Among the B2B visitors, including those with elite buyer, general buyer, professional visitor, exhibitors and media badges, 58% were buyers. This signifies a significant opportunity to further engage buyers in future events, leveraging their strong interest and potential for deeper involvement.

Activity Highlights

With the business community being dormant for the past four years, we aim to help exhibitors seize every opportunity. That’s why, in the sixth AliExpo, we’ve introduced a range of new, practical, and quick solutions for exhibitors especially from B2B perspective.

  • Alibaba Business Matching supported by Austrade:
    (New) With the support of Austrade (Australia’s Federal Government Trade Agency), we’ve brought over 24 buyers flying from Southeast Asia and China. We’ve organised 127 one-on-one business matching sessions for exhibitors, offering ANZ SMEs the opportunity to gain insights and potentially facilitate trade deals across regions.
  • Alibaba Southeast Asia Market Briefing Sessions:
    (New) In collaboration with Austrade, we conducted three market briefing sessions. These sessions aimed to educate exhibitors about market trends, consumer behaviour, industry insights, and effective go-to-market tactics for six Southeast Asian Countries including Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand. 
  • AliExpo Business Conference:
    With 22 speakers from Alibaba, its business groups, and leading Australian and New Zealand brands, the AliExpo Business Conference stood out as an important component of the event. Offering attendees access to 12 informative sessions, the conference explored the latest trends and strategies in e-commerce. This year’s conference expanded its focus beyond Chinese cross-border and global B2B opportunities to include discussions on China retail, Southeast Asia, global foreign exchange, and local online retail. By broadening the range of topics, the conference aimed to enrich the skill sets of local businesses and provide a comprehensive view of the global e-commerce landscape.
  • AliExpo Brand Showcase Saturday:
    (New) For the first time, AliExpo featured 12 Australian and New Zealand brands, including Swisse, Blackmores, and Homart Group, in this new, dedicated Brand Showcase Saturday Sessions. This new initiative aimed to amplify the brands’ efforts during AliExpo by providing them with a platform to reach a wider audience and engage in more meaningful interactions. The showcase sessions allowed the brands to share their stories and products in a more impactful way, enhancing their visibility and connection with attendees. Each session attracted on average 80-100 attendees.
  • Treasure Hunt: 
    (New) To boost engagement, we introduced a new treasure hunt activity where visitors collected stamps by interacting with exhibitor stands. This initiative was well-received, with 23 exhibitors participating, attracting more than 2,000 highly-involved participants and receiving positive feedback on driving and retaining traffic within the exhibition. the Expo across Australia and China.
  • Business Groups’ Consumer-Engagement Activities:
    (New) The event featured various first-time consumer-driven activities, including the Taobao Live and Taobao World’s Live-streamer Incubation Workshop, which attracted over90 local Chinese attendees. Additionally, consumer activations in AliExpress, Tmall, Taobao World, and Cainiao resulted in more than 1,000 new B2C acquisitions throughout the event.
  • Livestreaming:
    As a result of the impact of COVID-19, many Australian brands are becoming more cautious, leading to a reduction in their marketing investment and activity on various marketplaces. To help familiarise them with new strategies and encourage new brands to participate, we introduced a lightweight, no upfront fee livestreaming option during AliExpo. 16 brands participated in the two-session livestreaming activities, resulting in over 1.6 million views103K interactions, and more than GMV $500k RMB. This initiative provided new Australian brands with a test trial of this marketing tool and inspired future e-commerce Go-to-market strategies
  • The Exhibition:
    The Expo featured a total of 80 exhibitors with more than 150 brands, including 71 exhibitors representing Australian merchants, eight from New Zealand, and one from China. A notable aspect was the presence of many first-time exhibitors, alongside recurring participants. This provided an opportunity for new Australian brands, which had previously lacked international exposure, to showcase themselves. The trust and participation of these brands in the new expo activations above were greatly appreciated, leading to well-received and recognized outcomes. 
  • Opening VIP Party:
    More than 380 government officials, C-suite executives, and overseas buyers were invited to the AliExpo 2024 opening party to network and leverage the resources available within the e-commerce community in Australia.
  • Categories of interest:
    Visitors to the Expo represented a diverse range of interests, with participation spanning across 13 categories. Health and supplements emerged as a popular category, attracting 22.06% of the total visitors, followed by beauty, cosmetics, and skincare at 12.83%. Other notable categories included mother and baby products at 7.56%, personal care at 9.34%, and packaged food at 3.36%. The Expo also drew attendees interested in fresh food, agriculture, and raw materials at 3.34%, wine and alcoholic beverages at 2.66%, and dairy products at 3.74%. Additionally, there was interest in pets at 3.71%, fashion, jewellery, and accessories at 7.76%, and home care at 5.57%.

    This diverse participation underscores the success of the Expo in engaging with a wide range of product categories in Australia. Looking ahead, we anticipate that the Expo’s momentum, coupled with the recent news on wine tariffs, will further amplify interest and excitement for next year’s event. The strong demand for the upcoming Expo reinforces Alibaba’s value and relevance to the regions it serves.

  • Media and PR Coverage:
    Substantial media coverage via both English and Chinese media, with over 39 pieces of coverage and more than 100 media hits acquired, generating more than 25 millions of online impressions and social media reach for the Expo across Australia and China.

Event Media and Social Exposure

The Expo received extensive media coverage in Australian and Chinese publications, newspapers, websites, and social media handles, as well as marketing exposure through strategic communications. The PR efforts highlighted the event’s presence and impact, attracting substantial attention. Concurrently, the strategic marketing communications increased the event’s visibility among the target audience, promoting its significance and driving engagement. 

Through both PR and Marketing efforts, we achieved more than 25 million online impressions and social media reach across Australia and China.

PR/Media Coverage

The return of AliExpo 2024 Sydney gained attention from both English and Chinese local media. There was particular interest in the Alibaba Business Matching, the Expo’s theme of Southeast Asia, and the significant traffic from local Chinese attendees, highlighting the story of China cross-border trade. This year, the media’s focus has been on the practical solutions offered to ANZ businesses at the AliExpo with the new offerings. As of today, there have been 39 pieces of coverage published. Local mainstream and industry media coverage includes Forbes Australia, as well as industry news such as Insider Retail and Internet Retailing. China’s state media coverage includes Xinhua News Agency and People’s Daily, while local Chinese media coverage includes SBS Finance.

The coverage across Australia and New Zealand has been positive, featuring messaging from the media release and comments from spokesperson of AliExpo (Kit Yau, Head of Marketing of Alibaba ANZ), Tmall Global (William Zhao, Taobao Tmall Group Global Business Director), AliExpress (Bonnie Zhao, Head of User Business and Products of AliExpress, Alfy Zhang, Country Manager of AliExpress ANZ for on-site interviews), and WorldFirst (Jim Vrondras, Country Manager of WorldFirst ANZ), together with various exhibitors. 

Marketing/Social Organic and Paid Exposure – more than 13.7 million local reaches

Our marketing and social media efforts resulted in over 13.7 million in local reach. In line with the theme “Crafted Down Under, Loved Worldwide, where Australian, New Zealand, and Pacific brands converge with Asia“, we broadened our strategy to target Southeast Asia. This expansion not only benefited the expo but also aligned with the strategic goals for newly added business groups like and Lazada. Despite extensive PR coverage, our efforts yielded significant exposure in Australia.

Adapting to the evolving media landscape, we revamped our media mix to include platforms like Little Red Book and introduced non-English and Chinese languages such as Vietnamese, Bahasa, Tagalog, and Thai. This approach bolstered exposure for Alibaba Australia as an e-commerce facilitator, connecting local businesses with global opportunities.

  • Chinese Marketing Communications

  1. Little Red Book – Total Exposure: More than 10.8 million
    • Pre-event advertising from 12-15 March featured a front-page pop-up with 207,815 views and an average click-through rate (CTR) of 2.87%. Additionally, banner posts over three days garnered exposure to 10,530,514 views. This indicates a strong initial interest and engagement with the event promotion.
    • Leveraging 150 influencers to recruit visitors and broadcast during the expo days 15-16 March resulted in a total view count of over 213,805 with an engagement of more than 9,696. This influencer strategy effectively expanded the reach and engagement of the event promotion.
    • Organic posts 15-16 March during the expo exceeded 1,300, leading to an estimated exposure of over 65,000 for all posts. While organic posts may have lower reach compared to influencer or paid campaigns, they contribute to a more authentic and in-depth engagement with the audience.
  2. WeChat
    • Official organic post: 9,498 reach for two posts on official WeChat handle, with 13.3% engagement rate.
    • More than 300,000 reach for eight Chinese media WeChat and Little Red Book Accounts
    • During the event day, there are over hundreds of organic posts from merchants, visitors and buyers on WeChat. 

  3. Local Chinese Media – Over 1 million local reaches
    The cooperation with eight local Sydney Chinese media for AliExpo resulted in extensive coverage and promotion across various platforms, including articles, posts, banners, and exclusive advertisements. These efforts significantly increased the event’s visibility and engagement within the Chinese community in Sydney. Key metrics such as views, engagements, and impressions indicate a strong impact and reach achieved through these partnerships. The use of influential platforms such as Little Red Book, WeChat, and Douyin helped to effectively target and engage with the audience, driving interest and attendance for the expo.
    1. Meta Total Exposure: Over 1.5 million Meta
      The English social media channels play a significant role in the success of all Alibaba ANZ events, accounting for 50% of the overall footfall and registration. This year, a total of 1,562,579 exposures and over 50,000 link clicks were achieved through a combination of 49 organic and 73 paid posts. The cost per click (CPC) was kept low at $0.76, reflecting the effectiveness of the campaign. The organic posts, in particular, performed exceptionally well, thanks to their engaging and interesting content.
    2. New Social Media Strategy for Southeast Asian Audience
      To reach the Southeast Asian (SEA) audience and align with the expo’s objective of attracting SEA visitors, a new social media strategy was implemented. This involved posting in Vietnamese, Tagalog, Bahasa, and Thai to target non-English and non-Chinese speaking audiences. The trial was successful, resulting in 796,378 impressions and a click-through rate (CTR) of 0.63%. This performance is especially noteworthy considering the proportion of SEA residents in the country, demonstrating the relevance of Alibaba and ANZ brands to this demographic and the potentials for future receptiveness of Alibaba and its Business Group as e-commerce enablers globally. 
    3. Other English Marketing communications – Over 314,059 exposures for X, Google and eDM
      • X/Twitter and Google SEM/SEO are used for organic and minimal paid promotion, gaining over 296,059 impressions
      • Three rounds of eDM targeting more than 18,000 Alibaba Audiences and we have around 3.5% click rate, which is over norm 2-3% click rate. 


AliExpo is like a puzzle, where each piece is important for success, and every part is indispensable. It’s seen that everyone is not contributing their days and nights just for their personal recognition, but to unite together genuinely wishing to make Australia and New Zealand brands big globally.

We would like to thank everyone from the ANZ office and Hangzhou teams of each business group and affiliates who contributed to this Expo. The event would not have achieved such success without the great support and solid efforts from every single one of you. 


The strategic goals for AliExpo are straightforward yet significant: To become the top platform in the Australian e-commerce scene, linking local businesses with global opportunities to drive growth and innovation in the region. Also, the aim is to ensure Alibaba’s leading position, alongside its business groups and affiliates, recognising AliExpo’s unique role in bringing together stakeholders across the export community, a feat few can match.

Following a pause due to COVID-19, AliExpo has been revitalized, drawing buyers from across Asia who engaged in hands-on experiences, procurement, and networking. The event received valuable feedback, fostered new partnerships, and facilitated the formation of new relationships. 

All exhibitors expressed high satisfaction with the expo, emphasizing its organization and value provided by Alibaba:

  1. Practical solutions: Exhibitors found the solutions offered at AliExpo to be highly useful and are eager for more from Alibaba, indicating a strong demand for practical tools and resources that local merchants can hardly acquire. They also praised the joint action of Austrade and Investment NSW that adding the prestige of the event and they felt proud of being part of it. 
  2. B2B Value to exhibitors: All exhibitors agreed that AliExpo provided merchants with the means to enhance their business prospects. Given Australia’s geographical distance and the abundance of SME brands, AliExpo serves as an efficient and trustworthy platform that significantly aids in accessing global opportunities.
  3. B2B and B2C components: The number of B2C visitors had far exceeded the expectations of the exhibitors. Many of the exhibitors ran out of marketing collaterals and giveaways in day one. Exhibitors were very glad about the marketing value the expo provided for local brand awareness. 
  4. Comprehensive Experience and Exhibitors Collaboration: The diverse range of activities at this year’s AliExpo, such as treasure hunts and brand showcases, engaged attendees and facilitated collaboration among exhibitors, enhancing the overall experience.
  5. Optimism towards China Cross-border Trade: Exhibitors gained optimism of Daigou (personal shoppers). The result in the expo highlighted the existence of the number of Chinese whose interest and engagement underscore the strong demand for ANZ goods in the Chinese market. The exhibitors’ enthusiasm towards Chinese Cross-border has been revoked. 
  6. Trustable arrangement: The expo’s organization by a trusted e-commerce giant has been praised, highlighting the importance of trust and professionalism in such events.

The return of AliExpo exceeded exhibitors’ and our expectations and we witnessed a large group of local Chinese community members participating, along with fresh blood from local Southeast Asian visitors. The active engagement from 24 overseas buyers provided exhibitors confidence in the growing opportunity and appetite of Asian buyers for ANZ brands, that they are set to thrive even higher on the global stage.

Exhibitors concurred that AliExpo equipped merchants with the tools to enhance their business prospects. Alibaba’s strategic objective in Australia and New Zealand is to continue advocating for local merchants, aiding in their global expansion and capitalising on global opportunities. It is crucial to consider Alibaba’s broader strategy of presenting a unified voice, supporting local businesses, and facilitating their success in the global market through a single outlet – Alibaba and its expo.

The goal of AliExpo is to unite all stakeholders in the e-commerce community, enabling them to collaboratively create more opportunities for each other. We aspire to have created something significant and to further amplify the voice of Australia and New Zealand brands, showcasing all the hidden gems to China, Southeast Asia, and the global market, cherishing the trust given to us by our ANZ merchants at Alibaba.

AliExpo, after four years, is a testament to us, to merchants, and everyone within the e-commerce stakeholders in Australia and New Zealand. No matter how difficult it is, with everyone co-creating together towards a common goal, and contribute fully and genuinely, everything will be possible. Collective success is possible. Today we have proven it, and there are many more endeavours to come. 

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