EyeforTravel Europe 2018

June 2018, London

Eurail.com & Alibaba: what a Double 11 act!

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Dutch e-commerce firm Eurail.com has been active in the Chinese market for five years, and its efforts are paying off

Getting the look and feel, tone of voice and aesthetic for the Chinese market has been a top priority for Eurail.com since it launched there five years ago, and earlier this week it was rewarded for its efforts.

The Utrecht-based company, that sells rail passes for Europe online, was one of five international companies chosen to make a presentation in the closing ten minutes of Double 11. Also known as Singles Day, Double 11, which takes place on November 11 – hence the name – is the annual online shopping bonanza hosted by Chinese e-conglomerate Alibaba.

In 2015, Eurail.com became the first European company to launch a flagship store on Fliggy, Alibaba’s online travel platform, and its presence in China continues to grow. Today Eurail.com also uses popular Chinese social media channels, such as Aliwangwang (an Alibaba messenger service), Weibo (the Chinese version of Twitter), and Youku (the Chinese version of Youtube) for customer contact and marketing activities.

In 2015, Eurail.com became the first European company to launch a flagship store on Fliggy

CEO Brenda van Leeuwen, says participating in the Double 11 spectacle was an important milestone in the company’s cooperation with Fliggy. “Tens of thousands of Chinese tourists have already discovered Europe thanks to our web shop. This number keeps on growing, especially since more and more Chinese tourists decide to travel independently instead of with a group.”

Her point is backed up by EyeforTravel’s China Travel Consumer Report 2017-18 which finds that 58% of outbound tourists booking via Ctrip were independent travellers in the first half of 2017, versus 42% booking a package tour.

Global coverage

It was Chinese speaker Thom Valks, who is Eurail.com’s customer service coordinator in Utrecht, who took to the stage for what he says was “one of the most amazing experiences of my life”.

From a brand awareness point of view, this was certainly an amazing opportunity. According to Valks, Eurail.com’s closing presentation, made shortly before Alibaba announced the day’s takings, was viewed on YouKu by approximately 50 million people worldwide!

Although the accuracy of the numbers has been queried, sales this year are said to have reached £14bn, a rise of 32% on last year. Also worth noting is that 82% of sales were made via smartphone.

Join us at EyeforTravel Europe 2018 where we will be hearing more about how European rail companies can make headway both at home and beyond 

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