- Luxury brands are creating limited edition NFTs for Alibaba's Singles' Day sale event.
- Brands participating include British label Burberry, US handbag maker Coach, and Swiss watchmaker Longines.
- Burberry sold special edition scarves at 2,900 Chinese yuan ($453) with an interactive deer NFT.
Luxury brands have entered China's shopping metaverse with NFT offerings ahead of the Singles' Day shopping festival on Thursday.
Riding on the trend is ecommerce giant Alibaba's Tmall shopping platform, which launched a "Double 11 Metaverse Art Exhibition" in its mobile app last month. It's working with brands including Burberry, Coach, and Swiss watchmaker Longines, all of which have created NFTs for the event, Tmall wrote on its Weibo microblog account.
The NFTs – called "digital collectibles" in China – are generally packaged along with a physical item, with the digital offering being a limited edition item.
The Singles' Day NFT offerings were slated to run from October 20 to November 11, but many of them sold out days before the event.
Burberry, for one, already sold out of 1,000 special edition scarves that came with an interactive deer NFT and were listed for 2,900 Chinese yuan ($453) each. The scarves were launched on October 20 and cost 12% less than the next-cheapest Burberry scarf still listed on Tmall.
Most buyer reviews centered on the physical products, but some comments showed interest in the NFT part of the deal, too.
"Nice, now I'm just waiting for the little pet that is the digital collectible," wrote one buyer, who said he had already received the special edition scarf.
Longines, meanwhile, offered 45 limited edition NFTs with a 17,300 Chinese yuan ($2,700) watch. Computer hardware-maker Alienware is also issuing 100 NFTs of its logo with a laptop purchase, according to information on Tmall's Weibo social media account. As of press time, the Alienware NFTs were still available.
NFT's, or non-fungible tokens, are digital assets linking ownership to unique physical or digital items, like artwork, music, or videos. They are recorded securely on a blockchain, making them difficult to alter or counterfeit.
Singles' Day - a shopping event akin to Black Friday - is on November 11. The shopping marathon, however, kicked off well in advance, with livestreamers setting record sales. One top influencer, Austin Li Jiaqi - widely known as China's "Lipstick King" - moved 10.7 billion Chinese yuan ($1.7 billion) worth of products in a 12-hour livestream.
Despite the pandemic, China's ecommerce giants Alibaba and JD.com racked up record-breaking sales of $115 billion on Singles Day last year, far exceeding Amazon's $4.8 billion in sales from 2020's Black Friday through Cyber Monday.