Singles Day online bonanza with retailers committed to real economy
Leading domestic online retailers reported good sales figures as China's biggest sales event Singles Day wrapped up Friday midnight. They also restated a commitment to be deeply rooted in the real economy, local trends and infrastructure.
JD said its sales broke records, and growth were "beyond industry average."
Some 1,009 import brands on Tmall Global recorded more than double sales figures, while Alibaba said it's gross merchandising volume was in line with previous year's.
Originated from a folk holiday started by college students, the November 11 Singles Day event has evolved from a 24-hour sales event to a shopping season.
Exponential growth kicked in around 2013 with sales figures keeping breaking records and making headlines.
Entertainment galas, livestreaming shows were staged along with the weeklong shopping bonanza.
This year pre-sales kicked off on October 24 and promotions ran from October 31 to November 11.
Some 70,000 brands participated in the Singles Day on Tmall for the first time, including luxury houses Bulgari, Moncler and Brunello Cucinelli.
Alibaba's president of core domestic e-commerce Trudy Dai noted it witnessed extensive technological investment at this year's shopping event with more brick-and-mortar retailers expanding their operations online.
"Both merchants and shoppers are looking for assurance amid uncertainty and we are determined to stay rooted in the real economy, to witness the vitality of Chinese consumption," she added.
Luxury items, time-honored brands, collectibles and trendy toys stood out.
JD's peak promotion period kicked off at 8pm on November 10 and went into Friday midnight. The transaction volume of 87 international beauty brands increased 200 percent.
JD.com provided nearly 20 million new items this year with top-selling items including cell phones, laptops, washing machines, refrigerators and flat TVs.
More than 500 international brands on JD Worldwide, its import product platform, increased over 100 percent.
Transaction volume of top fashion brands from LVMH Group including BVLGARI, CELINE, FENDI, and LOEWE increased 18 times.
"JD further increased its investment in optimizing the ecosystem, lowering operations costs and improving service guarantees, to help merchants especially SMEs to seize growth opportunities," noted JD Retail CEO Xin Lijun.
JD Now, its on-demand service fulfilled by Dada Group's delivery network, saw more than double growth in categories like home appliances, alcoholic drinks, beauty, fresh food and home decoration items.
Transaction size for home cleaning service hiked 4.5 times and sales value for catering coupons also jumped 1.5 times, with the most popular brands include Starbucks, Burger King and Luckin Coffee.
More than 12 million orders were dispatched through JD's affiliate Dada Group which handles delivery orders through crowd sourcing.
Livestreaming channels, flash-sale sites and other emerging retailers managed to ride trends such as growing preference toward outdoor activities and pet items.
The number of order for Kuaishou's short-video generated transactions increased more than five times and the shoppers participated in the promotion event rose 40 percent.
It offered a preferential stimulus for agricultural products vendors in rural areas.
Out of the top 100 bestselling items, more than 90 percent were home brands with smart home appliance, down jackets.
Douyin said the number of merchants which took part in the sales event added 86 percent and total sales jumped 156 percent.
Sales of outdoor and camping equipment more than doubled on Viphop, and sports hoodies also recorded 65 percent sales increase.
Pet immunity related products advanced 115 percent and pet medical-care items jumped 67 percent.
Brands also need to put efforts into alternative sales channels, retail analysts said. Live-streaming, on-demand delivery and community service will be important ways to drive sales as new demands emerge.
More than 300 million people have tuned into Alibaba's Taobao Live.
On-demand delivery orders from Meituan also picked up since late October with physical stores also started to offer promotional activities.
Pick-up orders from department stores for Meituan's errand-running service saw the most prominent increase in cities like Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Dongguan.
In addition to grocery, food and beverage takeaways, on-demand delivery for electronics, groceries are picking up steadily.