Bargain hunting drives up retailers' sales as 618 shopping gala ends
Customers' bargain-hunting, especially discount sites and offerings, has pushed up sales of retailers as the mid-year 618, or June 18, shopping festival wrapped over the weekend.
With discounts being offered since the end of May, shoppers got a chance to grab new gadgets, seasonal offerings and a wide range of merchandise.
Agnes Dong, who is in her late 30s, is a fervid online shopper and says she has kept track of online discounts since the middle of May.
"It's always a good chance to buy pet food, and ice cream with plenty of discounts being offered on delivery sites," she said.
JD.com stressed its cost-saving shopping options, saying more offerings were included in the "billion-yuan discount program" during the 618 promotions compared to when it was first introduced in March this year to stimulate spending.
According to the e-commerce giant, Pudong residents spent the most among customers in other districts in Shanghai, accounting for a quarter of the total spending in the city.
Citywide, customers' spending on fresh food, nutritional supplement, pet products, home decoration items and food and beverage topped other regions in the country.
Sales of sports and outdoor-related items more than doubled, with swimming suits and sun-blocking blazers among the best-selling items.
On Saturday night, nearly one third of domestic brands more than doubled their transaction volume from a year ago within just 10 minutes of the launch of promotions.
Transaction volume for iPhone, Xiaomi, Honor, Huawei, OPPO, vivo and other cell phone brands also doubled annually.
JD Super's 23 major categories propelled growth, with the number of users placing orders in the first 10 minutes increasing 35 percent year-on-year.
The number of physical retail stores that collaborated with JD's on-demand delivery service JD Daojia jumped 80 percent to over 380,000 stores.
Retailers and digital shopping sites have joined forces to provide one-hour delivery service to a wider user base.
Pinduoduo also provided extra subsidies with a combined 15 billion yuan (US$2.1 billion) of worth of discounts and coupons offered since the promotion season began last month.
Special promotions pages have been dedicated to smart home appliances, personal computers and smartphones.
Taobao Tmall Commerce Group, Alibaba's retail platform, also reported growth in transaction volume, as well as the number of customers and merchandisers, although it didn't reveal the exact figures.
Mor than 400 overseas brand flagship stores which set up shop on the cross-border e-commerce platform Tmall Global in the last three years saw sales double in the first four hours of the checkout period beginning at 8 pm on May 31.
Alibaba's logistics division Cainiao also delivered about 70 percent of the pre-sale orders paid up in the first 16 hours of the checkout period.
The number of viewers for short videos and live-streaming sessions also improved as platforms adopted multimedia content to improve active users' experience.
Suning's trade-in orders jumped more than 120 percent, with energy-saving home appliances, new gadgets, smartphones leading the sales ranking.
According to a latest study by Nielsen IQ covering 12,000 domestic hypermarket shoppers, customers are favoring cost-saving and low-priced shopping options at hypermarkets.
As many as 35 percent are actively looking for discounts, compared with 30 percent from a year ago.
The preference for discounts deals is evident among young consumers as well, and they also prefer online delivery service from nearby hypermarkets due to convenience and flexible delivery time.
The June 18 shopping festival began as an anniversary promotion for JD.com in 2010, but has since grown into a nationwide online extravaganza.
It is similar to the November 11 Singles Day festival run by Alibaba. While Singles Day is compared to Western shopping days like Black Friday, the 618 event is China's equivalent to Memorial Day sales in the United States.