Biz / Tech

Singles Day approaches, with monthlong discounts and promotions

Ding Yining
Leading online shopping sites prepare for the biggest promotional event of the year, with Singles Day approaching. Sites like JD and Taobao are offering a full month of discounts.
Ding Yining

Leading online shopping sites are gearing up for the largest promotional event, as the Singles Day promotion season will be officially unveiled next week.

JD said it's offering discounts and price guarantees for 800 million products starting at 8pm, next Monday. They will ensure the discount price stays effective of up to one month. Over 500 million new product launches will also be featured during the monthlong event.

The event is based on a folk holiday started by students at Nanjing University in 1993. Seizing on the numeral "1" for a solo person and the November date of 11-11, the students used the occasion to celebrate being unattached, and would often buy gifts for one another.

Tens of thousands offline stores in JD's omni-channel ecosystem, including JD Mall, JD Home, 7Fresh Supermarket, JD Auto, and more, are set to take part in the sales event.

Alibaba's Taobao Tmall Group will also feature deep discounts with pre-sale starting on October 24, as the flagship event evolves from a 24-hour online shopping spree to a monthlong promotional campaign for both virtual and physical vendors.

Businesses of various sizes have high hopes for the opportunity to launch new products and gauge consumer preferences in a wide range of goods, from luxury items to tech gadgets, daily groceries and fresh food.

Shanghai-headquartered PDD said its promotion already started on Friday with additional 50 yuan(US$6.9) cuts for every 300 yuan of purchases, and 30 yuan discounts for every 200 yuan. In the initial phase, price cuts have covered over 20,000 products.

The number of brands participating in regular price cuts on the site will double from a year ago, with beauty, personal care, apparel and home cleaning offerings being the biggest categories. Agricultural products from their areas of origin, import fruit and the latest flagship smartphones and gadgets have been featured to woo shoppers.

Singles Day approaches, with monthlong discounts and promotions

Shanghai marketing consultant Cindy Chen said she has been making plans for an outdoor trip at the end of the year and fully leverage this promotional event to buy shoes and backpacks.

Over 80 million products will offer the deepest price cuts this year on Taobao and Tmall, with over 100 top brands providing additional coupons during Taobao's livestreaming sessions.

It expects the number of participants and vendors will hit a record high, with over 2 billion yuan of incentives targeting merchants to better connect with online shoppers and grow user bases.

In the third quarter, China's economy grew 4.9 percent year on year, and retail sales grew by 5.5 percent in September, more robust than expected. The sales of physical goods through online channels jumped 8.9 percent.

According to separate data from the Ministry of Commerce, livestream e-commerce transaction in the country jumped 60.6 percent from a year ago in the first three quarters to 1.98 trillion yuan.

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