Saying it with flowers and gifts as lovers celebrate Qixi Festival
With the Qixi Festival, or Chinese Valentine's Day, falling on Tuesday, online retailers, restaurants and grocery vendors grabbed the chance to promote their products and services.
Shanghai residents displayed strong enthusiasm for festive gift packages, flowers and dining on the special occasion and the city stayed in the top three in China in terms of spending on Qixi flowers and chocolate gift packages, following southern Guangdong Province and Beijing, according to a latest ranking by JD.com.
On JD.com, search for Qixi flowers and gift boxes surged more than 20 times from a month earlier since early August.
On-demand delivery of flowers and restaurant bookings were a big hit thanks to the shopping convenience and a wide range of options to choose from.
Shanghai also topped domestic cities in terms of the number of restaurant bookings for Tuesday on lifestyle review and restaurant booking site Meituan, and the overall amount of bookings on the website also rose 1.8 times from that of last year.
Shoppers also preferred to make their own version of flower bouquets for their other half as well as for themselves.
Meituan's on-demand delivery platform saw an increase in orders for flower bouquets and gift sets since last weekend including not only roses but also chamomile, eucalyptus and chrysanthemums, among other seasonal flowers.
Short-haul trips, minsu (Chinese-style rural homestay) bookings in neighboring rural areas, and performances with traditional Chinese elements have become the mainstay in recent weeks as the Qixi Festival coincides with the peak summer travel season.
Shanghai consultant Angela Qiao said she was willing to treat herself with a small flower bouquet on the occasion.
"It's a traditional festive date and I have booked seasonal flowers from a local online vendor to decorate my home," she added.
Sales of small flower bouquets consisting of less than a dozen flowers jumped more than three-fold and those of hand-made materials and accessories also surged 70 percent over the past week on Meituan.
Sales of flower sand horticultural products in mid-August has already jumped 80 percent from last year's pre-festive period on Douyin, a popular short-video platform that also sells products.
Hotpot chain Haidilao's Qixi-themed live-streaming session last week attracted over 300,000 online orders, with more than three million viewers on Douyin, which is the Chinese version of TikTok.