Discounts boosting sales of goods online

Ding Yining
JD says accumulative sales as of 2pm on Thursday during its anniversary promotion were 239.2 billion yuan (US$33.7 billion) and over 100 brands recorded sales of 100 million yuan. 
Ding Yining

Online merchants and brands have seen a rebound in spending on consumer goods and electronic gadgets after offering big discounts.

Among them is home appliance vendor JD which marked the anniversary of its founding in Beijing on June 18, 1998 with its deepest discounts of the year.

It extended its promotional campaign to cover June 1 to 20 in recent years, and many major online retailers also leveraged the occasion. 

Tmall said sales in the first hour of June 18 doubled from the same period last year. 

Around a million caterers and food vendors joined in on Alibaba's local services affiliate Ele.me. 

JD said accumulative sales as of 2pm on Thursday were 239.2 billion yuan (US$33.7 billion) and over 100 brands recorded sales of 100 million yuan on JD. 

Suning staged a five-and-a-half-hour entertainment show on Wednesday night with transactions made during the livestreaming sessions totalling 5 billion yuan. Apple, Midea, Gree, Haier and Huawei were among the top selling brands. 

Shanghai office worker Crystal Xu spent about 8,000 yuan on home decoration items, electronic appliances and lamps. "It's a good opportunity to make bulk purchases and JD offers prompt delivery for big items," she said.  

JD-backed Dada Group, which operates the JD Daojia online grocery platform, said sales from June 6 to June 14 had increased by 138 percent from last year.

The number of online orders dispatched by its Dada delivery unit jumped 73 percent over the period, as it offers delivery for JD as well as other online orders of supermarkets and physical stores. 

Sales of outdoor touring and camping equipment jumped on Tmall, with sales on June 16 immediately surpassing 100 million yuan. 

Kantar Worldpanel said in a report that in the four weeks ending May 15, China's total fast moving consumer spending value achieved growth of 4.6 percent. 

In the past 12 weeks as of mid May, e-commerce sales maintained a strong performance with a value growth rate of 42 percent while sales through hypermarkets, supermarkets, and convenience stores dipped 1 percent. 

Oliver Wyman's principal Chen Wen said: ”It’s never been so important to stimulate consumption given the coronavirus epidemic and brands that usually do not actively participate in such events will also join the event to reboot sales and make up for losses during the epidemic." 

But he also said the actual impact of the consumption rebound remained uncertain as consumers were using the promotion to stock up on daily groceries. 

Online channels have become an essential platform for new launches and also complement the loss of physical store sales. 

Adidas said it expects second-quarter sales in China to be around the same level as last year, with the drop in foot traffic offset by a rise in online spending. 

It recently launched a tie-up between the Adidas Originals brand and fashion designer Sankuanz while its sports performance series launched new Climacool running shoes fit for sports lovers in the summer. 

Children's Day special offerings were also launched as a part of the city's monthlong Global New Products Debut Season. 

The global debut of the Dyson Digital Slim vacuum was staged in Shanghai earlier this month. 

Since Dyson first opened flagship store on JD in 2013, annual sales have jumped more than 300 times and it also used livestreaming on JD to promote its products.

The company said it has benefited from the local government's encouragement of new product debuts and had fully leveraged talent, supply chain and retailing capabilities and research efforts to gather consumer feedback to include local features.  

It has also seen an increased interest in home hygiene after the coronavirus outbreak and intends to pursue more local innovations to cater to that trend. 

As delivery demand picks up during the promotional period, the Shanghai Consumer Rights Protection Commission has urged major courier firms and online retailers to streamline their delivery and dispatch processes. 

Firms including SF Express, JD, Meituan Dianping, Alibaba's Freshippo and Ele.me say more efforts will be made to enhance delivery efficiency within the Yangtze River Delta region. 

They also pledged to use better packaging to cater to the demand for fresh food deliveries and to enhance oversight to prevent loss or damage. 

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