Steady "Double 11" performances point to China's consumption vigor
As China's annual online shopping festival "Double 11" achieved its climax last week, the country's major e-commerce players and brands handed in their performance sheets of the weeks-long consumption spree, with vitality and resilience remaining the keywords.
Major e-commerce platforms have highlighted quality growth in structure and services this year.
Alibaba's Tmall said it saw a stable performance from late October to November 11 this year, with a more diversified merchant mix on its platform.
Over 21 million items joined its sales promotion, covering 290,000 brands and millions of small and medium-sized merchants. More than 2,000 products saw their sales top 10 million yuan (about 1.42 million US dollars).
Another e-commerce mogul, JD.com, said nearly 10,000 agricultural produce pocketed sales worth more than 100,000 yuan.
Livestreaming further consolidated its rising status in promoting sales. The number of merchants on the short-video platform Douyin jumped 86 percent year on year between October 31 and November 11, with daily sales hiking 156 percent year on year.
"The performances of major e-commerce platforms showed that China's online consumption has maintained steady growth, pointing to the vitality and resilience of the consumer market," said Hong Yong, an expert on e-commerce with the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation.
While home appliances and cosmetics products dominated best-sellers in previous shopping sprees, this year saw the rise of brands in fields like outdoor activities, sports, and pet supplies.
JD.com said 504 brands in sports and outdoor activities saw their sales more than double during the online shopping promotion campaign.
"In addition to buying some necessities for the family, the rest of my orders were all for cats," said Zheng Jia, an owner of two cats who purchased an electric cat litter basin and stocked some cat food.
The annual shopping bonanza's spillover effects were also felt offline, with many brick-and-mortar leveraging online pitches to push offline sales.
China's hot pot chain restaurant Haidilao sold over 300,000 meal packages by touting on Douyin during the festival. Home appliance retailer Suning logged a 153-percent month-on-month rise in offline sales of smart home appliances during the promotion campaign.
This year, various innovative consumption models featuring diversifying online and offline interplay have been strong engines propelling the country's consumption growth against the COVID-19 headwinds.
Official data showed Tuesday that China's retail sales of consumer goods went up 0.6 percent, year on year, in the first ten months, with online sales registering an impressive 4.9-percent year-on-year growth.
"Looking forward, the impact of the epidemic on market sales will still exist, but generally speaking, it is short-term and external," Fu Linghui, an official with the National Bureau of Statistics, told a press conference.
Fu said there are still many favorable conditions for China's consumption recovery, citing the massive consumer community, the prospect of rising incomes, pro-spending policies, and emerging business models.
"The consumption sector's recovery will likely continue," Fu said.