Singles Day campaign yields bumper sales for online giants
Leading e-commerce players reported upbeat performance without giving the exact sales figure for the past weekend, which closed the blockbuster shopping event Singles Day, or 11.11 (11th day of the 11th month), where hundreds of thousand of brands reported sales spike with new offerings.
Both Alibaba and JD said they witnessed a big increase in consumer spending on a wide range of products, with emerging channels such as livestreaming grabbing the limelight.
The blockbuster shopping event, which wrapped up on Saturday night, serves as an important gauge for consumer sentiment and this year affordable products but with high quality and functionality gained momentum.
The campaign started in late October, turning the 24-hour event into a month-long festival for not only online vendors but physical stores as well as supermarket chains.
100EC.cn, a local e-commerce portal, revealed that Tmall and Taobao contributed to 60 percent of total online retail spending during the promotion, followed by JD and Pinduoduo.
Merchants targeted specific shoppers' groups through digital tools and vendors were also advised to better engage amid consumers' shifting demands with new designs products and service models as Singles Day returned to being a normal promotional event.
Alibaba's retail sales units Taobao and Tmall Group said their direct discount venue offering 15 percent price reduction recorded 210 million orders during the sales period, while the venue featuring value-for-money products from manufacturers generated nearly 90 million orders.
Taobao and Tmall recorded positive year-on-year growth in the total value of products and services sold, the order number, and the number of participating merchants compared with the same period last year.
"Our competitive pricing, diverse content offerings, and AI-driven technologies further optimized consumer and merchant experiences during the campaign," commented Trudy Dai, CEO of Taobao and Tmall Group.
Taobao and Tmall merchants also added more than 100 million new members in total.
This year is the second time Alibaba has not revealed the actual transaction value of its sales for the promotion period, with JD following suit.
JD also said transaction volume, order volume, and user engagement reached all-time highs without giving the exact amount.
Order volume of new merchants on JD also experienced a fivefold surge in order volume compared with a month ago.
It also saw a 3.4-fold increase in new shop registrations during this Singles Day, and the number of established merchants participating in the grand promotion increased 1.5 times compared with last year's grand promotion.
Procurement and sales managers were much sought after during livestreaming sessions as they offered a wide range of recommendations on affordable and high-quality products amid the latest efforts to streamline supply chain operations.
JD drew more than 380 million viewers, and transaction volume for 60-plus brands surpassed 1 billion yuan (US$137.2 million), with nearly 20,000 brands witnessing a threefold increase in transaction volume compared to the previous year.
Pinduoduo stressed that it will maintain its advantage in selling lower-cost and discounted items all-year-round by allowing more high quality offerings and agricultural produce to enter domestic households.
During its promotional period, the number of shoppers from first-tier cities at its discount venue jumped 113 percent from a year earlier, and the amount of spending from fourth- and fifth-tier cities surged 167 percent.
Seafood, lamb and fresh fruits recorded 110 percent increase in sales as small- and medium-sized merchants fully leveraged the platform to reach shoppers.
361 Degrees was one of the sportswear brands riding the wave of fitness and sports enthusiasm to offer latest products. On Pinduoduo, its sales more than doubled, with sales of carbon plate running shoes also jumping five times in lower-tier cities.
Technology prowess, and green and environment-friendly initiatives were also highlighted during the campaign to reflect increasing awareness for low carbon actions.
Merchants have been leveraging logistics firm Cainiao's newly launched smart warehouse delivery and preferred warehouse delivery services to cut consumer wait times when orders are dispatched from the most cost-efficient sites which allow merchants to better manage inventories.
Nearly 100 domestic colleges are soon expected to unveil dedicated package recycling zones and students and teachers can have a clearer understanding of their carbon-cutting efforts.
JD also noted that 95 percent of retail orders were delivered within 24 hours, with over 10 million products eligible for same-day delivery.