Biz / Tech

Online giants in 618 shopping event battle

Ding Yining
Alibaba and JD offer discounts and price guarantees to woo shoppers during a three-week campaign as survey finds consumers willing to spend more after the pandemic.
Ding Yining
Online giants in 618 shopping event battle

A Kantar Worldpanel survey of 2,000 urban consumers found 57 percent saying they would be spending more on shopping after the pandemic.

China's two leading online shopping giants will be battling for customers’ pockets during the upcoming 618 sales event.

Alibaba said pre-sale spending for its 618 event, which began at midnight on Sunday, was five times that of a year ago in just one hour. 

It expects more than 10 billion yuan (US$1.4 billion) worth of coupons to be offered throughout the three-week sales event, with 100,000 merchants taking part, double last year’s number.

Home decoration, beauty products and consumer electronics reported the strongest pre-sale figures with top-selling brands including Lancome, L'Oreal, Clarins and Sisley.

Up to 57 percent of respondents in a recent Kantar Worldpanel survey of 2,000 urban consumers said they would be spending more on shopping after the pandemic with 29 percent expecting spending to remain the same. 

As many as 96 percent said they will definitely or probably take part in the 618 sales event with Tmall and JD the top two choices.

Nearly half also planned to visit other smaller sites to seek the biggest-possible discounts. 

More than a third said they would shop more online and spend less at physical stores, with the tendency more obvious in lower-tier cities.

JD expects more than 150 brands to see sales of over 100 million yuan and it is offering 50 percent discounts on over 200 million types of product.

Han Rui, JD Group’s vice president, said it will offer incentives for small and micro businesses to help 100,000 brands to double their sales during the event.

JD shoppers looking for digital devices and home appliances can enjoy a price guarantee in case of further discounts of purchases within 30 days.

Health- and wellness-related services will also be a part of the campaign.

JD's subscribers will enjoy other lifestyle services and discounts at food and beverage chain stores such as Burger King and Costa.

Alibaba said augmented reality technologies, livestreaming and one-hour deliveries will feature during the promotion.

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