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China’s 6/18 Shopping Festival Drives Historic Results



In the post-COVID era, there is, once again, reason to be bullish about the economic strength of Chinese consumers and the PRC’s broader e-commerce market. 

JD.com and Alibaba announced on Friday, June 19th that the two platforms generated more than $136 billion USD during the 2020 6/18 e-commerce festival, in what amounted to the world’s biggest shopping event of all time.

JD reports that total transaction volume reached 269.2 billion yuan ($37.99 billion USD), an increase of over 33 percent from last year. For its part, Alibaba says Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) during this year’s 6/18 festival exceeded 698 billion yuan. These results dwarf the record 268.4 billion yuan generated on the platform during last year’s 11/11 Singles’ Day shopping extravaganza. 

“By tracking China’s consumer purchasing trends over the course of the COVID-19 outbreakd, WPIC’s data team has been predicting for the past few months that this year’s 6/18 shopping festival would be massive, but the numbers that JD and Alibaba have announced- across multiple categories- are staggering. If this momentum continues, we’re looking at similarly impressive results for 11/11 Singles’ Day this November,” said Co-founder and CEO of WPIC Marketing + Technologies Jacob Cooke. 

Signalling a dramatic shift in Chinese consumers’ willingness to turn to e-commerce for day-to-day items, JD.com’s fresh food supermarket “7Fresh” saw a 100% increase year-over-year, while sales of dry foods, child/baby/mother products and alcohol on the platform exceeded 100 million yuan in the first 60 seconds of the 6/18 festival. 

And in what is perhaps an indication that consumers are ready to take advantage of easing travel restrictions, ticket sales for domestic flights rose 172% year-over-year. Hotel sales also saw triple digit increases. 

Tmall reported that transactions on its platform increased by more than 100% from last year. This included massive growth in categories like pet snacks, beauty tools and health care devices. The number of brands participating in this year’s event also saw impressive growth, with more than 100 thousand brands taking part, including over 170 luxury brands. 

“Whatever fears there might have been about Chinese consumers and their ability to bounce back from the economic effects of the Coronavirus should be at least partly assuaged by the 6/18 results announced by JD and Alibaba,” added Mr. Cooke. “The massive increase in mobile transactions and increased focus on leveraging live stream sessions as a way to drive sales and growth are both harbingers of what’s to come in the Chinese e-commerce space for the rest of 2020 and beyond.”

JD.com’s transaction volume via mobile payment services increased by 427% from last year, illustrating Chinese consumers’ developing preference for a mobile-first shopping experience. Moreover, the power of live streaming resulted in over 300 thousand sessions thanks to partnerships with live stream platforms like Kuaishou, Douyin (China’s version of TikTok), Wesee, Bilibili, Huya, Douyu and others. 

Brands that enlisted the help of WPIC’s China E-commerce Accelerator program were able to quickly and effectively launch their operations in time to participate in the multi-billion dollar shopping festival. The program was so successful that the company announced it was moving forward with a second offering in time for the upcoming Singles’ Day 11/11 shopping holiday in November. 

The popular shopping holiday routinely resets the record books with respect to being the busiest shopping day of the year, and with this year’s massively successful 6/18 festival pointing towards what’s to come, brands are no doubt looking to ensure they are prepared to make the most of this year’s 11/11. 

To learn more about the Batch II China E-commerce Accelerator program, contact WPIC’s at info@dev.wpic.co