Global brands eye China's biggest e-commerce shopping spree to boost sales

By Chi Jingyi and Yang Kunyi Source: Global Times Published: 2020/10/21 18:18:41

Biggest e-commerce shopping spree Double Eleven to boost sales

Japanese green tea company ITO EN participated in the Tmall Double Eleven shopping festival 2020. Photo: courtesy of Tmall

With China's biggest e-commerce gala, the Double Eleven (November 11), or the Single's Day, shopping spree approaching, international brands are seeing the shopping event as an important opportunity to boost their annual sales in one of the world's largest consumer markets. 

Some 800 million consumers are expected to take part in the event, making it the biggest spending spree of the year, according to analysts. 

As of Wednesday, nearly 10 million tons of commodities were prepared at Alibaba's Cainiao warehouse for e-commerce, nearly doubling the volume in 2019, media reported.

With three weeks to go before the annual Single's Day shopping festival, e-commerce platforms, including, Tmall, and Suning, are already seeing record sales and attendance, with businesses at home and abroad scrambling to snap up shelves in hopes of seizing the biggest opportunity to make up for this year's losses amid the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Discounted overseas brands said 90 million shoppers and 500,000 items from 100 countries and regions will participate in this year's Double Eleven, offering discounts totaling 1 billion yuan ($150 million).

Its rival Tmall, Alibaba's e-commerce platform will feature products from more than 220 countries and regions. A slew of international luxury brands will launch promotional campaigns hoping to attract more customers in China, according to a report from Tmall sent to the Global Times on Wednesday.

On the special shopping mall of import products on Tmall, or Tmall Global, more than 26,000 foreign brands from 84 countries participated in the festival, among which more than 2,600 new brands joined for the first time, bringing a total of 1.2 million new imported products to Chinese consumers, per Tmall report.

The official flagship store of cosmetic brands will offer lower prices on Tmall than duty-free shops, including Clarins, Estee Lauder, Lancôme, SK-II, Sulwhasoo, YSL and Armani. 

Apart from companies that were already cooperating with Tmall such as Chanel and Dior, an increasing number of global luxury brands are signing up for this year's Double Eleven for the first time. A discount of 33 percent on Shanghai Disneyland tickets is also newly launched. 

German sports car brand Porsche has set up a Tmall outlet, and other overseas car brands have offered up to 50 percent discount on some models. Vacheron Constantin, a Swiss luxury watch brand, has decided to release its latest products - originally scheduled for Christmas - on this year's Double Eleven, according to the report.

Overseas goods will be one of the highlights of this year's Tmall Double Eleven shopping carnival. Consumers who cannot go abroad to shop due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seriously restricted international travel, can buy all kinds of imported goods on the e-commerce platform without leaving their homes. 

Tmall has set up a special online shopping mall for overseas products, and consumers can receive orders in 72 hours at the soonest, per a statement of Tmall Global on Tuesday.

The Tmall Global this year has contracted commodities from over 100 overseas farms, ranches and wineries for the Double Eleven festival, importing 1,000 tons of Uruguayan milk, 2.6 million bottles of French wine and 1.6 million liters of camel's milk from Dubai.

Huge consumer market

Based on the transaction volume of e-commerce platforms in the past two years, 395.32 billion yuan in 2018 at an annual growth rate of 33.81 percent, and 600 billion yuan in 2019 with annual growth of 51.77 percent, this year's online transaction of the Double Eleven festival is expected to reach 856.74 billion yuan, according to a report from the China ecommerce research center sent to the Global Times.

As the only major economy expected to pose a positive economic growth this year, many international brands are seeing China as their main opportunity for growth in 2020. 

According to China's National Bureau of Statistics, China's GDP grew 4.9 percent in the third quarter, bringing the growth in the first three quarters to 0.7 percent from a year ago. This is the first positive cumulative GDP growth since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

Liu Xuezhi, an economist at Bank of Communications, told the Global Times that domestic demand is speeding up the revival. Production and demand paved the way for strong growth in the third quarter.

"Consumer demand for the whole year will explode during the Double Eleven shopping spree. In addition, active participation of international brands in the festival with huge discounts indicates that overseas brands have confidence in China's consumer market. In other words, the Chinese market is the main source for international brands' annual sales performance," Tian Yun, vice director of the Beijing Economic Operation Association, told the Global Times.

Subsidy and livestreaming

According to incomplete statistics, subsidies offered by e-commerce platforms including consumption coupons and cash subsidies, will total nearly 100 billion yuan.

"The subsidy can better enhance user stickiness and seize users' minds, fully release consumption power, improve the retention and activation of consumption from old customers, and continuously improve the ability to attract new customers," Mo Daiqing, a senior analyst with the China ecommerce research center, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

In addition to subsidies, new forms of online shopping have also boosted domestic demand and attracted consumers. Mo said that livestreaming is becoming a new growth point in the e-commerce sales. 

On Wednesday morning, at half past midnight, a total of 108 million people watched the livestreaming of Viya on Taobao, Alibaba's e-commerce platform, and 128 million people were attracted by Li Jiaqi's Taobao livestreaming. Some specific discounts can only be availed in these livestreamings.

Through Viya livestreaming, 30,000 Armani lipsticks were instantly sold past midnight when sales opened.

Newspaper headline: Global brands eye China market


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