China’s Double 11 shopping festival will embrace GMV growth despite epidemic: analysts
Published: Oct 31, 2020 07:59 PM

An employee works at the Shanghai distribution center of ZTO Express in Shanghai, east China, Nov. 12, 2017. Courier companies were running at full speed to deliver massive number of parcels after Alibaba Group's 11.11 Singles' Day global online shopping spree on Nov. 11. (Xinhua/Ding Ting)

 Having gradually emerged from the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 epidemic, the Chinese economy will show the world its robust resilience and vast capacity through the upcoming world's largest online shopping festival - Double 11, or Singles' Day, which falls on November 11 each year.

This year will see more gross merchandise volume (GMV) generated via the festival than last year, even though the epidemic hit businesses and thwarted consumers' confidence earlier this year, analysts told the Global Times Saturday, adding that merchants on e-commerce platforms will make more money compared with previous years thanks to the rise of livestreaming.

The previous one-day event was extended to four days this year, according to Alibaba, owner of leading e-commerce platforms Taobao and Tmall. The first sales window will start on the eve of Sunday and run till Tuesday, and the second on the whole day of November 11.

About 100 million consumers will receive their packages during Sunday and Monday, since most presales products have been placed to the express outlets nearest to each consumer, according to Tmall's forecast.

"I believe there will be many spotlights in this year's festival, which is like a barometer of China's economic health, reflecting the vitality of domestic consumer market," said Liu Dingding, a Beijing-based independent analyst.

"We need such shopping extravagance to release pent-up demand with the nation's economic growth turning positive in the first three quarters," Liu told the Global Times Saturday.

Apart from Alibaba's platforms, other leading e-commerce players in China including, Suning and Pinduoduo are all expected to generate more GMV this year, he added.

Zhang Yi, CEO of Guangzhou-based market research firm iiMedia Research, said merchants on the e-commerce platforms will make more profits during this year's buying spree thanks to the popularization of livestreaming in China which can help bring down marketing costs.

"The newly emerging model via well-known influencers can drive huge browsing traffic and enhance sales, as was seen earlier this year when the epidemic trapped people at home and businesses halted," Zhang told the Global Times Saturday.

During the kick-start of presales on October 21, two Chinese livestreaming icons Viya and Li Jiaqi helped to generate a presales record of 7.8 billion yuan ($1.17 billion) in total within a few hours. Millions of Chinese pulled an all-nighter, offering a combined browsing traffic of 300 million views.

It is undeniable that the epidemic has eroded some people's income, but the impact is mainly seen on purchase of large assets like house and cars. "For the mass consumer items, vitality has resumed well," Zhang said.

"The money that was originally planned for traveling abroad and buying luxury goods in overseas markets, for example, has been saved up for domestic consumption and the Double 11 festival is just the opportunity," he added.

China's retail sales rose 3.3 percent in September, the largest increase in consumer spending so far in 2020, official data showed.