The idea for a national shopping festival on November 11 each year was developed by the e-commerce giant Alibaba, but its stratospheric growth means that just about everybody and every business in China is now involved – even Alibaba’s biggest rivals.
JD and Suning, also giants of Chinese e-commerce, posted bumper results from this year’s 11-day festival, the first in 11.11 history to span such a long period. The extended festival included two shopping windows designed, Alibaba said, to give merchants and shoppers more time to make connections and to help brands recover some of the ground lost this year as a result of the pandemic.
JD alone generated orders in excess of RMB 200 billion during 11.11 this year, which compares to just under 500 billion in gross merchandise volume for Alibaba. Leading brands on JD during the festival included Haier, Midea and Gree, which all exceeded RMB 100 million in the first minute of sales.
Luxury goods were also a huge hit with JD customers, who snapped up luxury items worth 500% more than in the whole of the 11.11 festival last year in just the first 10 minutes this year. Perhaps unsurprisingly in light of the pandemic, home cleaning and personal products were highly popular, and sales in these categories on JD were 3,000% higher than during the 2019 festival. Fresh food orders were also up, by 500% year-on-year in just the first five minutes of trading.
Suning, meanwhile, which specializes in electronics and appliances, raked in sales topping RMB 5 billion in the first 19 minutes of the festival alone; 5G mobile phone sales shot up by 1,000%, and sales of small smart appliances were up 213%.
Across all platforms, livestreaming proved tremendously powerful. On Alibaba’s Taobao platform, 12 beauty brands exceeded sales of RMB 100 million in just one minute of livestreaming, while superstar KOL (key opinion leader) Viya, livestreaming for luxury cosmetics label WHOO, generated sales for the brand of over RMB 600 million.
JD reported sales via livestreams of over RMB 100 million within 10 seconds, with over 500 company bosses among the livestreamers on JD this year.