Online shopping

China’s mid-year online shopping bonanza paves way for consumer recovery

China’s week-long mid-year online shopping event got off to a steady start amid business resumption and growth-friendly policy incentives, which analysts say can help boost consumption as the impacts of COVID-19 wane.

The annual sales bonanza, with promotional campaigns across multiple e-commerce platforms, kicked off on June 1. Many online retailers said sales took off in the early hours, especially on high-end items.

The first 4 hours of JD.com’s campaign saw sales of gaming TVs surpass last June as a whole, while sales of smartphones costing more than 4,000 yuan (about US$596) from six brands surged. tripled year on year.

Suning reported a 78 percent year-on-year increase in high-end home appliance sales of more than 10,000 yuan in its first round of campaign, while the number of customers exchanging old items against new was up 56% from a year ago. .

The rapid growth is supported by the recovery of the retail sector, as the country accelerates the implementation of policies aimed at stabilizing the economy. Industry activity gauges for warehouse storage, logistics and e-commerce logistics all rallied in May from a month ago, while showing optimistic expectations for further expansion.

Shanghai, for example, handled an above-average daily total of 11 million express delivery packages on June 1, the first day of its return to normal production and life after two months of closed management to contain the resurgence of COVID-19.

Tempting prices and generous giveaways on e-commerce platforms have also fueled the passion of shoppers. JD.com and Pinduoduo have worked with cities like Beijing, Shenzhen and Shanghai to issue vouchers that customers can use on top of already discounted prices.

With the help of these incentives, the year’s big online shopping event will serve as a powerful driver for consumption, which has been dampened by COVID-19 surges, said Li Mingtao, an analyst at China International Electronic. Trade Center.

Online outlets are occupying increasingly large shares of the Chinese consumer products market. In the first four months of this year, online sales of physical goods rose 5.2%, with their share of retail sales climbing to 23.8%.

These outlets pool resources across the supply chain, including national warehouse networks and internet traffic, to increase sales for struggling small and medium-sized businesses.

Noting that small businesses, like many suppliers on e-commerce platforms, are the main targets of support policies, Zhao Ping, vice chairman of the Council of China Academy for the Promotion of International Trade, said that these platforms can help them free themselves from constraints in financing, technology, marketing and human resources by offering digital solutions.

China will step up the integrated development of online and offline shopping and promote new consumer trends such as personalization and experiential shopping, said Vice Minister of Commerce Sheng Qiuping.

The country has rolled out a series of detailed measures to further tap its consumption potential and tackle short-term bottlenecks, including easing restrictions on car purchases and doling out billions of yuan in vouchers. of purchase.