Can Double 12 Still Make a Dent?

    In the shadow of China’s largest shopping festival, Double 11, the year-end shopping bonanza, Double 12, has struggled to retain its relevance.
    In the shadow of China’s largest shopping festival, Double 11, the year-end shopping bonanza, Double 12, has struggled to retain its relevance. Photo: Shutterstock
      Published   in Retail

    What happened

    This year, China’s Double 12 Shopping Festival, the country’s year-end shopping bonanza that follows the Double 11 Festival, has passed by little-noticed. Many online netizens said they wouldn't have even known it was happening if it wasn’t for related hashtags on Weibo hot search.

    According to real-time monitoring data of China’s State Post Bureau, postal and express delivery companies in China collected 460 million parcels on December 12 versus 6.8 billion delivered during this year’s Double 11 Shopping Festival. Delivery speed has been extremely fast, and consumers mocked how they did not have time to regret their purchases or ask for a refund because their parcels already reached their houses, resulting in the hashtag #Double12Refund trending on Weibo.

    The Jing Take

    This year, few promotional ads or announcements were placed on behalf of this shopping festival. Unlike Double 11, merchants, livestreamers, and e-commerce platforms did not provide coupons or red envelopes (monetary gifts) to attract consumers for Double 12. For instance, celebrity anchor Li Jiaqi advertised 400 discounted products for Double 11 but only announced 100 for Double 12 (and only two days before the event).

    But were they even needed? Most local shoppers create their budgets around Double 11 and leave little spending for Double 12. Additionally, consumers were exhausted from calculating coupons and discounts from Double 11. Meanwhile, shopping festivals have been awash with complaints. According to the Double 11 Consumer Complaint Data Report released by Black Cat complaints during the Double 11 festival, the number of effective complaints increased significantly (3,858 percent compared to the previous period).

    Next year marks the Double 12 shopping festival’s tenth anniversary. But after a decade, consumers have shifted from impulsive purchases to more rational behavior and are showing less enthusiasm for shopping bonanzas. As such, not all shopping carnivals are worth brand efforts, especially for luxury sellers. With domestic buyers breaking their shopping frenzy habits and adopting more prudent ones, brands must concentrate on a few festivals while delivering them in the best way possible. Less is more, and nothing is more important than winning consumer trust and turning them into lifetime buyers.

    The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.

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