China’s largest annual shopping festival, Singles’ Day, also known as Double 11, turned 15 this year. In the run-up, major e-commerce platforms announced the return of low prices and launched large-scale subsidies and discounts to stimulate consumption.
“You can buy expensive products, but don’t buy them overpriced,” Xin Lijun, CEO of JD.com Retail, said at a press conference held by JD.com to promote Singles’ Day.
E-commerce behemoth Alibaba started offering deep discounts at midnight on November 11, also known as Bachelors’ Day, in 2009. The shopping festival was subsequently rebranded as Singles’ Day and expanded rapidly over the ensuing 15 iterations, with new e-commerce platforms like Xiaohongshu joining the Singles’ Day battle this year.
As competition is growing fiercer, Jing Daily looks at e-tailers’ gross merchandise volume (GMV) results for the luxury, fashion, and beauty categories, and broader consumer behaviors.
On November 12, Tmall’s Double 11 event concluded with impressive results: 402 brands (Proya, L’Oréal, Guerlain, Fila and Nike) reached over $13.7 million (100 million RMB) in sales including 243 domestic brands, such as Flossom, Herlab, and Offrelax, who joined the 100 million RMB club. Transactions for 38,000 brands grew by over 100 percent year on year.
User engagement also reached a record high, with Tmall’s event attracting over 800 million cumulative visitors. Lower-tier cities helped to boost sales, adding over 20 million new buyers and 140 million additional orders – these cities will have a big role to play for premium and luxury brands in the future.
Merchant participation also rose on Tmall. The shopping festival saw a 150 percent YoY increase in weekly active businesses, and daily brand advertisement grew by double digits YoY.
On October 31, one hour after Double 11 sales started, 155 brands including Apple, Haier, Midea, Huawei, L’Oréal, and Nike sales exceeded $13.7 million (100 million RMB). The sales turnover of 71,900 brands including Gucci, Burberry, Asus, and Erdos in the first hour exceeded that of whole Double 11 day last year.
Over 60 brands, including Xiaomi, Haier, Midea, Hisense, and Gree (all electronic brands) this year achieved sales exceeding $137 million (1 billion RMB) each. Notably, Apple sales also exceeded $1 billion, considering they only started selling on JD.com in 2019. The dominant popularity of electronic goods and devices for the platform on Single’s Day is evident.
As of 11:59pm on November 11, JD.com’s Singles’ Day transaction volume, orders, and user numbers reached new heights. The transaction volume for nearly 20,000 brands rose more than threefold YoY.
Through measures such as enhancing its consumer experience, innovative marketing ecosystems, and focusing on quality services, JD.com has become an important channel for luxury brands to reach Chinese consumers.
Dior, Tiffany and Co., and Bottega Veneta’s turnover increased by more than four times year on year. Meanwhile, Italian label Valentino’s sales expanded more than six times this festival year on year (YoY).
UGC Star Xiaohongshu
Lifestyle platform Xiaohongshu joined the Singles’ Day shopping bonanza officially this year. According to the platform’s data, Xiaohongshu’s orders during this festival increased by 3.8 times YoY and its livestream broadcast room GMV grew by 4.2 times YoY during the shopping event.
Xiaohongshu’s buyer ecosystem continues to grow rapidly. Popular sales anchors Dong Jie and Zhang Xiaohui’s single-session livestream generated GMV exceeding $13.7 million (100 million RMB). During Singles’ Day, Xiaohongshu homeware influencer and seller @OneKK’s (一颗kk) cumulative sales also exceeded $13.7 million (100 million RMB).
KOL, KOC, and UGC content around product reviews and recommendations propelled Xiaohongshu’s success this Singles’ Day: beauty brands Little Ondine and My.Organics achieved sales exceeding $137,000 (one million RMB) only by placing their product links on KOL and UGC reviews. As Xiaohongshu further develops its interest-driven e-commerce ecosystem, closing the loop from discovery, interest, to transaction, in the future could it threaten dominant players and traditional e-commerce platforms like Alibaba’s Tmall and JD.com?
On November 13, Douyin e-commerce released the ‘Douyin Mall Double 11 Shopping Goods Festival’ report. From October 20 to November 11, the cumulative livestreaming time of Douyin e-commerce live broadcast rooms reached 58.3 million hours, compared to the 38.2 million hours same period last year.
The short video platform is growing at skyrocketing speed, shortening its distance from traditionally dominant players like Tmall and JD.com. The GMV of Douyin Mall has increased by 119 percent year-on-year. The number of merchants on the platform as a whole has increased by 91 percent year-on-year. And most importantly, Douyin Mall consumers have grown by 111 percent year-on-year.
Douyin’s short video influence and consumer education played a vital role in boosting sales.
For example, during Singles’ Day, the ‘Maillard’ color palette, a term referring to brown and prune purple shades, became popular autumn and winter styles this year. Short videos presenting the ‘Maillard’ style headbands have driven a 6,133 percent year-on-year sales increase of the product.
Beauty and lifestyle creators’ content has raised consumers’ interest in fake eyelashes, dental floss, and height-increasing insoles, whose sales respectively increased by 162 percent, 155 percent, and 71 percent
In the future, Singles’ Day competition will not simply be a price battle between platforms, but about consumer experience and engagement, and raising interest around new products and services.