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Published: 11 Jul 2018

JD.com’s Chinese Shopping-Festival Frenzy


A Chinese e-commerce giant that invented a shopping festival, ostensibly to celebrate the anniversary of the company’s launch, saw sales soar again this year. JD.com reported $24bn in sales for the 18-day event.

Chinese consumers’ enthusiasm for festivals and special events was highlighted again in June with the runaway success of the 618 Shopping Festival, created by JD.com.

The e-commerce giant reported RMB 159.2bn ($24.6bn) in sales for this year’s version of its annual shopping celebration – 37% up on the 2017 event.

The festival, which ran from June 1-18, neatly coincided with Father’s Day in China and the traditional Chinese Dragon Boat Festival. Top categories were mobile phones, PCs, air conditioners, other digital products, and food and beverages.

Rival e-tailer Alibaba’s shopping event Singles Day, held in November, reached sales of $25.3bn in 2017, up 40% compared to 2016 (NY Times, 2017). Meanwhile, in the US, Amazon is expected to run its annual Prime Day event in July this year.

Stefanie Dorfer, Retail editor at Stylus, commented: “These kinds of self-made events are producing exceptional figures. As a marketing exercise, they have proven to be outstandingly successful. The lead retailer’s partners and even its competitors are all able to benefit from these festivals.”

For more on the strategies Chinese retailers are deploying to win over the hearts of shoppers, head over to our Uni-Commerce and Chinese New Year 18: Retail Trends reports.

If you’re interested in hosting events as a marketing tool, read Branded Festival Experience, 2017 and The Marketing Power of Events.

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