Source: Xinhua (Chinese)
After this year’s Double 11 shopping day, e-commerce platforms posted record-setting figures again, with transaction of Tmall hitting 213.5 billion Yuan, JD.com 159.8 billion Yuan and Suning.com rising by 132% year-on-year.
Top 5 best sellers of the annual shopping spree were all electrical and electronic products this year. With mobile phones topping the list and TVs and refrigerators within top 5, home appliances and consumer electronics became the backbone of the shopping day’s GMV.
Home appliances start to lead Double 11 consumption
Chinese households see home appliances as one of their most important family consumptions traditionally, and only loosen their purse strings after a hands-on experience in stores and a signing of purchasing agreement which comes with a aftersales service card, as they believe home appliance consumption is all about brand and aftersales service. But as the booming e-commerce platforms build consumers’ confidence in online shopping, more and more consumers start to buy home appliances online, lending credence to the growing capability of Chinese e-commerce platforms.
According to China Center for Information Industry Development under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, online shopping only accounted for 7.6% of home appliance consumption in 2013. The figure rose to 19.95% in 2016, 26.5% in 2017 and 34% in 2018.
Industry insiders point out that, e-commerce channels acted more as a complement to traditional ones as home appliance makers dipped their toes into it years ago. Now, they are operated broadly across the industry even by the most conservative players, all trying to gain some ground in Double 11 day. And the new shopping day becomes more of a shared festival than a battle field, and “online and offline” channels are operated as a whole.
According to Tmall, 167 brands touched the 100 million Yuan milestone as of 12 o’clock November 11, of which Midea, Haier, Gree and Mi were among the top 10. Sales of Haier from Tmall alone hit 100 million Yuan only one minute after it started the sales, and its combined online sales totaled 1.518 billion Yuan an hour later. Midea’s combined online sales exceeded 1 billion Yuan in 20 minutes, and 3 billion Yuan in 2 hours. Sales of Gree from Tmall reached 0.5 billion Yuan in an hour and 51 minutes, and sales from JD.com reached 0.8 billion Yuan as of half past eleven November 11.
Consumers’ pursuit for the quality of life drives up the trend of consumption upgrade
Ten years after initiated by Alibaba, Double 11 shopping day continues to reflect the consumption trends behind sales data and marketing campaigns.
Consumers start to look more at product quality and services when it comes to home appliance shopping, as shows by the cooldown of previously hot search engine keywords such as cost efficiency and durable.
Middle-end and high-end products and those designed to meet life-improving demands rather than basic demands rose particularly fast on November 11, according to JD.com. On this leading e-commerce platform, sales of air conditioners exceeded 0.1 billion Yuan in only 40 seconds after the sales started at 0 o’clock, and as of 10 o’clock, sales of high-end air conditioners priced at 6,000 and more were 8 times that of last year. The combined sales of refrigerators and washers exceeded 0.3 billion Yuan in only 3 minutes. Sales of flat panel TVs hit 0.1 billion Yuan in only 36 seconds, of which sales of 65-inch and larger panel TVs were three times that of last year. These numbers indicate consumers’ increased needs for high-performance, personalized products and a rising consumption upgrade trend.
“The attitudes of consumers and home appliance makers towards Double 11 shopping day and how they position this day have completely changed.” Our interviewee from the home appliance division of JD.com told us. E-commerce not only powers the steady growth of home appliance makers, but also the transformation and upgrade of this industry. The diversified, personalized demands of consumers push forward the customized manufacturing of the industry and a series of technological innovations.
According to a market report released by China Electronic Commerce Association, JD.com, Tmall and Suning all witnessed a great growth in home appliances, mobile phones and computers from January to September this year. The overall market size of home appliances and consumer electronic products, which include cameras, consumer electronics, major appliances, portable appliances, communication devices and IT and digital office products, is estimated to grow by 12.3% year-on-year to reach 2.775 trillion Yuan. Home appliances alone posted combined sales value of 346 billion Yuan from January to September, of which JD.com played a leading role with an overwhelming online market share of 60.9%.
JD.com will not settle as a platform for home appliance shopping. It wants to be the name for best services, according to our interviewee. And it has developed its own home appliance brand based on its analysis of consumers on its platform to meet their diversified needs.
Industry insiders believe that we’re heading into a new consumption era that features high quality, thanks to the development of mobile internet and the integration of online and offline channels. E-commerce platforms will drive this trend to go more personalized, professional and quality-oriented through products, services, channels and marketing campaigns on their platforms, which also help them to rise year by year with all-time high sales record set.