China’s weeks-long mid-year online shopping event got off to a steady start amid business resumption and pro-growth policy incentives, which analysts believe can help boost consumption as COVID-19 impacts wear thin.
The annual shopping bonanza, featuring promotional campaigns on multiple e-commerce platforms, kicked off on June 1.
Many online retailers said sales took off in the early hours, especially on upscale big-ticket items. The first four hours of JD.com’s campaign saw sales of gaming televisions top that of last June as a whole, while sales of smartphones costing over 4,000 yuan ($596) from six brands tripled year-on-year.
With the steady recovery of the retail sector, the annual shopping bonanza has led industry activity gauges for warehouse storage, logistics, and e-commerce logistics to increase significantly in recent times.
Shanghai, for instance, 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-off management to contain the COVID-19 resurgence.
Tempting prices and generous giveaways at e-commerce platforms also fueled shoppers’ passion. JD.com and Pinduoduo have collaborated with cities like Beijing, Shenzhen, and Shanghai to issue vouchers for customers to use on top of already reduced prices.
With the help of these incentives, the year’s major online shopping event will serve as a strong driver of consumption, which was dampened by COVID-19 flare-ups, said Li Mingtao, an analyst with China International Electronic Commerce Center.