Chinese consumers tightened their wallets on this year’s Singles’ Day and continued to seek relatively budget house brands over more expensive labels as tight COVID-19 restrictions and economic uncertainty weighed on shopping extravagance.
From the evening of Oct. 31 to Thursday, more than 2,000 items generated sales exceeding 10 million yuan ($1.4 million) each in the Tmall marketplace, more than half of which are Chinese brands, data shows. of the platform belonging to the e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba. Holding Group Ltd.
alibaba said singles day sales were in line with last year, when gross merchandise value rose 8.5%, the lowest since the company launched the trade event in 2009. For the first time, Alibaba did not not announced any sales data this year.
The shopping fest, which has grown from a one-day online event into a long party, is seen as a barometer of consumer sentiment in the world’s second-largest economy.
This year’s bestsellers included Chinese appliance makers such as Haier, Midea and sportswear brand Anta, as well as international names such as Apple, L’Oreal and Nike.
Appliances overtook other categories, while apparel remained the biggest drag, according to data from research firm YipitData on the run-up to the event when shoppers can put down deposits on items.
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Despite the rise of new domestic brands in recent years, foreign brands still enjoy huge reputational advantages in industries where product quality or safety are paramount considerations, said Jacob Cooke, CEO from e-commerce consultancy WPIC Marketing + Technologies.
Alibaba’s rival JD.com said within 28 hours from 8 p.m. on Oct. 31, Chinese brands accounted for 80% of the sales of the top 20 brands.
Cooke said this does not reflect national dominance of the overall market, as JD.com is particularly strong in high-value consumer electronics like computers and smartphones, where Chinese manufacturers have long dominated the market. local.
Repeated COVID lockdowns in cities across China have pushed consumers to spend on improving the quality of life at home.
Chinese consumers are increasingly willing to pay for devices with specific functions, JD.com said. Sales of TVs with gaming features jumped more than 180% in the 28-hour Singles’ Day period reported by JD.com a year earlier, while high-end floor washers jumped by 400%.
Sales of TCL televisions, Dyson hair dryers and Midea refrigerators doubled, JD.com said.
People wanted to be entertained, too: RTX gaming PC sales increased 75%, Microsoft Xbox more than tripled, and XR glasses soared 530% on JD.com.
Camping-related sales were strong as the outdoor trend continued, with portable power station sales increasing 10-fold on JD.com.