Key takeaways from China's 618 festival
618, China’s second largest shopping festival, is often considered by brands as a ‘trial run’ for 11/11 later in the year. Sales performance over 618, as well as consumer behaviour, can be used to realign positioning for the main event. As this year’s 618 festival concludes, a number of significant observations can be made.
Tmall remains the dominant platform in terms of customer traffic and brand participation. 67% of 618 shoppers used Tmall as their platform for purchase and 250,000 brands participated in the platform’s 618 event (2.5x more than in 2020). Such strong performance was aided by $1.57 billion in coupons, distributed by Tmall to maximise consumer traffic and stimulate post-2020 spending.
"Observations from 618 festival will be used by international brands to assess their strengths and weaknesses against competitors."
JD.com strengthened its position as a rival to Tmall; the platform reported a GMV of RMB >300 billion over the 618 promotional period, a year-on-year growth of +27.7%. The recent signing of a partnership with Douyin (TikTok) will allow the platform to further differentiate from its main competitor through content marketing and allowing in-app purchases.
Pet food, beauty and electronics are 2021’s high growth categories; with Tmall reporting year-on-year increases in demand of 400%, 180% and 110% respectively. The top performing international brands: Aptamil from Germany, Estee Lauder from the U.S., A2 from Australia, Nintendo from Japan, and Sulwhasoo from Korea.
Observations from 618 festival will be used by international brands to assess their strengths and weaknesses against competitors. Who comes out on top… 11/11 will reveal.