Alibaba sales for 618 shopping festival rise with growing appetite for camping, fishing goods
- Alibaba reported positive sales growth for the shopping festival, with camping, fishing and skateboarding as stand-out categories
- JD.com also reported positive but slowing sales growth for the festival this year as Covid-19 restrictions weigh on consumer confidence
Young Chinese consumers have also come to favour camping as a complementary activity to fishing. During the same checkout period, Tmall sales of camping-related products – including tents, canopies and folding tables – tripled year on year, according to the company.
Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post.
Fishing and camping were not the only outdoor activities to get a boost this year. Tmall sales of skateboarding products increased 290 per cent during the first shopping window of the 618 festival, according to Alibaba.
Smart home devices for pets were also popular, rising nearly 150 per cent year on year for the period. Among the most popular of these products were smart companion robots, automatic feeders and self-cleaning litter boxes.
Total retail sales in China fell 6.7 per cent year on year in May to 3.35 trillion yuan, (US$501.2 billion). That came after an 11.1 per cent drop in April. Shopping festivals used to be a major battlefield for e-commerce giants to show off their market power, but China’s tech behemoths have been keeping a much lower profile this year.
Over the years, shopping festivals that used to take place over a single 24-hour period have been starting weeks earlier in an effort to boost sales for the season. Sales for the 618 festival now often start in late May and end in late June, going through multiple stages that include a presale period that allows consumers to reserve products with a deposit, followed by two separate checkout periods.
Beijing-based JD.com reported 379.3 billion yuan in total sales for this year’s 18-day event, up 10.3 per cent, a sharp drop from last year’s 27.7 per cent sales growth.