(CGTN) The Double Eleven shopping festival has generated shopping frenzy in China's huge domestic market for over a decade, with staggering revenues that outpace those of Black Friday in the United States. But are consumers taking the bait this year? Lu Sirui finds out.
As Beijing enters winter, they're gearing up for binge-shopping. It's a habit they've kept for 12 years, ever since one of China's biggest online shopping platforms, T-Mall, created this sales extravaganza. But the hype of Double Eleven seems more subdued in 2021.
"I bought something this year, but it's not as much as before."
"I got 5 yuan discount for each purchase of the formula milk powder, I guess? This year's Double Eleven is too complicated. At one time they want deposit, and then there are tricks about using deposit money to replace some part of the balance."
LU SIRUI Beijing "This year, many in Beijing say the Double Eleven feels much quieter than before. They complain about the complicated discount strategy and worry about how much they actually have to pay after the deposit. So do people really change their minds over the biggest online shopping spree in China?"
"I think my passion for Double Eleven will decrease over the years. I now think live-streaming is a good channel to buy things."
Industry analysts say consumers' anticipation for Double Eleven is still there.
But T-mall changed tack on their promotion strategy this year which may have led to the muted response.
JACOB COOKE CEO, WPIC "It's over a longer period. It is not as concentrated as it was in years past that everything happens on a single day. Pre-sales were starting in the middle of October, A lot of sales happened on the first (of Nov.) and there were different events spread over 11 days."
But they also attributed this to a rise in inflation in big cities, also known as the first-tier cities, like the Chinese capital and Shanghai where many consumers' incomes may not have kept pace with the costs of living.
They added that it's in the second-tier and lower-tier cities where significant growth in Double Eleven revenues can be found.
JACOB COOKE CEO, WPIC "There is actually incredible growth we are seeing so far in second tier cities like Nanjing, Hangzhou and Suzhou. If you look at the economics of first tier cities, salaries grows four years ago quite a bit, so we rolled up a really high growth percentage in terms of disposable income. That's probably leveled out. What you are seeing now is the same growth curve in second tier cities and starting to be in the third tier cities and below as well."
Experts and online platforms are also seeing live-streaming playing an increasing role in sales, live-streaming has spread out discount strategy throughout the year. Live-streamers are also raking in bigger numbers now at Double Eleven than they ever have. Lu Sirui, CGTN, Beijing.