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Home appliances dominate online sales in China

JD kicked off its 17th 618 Grand Promotion on 1st June.

Home appliances, including air conditioners, refrigerators and washing machines saw sales surge. Customers are pursuing health-centered products after the COVID-19 outbreak.

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Data shows that purification and sterilization air conditioner sales increased 10 times YOY during June 1-2, sterilization refrigerator and washing machine sales increased 550% YOY. Each of 30 brand of air conditioner products hit RMB 10 million in just 10 minutes on June 1st.

In just one hour, sales of high-end refrigerators and washing machines from brands like Casarte, Siemens and LG increased nearly 8 times y-o-y. During June 1-2, outbound orders for hot-selling air conditioners from JD’s warehouse increased nearly 270% compared with daily average during the last week in May.

Due to the uncertainty of the virus situation, many merchants didn’t prepare enough inventory for 618 before April. When the situation gradually stabilized in China, customer demand increased, forcing many merchants to adjust their inventory strategy to add more products for 618.

The factories also rapidly ramped up production. This resulted in a large amount of inventory added to JD warehouses within a short time period. Thanks to JD’s technology expertise, the company was able to do sales forecasting and prepare additional fulfillment resources in advance.

JD has cooperated with 63 home appliance brands covering 200 kinds of products for C2M home appliances, including leading brands such as TCL, Midea and Little Swan.

Late last year, JD cooperated with Little Swan on tailored baby and maternal wall-mounted type washing machine and sold on JD exclusively online. Both companies started to develop this project since late 2018. During the process, JD has done extensive customer research and big data analysis, which found that there was huge demand for this feature. The product, launched in 2019, remains popular and received good review from customers.

Although home appliances is a traditional category, it has embraced new marketing tools like live streaming, which has grown fast during COVID-19. Brands also cooperate with JD for joint events. For example, on May 15th, Mingzhu Dong, chairwoman of Gree Electric joined a livestream for Gree products on JD. From 8:00 pm to 11:20 pm, the livestream generated RMB 703 million yuan (nearly US$100 million) in sales. On May 20th, Haier joined JD’s home appliances livestreaming and added 470,000 followers to its JD store on the day. For 618, there will be more livestreaming to help boost home appliances sales.

“E-commerce penetration in lower tier markets still needs to be cultivated. The experience stores help JD provide our rich home appliances products to these customers, and is the best way to combine our products with an omnichannel sales strategy,” said Kening Wu, head of the air conditioner sales department at JD.

Customers also prefer this way of shopping. One JD home appliances experience store in Chaoyang, Liaoning province, a fourth tier city, reached RMB 1 million yuan in sales on June 1st through WeChat promotion, live streaming, offline events, and more.

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In addition, JD’s largest immersive experience store E-Space in Chongqing will also participate in 618, providing customers with subsidies and discounts. From May 30th to June 1st, E-Space visitors increased 300% compared with same period last month. Sales hit RMB 20 million, resuming to the level before the virus.