The 618 Grand Promotion, held from 1st to 18th June, celebrates China largest retailer JD.com’s 18 years of providing high quality services to consumers all over China.
JD.com reported a total transaction volume of over US$53.1 billion for its 18-day 618 Grand Promotion. As of 00:11:34 in the wee hours of 18th June the transaction volume already exceeded that of last year’s total (US$41.6 billion), and by 14:04 transaction volume reached US$47.2 billion.
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“We have seen pretty good momentum in China this promotion season,” said Chenkai Ling, Vice President of JD.com and Head of Strategy at JD Retail.
“We kicked off the promotion around 24th May and got a lot of early insights on consumer behavior. What is more, we have seen the number of brands and merchants participating in the sale double,” Ling added, referring to the ubiquity of the mid-year sale which started as JD’s birthday and is now celebrated by all players, online and offline, annually.
One of the highlights is the supermarket category, an area in which JD has continued to perform strongly, thanks to a high guarantee of authenticity, quality, and delivery speed.
“Some categories peaked during COVID-19, but for a lot of other categories such as fresh and FMCG, we can see a lot of momentum,” said Ling, explaining the reason behind the 618 boom.
In the first three minutes on 18th June, JD Super, JD’s online supermarket, saw sales increase 10 times, and in the first two minutes, packaged foods exceeded US$46.3 million while the maternal and baby category exceeded US$30 million.
In the first hour on 18th June, JD Fresh saw sales increase 70% YOY. Looking at sub-categories, seafood, meat, eggs and poultry, and fruit and vegetables increased 160%, 105% and 80% respectively. Sales of dishes which require little effort to prepare (literally referred to as “fast-hand-dishes”) increased 160%.
Five minutes after midnight, the alcohol category exceeded US$30.9 million and the personal care and home cleaning categories both increased 20 times YOY. In the first 6 minutes, toys had a nine-fold increase.
The pet category has boomed. Post-90s consumers spent an average of US$78.4 per month on pet products in 2021. During 618, smart pet products increased 47% YOY. Ling explained that previously not a lot of people took ownership of pets, but now with the China’s aging population coupled with COVID-19, people are seeking the companionship of pets leading to a boom.
618 is always a popular time for consumers to stock up on products. For example, in the first two minutes on 18th June, milk sales had a six-fold increase as did drinking water, while grains, oil, rice, etc. increased five times YOY. Toilet paper increased nine times.
International products from all over the world have had a good showing as well. As of 18th June at 10 a.m., transaction volume of imported products increased 10 times compared with the previous period. JD Worldwide imported gaming phones increased nearly three times. Imported dry cat food increased 108%.
On 1st June, National Pavilion (dedicated zones on the JD platform for products from a particular country), sales increased 80% YOY. From 1st June to 16th June, imported supermarket sales doubled compared to the previous period.
As of 21:40 on 18th June, on demand retail platform Dada-JD Daojia’s sales exceeded RMB 300 million yuan, underscoring the widespread use of omnichannel and consumers’ elevated delivery speed expectations.
Services also had a strong showing. Fresh flower orders, “Good Houses by JD” orders increased 108% and 280% respectively.
“People are not only buying physical items but also starting to buy certain services,” said Ling. Early on in the promotion season JD saw health services increase 800% YOY.
“Consumers are starting to consider internet health services as part of their lives,” continued Ling.
Electronics, a category requiring a high level of confidence in quality, did not disappoint either. From 00:00-10:00 gaming phones increased nine times in the first 15 minutes on 18th June. One-hour delivery phones services saw a 20 times increase in the same time period. New energy ACs were up 8 times, gaming TVs exceeded the total of the month of May. Seventy five-inch and over large screen TVs increased 300% YOY. Sales of Xiaomi phones increased 150% YOY.
Another quality and confidence indicator, the luxury category also shined. Sales of Salvatore Ferragamo, Burberry, Tod’s and Bally saw 209%, 10-times, 192% and 25-times increases YOY respectively.
More than reflecting JD’s strength as a retailer and supply chain player, this year’s 618 underscores how the company is enabling partners to reach consumers in China with more precision and deliver an unparalleled experience. It also shows consumption momentum in China at the half-year point.
During the 618 Grand Promotion, the use of JD’s autonomous delivery robots increased 24 times and the daily orders proceed by JD’s smart warehouses doubled.
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As for what 618 means for the rest of the year?
“We see this trend during 18th June, but we expect it will continue through the whole year,” said Ling, citing a heightened appetite for consumption among consumers.