Alibaba said that in the first 11 days of November, gross merchandise volume (GMV) reached 540.3 billion yuan (84.5 billion U.S. dollars) and peaked during the holiday on Thursday. This is an increase of 8.5% over a year ago-well below the top end of the most recent forecast given by Citi analysts, who expect an increase of up to 15%, or 578 billion yuan ($90 billion). It is also below the low end of analysts’ forecasts, which is about $86 billion.
Compared with 2019, this year’s figures have significantly slowed down from the 26% released by Alibaba last year.
Citi analysts wrote on Friday that although this year’s data was worse than they expected, given the fierce competition, economic slowdown and weak consumer confidence, “this is not entirely unexpected.”
Since its first occurrence, Singles’ Day has swelled into a shopping frenzy, not only Alibaba, but also other e-commerce companies that offer substantial discounts and promotions. The transaction takes place within days or even weeks. It also expanded beyond China, with Alibaba’s Southeast Asia subsidiary Lazada offering transactions in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.
This is an incredibly lucrative event, but due to headwinds facing the Chinese economy, consumer confidence this year may take a hit.
The cost of goods leaving Chinese factories last month soared at another record rate—China’s October producer price index rose 13.5% from a year earlier—and now there are signs that higher costs are gradually declining. China’s October consumer price index rose 1.5% year-on-year, twice the increase in the previous month, and the fastest increase since September 2020.
Alicia Garcia Herrero, chief economist for the Asia-Pacific region of the French Foreign Trade Bank, said: “On the one hand, high input costs have significantly squeezed the profit margins of downstream manufacturers, thus limiting the substantial amount of profit this year. Room for discounts.” Investment Bank. “On the other hand, domestic consumption has not yet returned to pre-epidemic levels[s] Even online retail sales, which remain relatively resilient in 2020, have slowed down. “
Suppress the dilemma
The government’s full-scale crackdown on private enterprises also cast a shadow over this year’s Singles Day.
Beijing launched a full-scale crackdown on a wide range of industries last year, and e-commerce companies have received particularly severe scrutiny.
Companies such as JD.com, Tencent, Pinduoduo and Meituan have also been investigated or fined for suspected anti-competitive behavior.
Natixis’ García Herrero said: “This year, large Internet platforms seem to be more cautious in marketing and promotion to avoid violating antitrust regulations.”
Alibaba said they will shift the focus from pure sales data—usually the annual headlines—to sustainability and inclusiveness.
“This year’s festival marks a new chapter for 11.11,” Alibaba Group Chief Marketing Officer Chris Tung said in a statement. “We believe that we must use the power of 11.11 to encourage sustainable development and promote the inclusiveness of consumers, businesses and partners in our ecosystem.”
The company has the final say Energy-saving products will be showcased in its services and “green” vouchers worth 100 million yuan (US$15.6 million) will be issued to encourage people to buy more sustainable products. It also hopes to reduce the carbon footprint of its activities by recycling the packaging it uses.
The company also stated Want to support “vulnerable groups”, Taobao APP introduced the “advanced mode” option. The new features are designed to make it easier for seniors to use through an updated interface and voice-assisted technology.
Jingdong also announced that this year’s Singles’ Day will be “the biggest festival using renewable energy, and it’s also the biggest festival. [JD.com] Will promote the reduction of carbon footprint. “
Paul R. La Monica of CNN Business contributed to this report.
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