Jun 19, 2021|
In-Depth Report: JD 618 Analysis: Behind the Number of 343.8 billion
by Ella Kidron and Yuchuan Wang
JD’s 618 Grand Promotion wrapped up as the clock turned to midnight on Jun 18. The company reported total transaction volume of over RMB 343.8 billion yuan during the 18-day (Jun. 1-18) sale. There are several key trends behind the results, all of which also provide insight into consumption in the second half of the year.
1. Demand for individualized consumption and hunger for new products
Consumers demonstrated an eagerness to get their hands on the latest and greatest, as well as extremely niche products. During this 618, sales of mystery boxes increased six times YOY. Sales of gaming mobile phones and smart pet products increased five times. Hisense’s special TV designed for the European Soccer Championship (UEFA Euro) saw sales increased five times compared with the same period in May.
At the same time, luxury brands that satisfy consumers’ personalized demands show strong performance. Sales of Ferragamo, TOD’s and BALLY increased 150%, 232% and 600% respectively. In addition, over 20 designer brands saw sales increase over 15 times YOY. Consumers continue to embrace the convenience of buying luxury products online.
Over 30,000 new brands and stores were launched during 618 on JD Super, JD’s online supermarket, with over 2.4 million new products.
2. Omni-channel as a “new normal”
On-demand consumption has been solidified as a shopping trend in China. The experience of receiving orders in one-hour has brought the customer experience to a new level. The on-demand retail platform Dada-JD Daojia’s sales exceeded RMB 300 million yuan on the final day of the sales on Jun. 18, underscoring the widespread use of omni-channel and consumers’ elevated delivery speed expectations.
The company’s mega experience store, JD E-Space shopping mall, in Hefei, Anhui province and Chongqing, saw sales increased four times during the 618 promotion period, attracting over 5.6 million omni-channel customers. The number of JD’s offline computer and digital stores that support one-hour delivery service exceeded 1,000 and saw sales increase 300% YOY.
3. Services as a go-to shopping category
Consumers are expecting to acquire innovative services online. During the 18-day promotion, sales of JD’s online real estate business increased 230% YOY. Sales of housekeeping and cleaning services increased 6.3 times while the order number of car maintenance increased 285%. JD.com also collaborated with 12 airlines and launched 15 air-ticket mystery-box products that saw sales increase 28 times. In addition, genetic testing service sales increased 23 times, making it the fastest-growing category of healthcare services on JD. Consumers are increasingly attentive to their oral health with sales increasing 447%, covering services such as orthodontics, teeth whitening, dental implants and more.
4. Technology’s role in driving efficiency
The use of technology was front and center during this year’s 618, driving efficiency for merchants and brands as well as consumers and elevating the overall shopping experience. JD has already become a key destination for consumers to use the DC/EP (Digital Currency/ Electronic Payment). Since December last year’s DC/EP red packet trial, there have already been 450,000 consumers on the JD app using DC/EP a total of 1.04 million times, generating a volume of over RMB 100 million yuan.
JD Logistics demonstrated that distance and remoteness doesn’t bar users from enjoying rapid service. Consumers in 92% of districts and counties and 84% of villages and towns nationwide enjoyed same- or next-day delivery. In over 200 cities across the country consumers were even able to experience “delivery in minutes”. JD’s autonomous delivery robots were deployed extensively in Beijing, Shanghai, Changshu (in Jiangsu province) and elsewhere, with a service volume increase of 24 times compared with the same period last year.
JD’s AI open platform, NeuHub greatly contributed to increasing efficiency in areas such as content review, intelligent recommendation and intelligent writing. It has been called on over 163 billion times during this year’s 618.
5. More products from the origin – domestically and internationally
JD Lite, the simplified app for lower-tier markets, saw sales increase 25 times and number of users increase 15 times.
Orders from over 200 industrial belts increased 100% on Jingxi, JD’s social e-commerce platform, comparing with before the promotion. This 618, Jingxi sold a total of 22.5 million kilograms of agricultural products.
Over 20,000 international brands from more than 100 countries on JD Worldwide, JD.com’s imported products platform, joined this year’s 618 Grand Promotion. Among them, sales of nearly 700 brands more than double. The top five international brands are Aptamil from Germany, Estee Lauder from the U.S., A2 from Australia, Nintendo from Japan and Sulwhasoo from Korea. In the fresh food category, 5 million Zespri kiwis and 260,000 durians from Thailand were sold during the 18-day sale.
Chenkai Ling, vice president of JD.com and head of strategy of JD Retail said at an event held at JD Headquarters to honor ambassadors and senior diplomats: “This year, the number of brands and merchants participated in the sale more than doubled. At the same time, we see interesting consumer behavior, one aspect of which is that the rising middle class of China are becoming more and more sophisticated users. They are looking for high-quality, as well as diversified products.”
Consumers exhibited eagerness in not only shopping as they customarily would every time the 618 Festival rolls along at the half-year point, but also in branching out, whether into new categories, or entirely new business or service areas. As JD and the industry closes the curtain on its 18th birthday, the sale is also a culmination and reflection of consumer trust the company has accumulated since the beginning of its existence.
JD has continued to promote green supply chain efforts, working to reduce the impact of the shopping frenzy on the environment. This 618, the company’s environmentally-friendly reusable packing was used 11.5 million times, reducing nearly 100,000 tons of disposable waste.
Richard Liu’s shareholder letter released on Jun. 18 sums it up well: “We are proud not only that JD.com stocked millions of SKUs in our retail business, and our logistics network covers both urban and rural areas nationwide, but also that no matter where our customers are, they can enjoy superior shopping experiences through a broad selection of quality products, transparent prices and best-in-class customer services to support every aspect of their lives.”