Oct 9, 2020|

JD Data: Golden Week Consumption & China’s Economic Recovery


by Ella Kidron

This year’s National Day Golden Week holiday (held October 1-8th) was about three things: the Mid-Autumn Festival, homecoming and sightseeing. Consumers were out and about, stretching not only their legs but also their wallets, according to JD’s Big Data. Shopping behavior both contributed to the post-COVID economic recovery in China, and demonstrated the vitality of the Chinese economy as well as consumer confidence.

Travel and leisure, sports and outdoor activities, home renovation and home appliances, and jewelry drove the bulk of the holiday consumption boom. Many people heading home opted to send gift certificates home, simultaneously avoiding showing up empty handed and having to lug heavy boxes of mooncakes or hairy crabs on the long journey. Sales of food gift certificates increased 33 times YOY. Non-local orders for Hubei specialties increased over 100% YOY, indicating people either returning home and bringing local specialties on the way, or traveling to the province and giving family and friends back home a “taste of Hubei”.

Many consumers opted to travel with child in tow, explaining a 230% YOY increase in baby strollers, as well as a 200% increase in baby snacks and 180% increase in car seats, respectively.

Understanding that lugging a heavy box of souvenirs home can be a real pain, JD set up Express pickup locations at nearly 2,000 scenic areas, shopping malls and streets, hotels, bus stations and more around the country.

Consumers’ increased attention to health and wellness is also providing opportunities for the high-end personal items market. Personal care small home appliances increased over 40% with items like nano ionic blow dryers and intelligent sonic razors becoming new customer favorites. In general, browsing for “smart products” has increased 200%. Attention paid to automated fingerprint locks increased over 100%. Another large contributor to health, fresh has been no slouch. Transaction volume of the fresh category increased over 50%, among which dairy products and cold beverages increased 80% and meat increased 70%.

Home renovation demand has continued to grow started from Q2, driving an increase in large appliance purchases. High quality home appliances and kitchen and bath appliances increased 35%. From October 1-3, air conditioner sales doubled YOY, among which first class energy efficient ACs increased by 330% YOY, accounting for 28% of total turnover. Dish washers with disinfectant capabilities increased 150% YOY. Large screen TVs over RMB 10,000 yuan increased over 100% YOY while gaming TVs exceeded the average of the past five days and OLED TVs more than doubled.

A 131% YOY increase in business-use appliances sales also indicates a strong recovery of offline business. Large refrigerators, meat slicers and milk tea machines are some of the leading products.

Wedding fervor over the holiday gave gold and silver jewelry consumption a boost. Gold jewelry transaction volume increased 30% YOY while jade increased nearly 40%. The increase in gold jewelry matched that of last year’s National Day. More consumers’ choosing to invest in wearables (gold and silver jewelry) rather than “store-ables” (investment gold) indicates increasing consumer confidence following a tumultuous start to the year.