Jun 19, 2021|

JD Reports over RMB 343.8 Billion Yuan Transaction Volume for 618 Grand Promotion


by Ella Kidron

China largest retailer, JD.com reported a total transaction volume of over RMB 343.8 billion yuan for its 18-day 618 Grand Promotion. As of 00:11:34 in the wee hours of June 18 the transaction volume already exceeded that of last year’s total (RMB 269.2 billion yuan), and by 14:04 transaction volume reached RMB 305.6 billion yuan.

“We’ve 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 May 24th and got a lot of early insights on consumer behavior. What’s more, we’ve 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.

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 Jun. 18, JD Super, JD’s online supermarket, saw sales increase 10 times, and in the first two minutes, packaged foods exceeded RMB 300 million yuan while the maternal and baby category exceeded RMB 200 million yuan.

In the first hour on Jun. 18, 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 RMB 200 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 RMB 507 yuan 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 Jun. 18 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 Jun. 18 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 Jun. 1, National Pavilion (dedicated zones on the JD platform for products from a particular country), sales increased 80% YOY. From Jun. 1-16, imported supermarket sales doubled compared to the previous period.

As of 21:40 on Jun. 18, 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.”

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 Jun. 18. 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.

As for what 618 means for the rest of the year? “We see this trend during Jun. 18 but we expect it will continue through the whole year,” said Ling, citing a heightened appetite for consumption among consumers.