Nov 13, 2020|

JD Singles Day Wrap-up #5: Three Trends for the Upgrade of Healthcare Consumption in China


by Vivian Yang

Healthcare products and services continue to grow in the Chinese market as JD’s Singles Day consumption data demonstrated on November 11th when the shopping festival reached an all-time peak.

According to JD Health’s sales data from November 1st to 11th, online medical consultations increased by 6 times YoY, orders of healthcare-related services grew more than 3 times, sales of cross-border pharmaceutical products increased by 15 times, mask sales increased by 17 times, and imported healthcare products increased by 270% YoY.

The staggering growth revealed three main trends of healthcare-related consumption in China:

Buying medicine services via omnichannel

COVID-19 has accelerated Chinese consumers’ acceptance of the role that the internet can play in improving healthcare services. This not only involves online medicine sales and medical consultation growth but also provides new opportunities for offline pharmacies and drug delivery services.

Transactions from JD Health’s O2O drug delivery services increased 21 times during the Singles Day Grand Promotion period, with the first order delivered to the customer’s doorstep within 9 minutes and 21 seconds. So far JD’s fast medication delivery service is offered in more than 200 cities across China. Meanwhile, over 40 JD Pharmacy chain stores have opened offline with many in lower-tiered cities, providing more and better medicine products and services to a wider range of patients in China.

JD Pharmacy offline chain store 

JD Pharmacy offline chain store 

Spending more on disease prevention

In the post-COVID era, keeping healthy is a top priority and more people are willing to spend money to do so. Products that help ensure a robust immune system were must-buys for many during the shopping festival: sales of vitamin/mineral products increased by 6 times YoY, probiotics products increased by 200% and enzyme products increased by 180%. Nourishment products for wintertime were also popular items in the shopping cart, with sales of tonic products’ sales increasing by 5 times, black sesame pills’ sales increasing by 3 times, and bird’s nests growth via overseas direct purchases doubling YoY.

Bookings of full-body checkups and vaccination services on surged at the same time. Orders for body checkup services increased by 160% YoY; HPV and flu vaccination orders both increased by 32 times YoY; and vaccine reservation orders for shingles, which most frequently occurs in winter, increased by 28 times compared with the same period last month.

Paying for the whole family’s health protection

Paying for higher quality healthcare services for vulnerable family members such as elderly parents, young children, and expectant mothers is a rising demand for many middle-aged Chinese people. JD Health presented diversified choices to answer these needs.

For example, products for osteoporosis prevention for the elderly increased by 7 times YoY, Calcium supplements for kids increased by 220 times YoY, and folic acid products for pregnant women increased by 130% YoY during the shopping festival.

Also worth mentioning is the family medicine kit introduced by JD Health, which has been well received by customers. In addition to the commonly used medicines for cold, fever, skin problems and more, the purchase of the kit also includes a free consultation service from professional pharmacists and offers replacements for expired medicines.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, China’s telemedicine industry has exploded. JD Health is at the forefront of that charge, with monthly consultations for JD’s Internet Hospital platform growing tenfold since the beginning of 2020, now totaling two million each month. Additionally, JD Pharmacy is growing rapidly, and recent cooperation agreements have been signed with major pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and GlaxoSmith Kline. With the influence of COVID-19, the top 5 products in terms of sales were nucleic acid testing (no comparison for last year as this is new this year), masks (up 17 times YOY), thermometers (up three times YOY), flu vaccinations (up 32 times YOY) and online medical consultations (up six times YOY). JD’s online consultations have become increasingly popular, especially for chronic disease management. The top three chronic disease-related consultations covered cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and respiratory diseases.

JD Pharmacy is growing rapidly, and recent cooperation agreements have been signed with major pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and GlaxoSmith Kline.