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25 October 2022
Singles Day 2022: lots of products and muted expectations
Purchase behaviourEvent tie-insGreater China
Singles Day this year will have “the most diverse range of products in the event’s history”, according to Alibaba, but observers’ expectations for China's annual shopping festival on November 11 are muted.
It’s already started
Earlier this week, Alibaba kicked off its pre-sales activity, announcing there would be 290,000 brands with more than 17 million products available. JD.com and Pinduoduo have also begun promoting their offers, but all three e-commerce giants will be wary of losing sales to newer, non-retail players such as Douyin, Kuaishou and Bilibili.
Big picture isn’t encouraging
Singles Day has become something of a barometer of China’s consumer spending power, and right now the signs aren’t hugely encouraging: China’s economy has been slowing as it continues to suffer disruptions caused by lockdowns and its zero Covid-19 policy.
What's more, regulatory crackdowns have had an impact on tech firms, including the e-commerce sector. And the recent CCP conference, which saw President Xi Jinping strengthen his grip on power while also calling for “regulating the mechanism of wealth accumulation”, spooked investors.
Even if total spending doesn’t reach the level of past years, however, consumers could fare well at this year’s festival as platforms fight for limited attention and cash via price cuts.
“On the back of limited growth with the 618 [shopping event] and less razzmatazz surrounding this year’s festival, it would be fair to caution against expecting more than flat sales this year” – Mark Tanner, MD, China Skinny.