Caixin
Nov 12, 2019 08:51 PM
DAILY CHART

Charts of the Day: E-Commerce Sites Book Mixed Performance for ‘Double 11’

Once a tongue-in-cheek tribute to China’s singletons, Nov. 11 (rendered as 11.11) has been wholly co-opted by China’s e-commerce industry and transformed into the world’s biggest shopping holiday.

China’s largest online retailer, New York-listed Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., and its rival JD.com Inc., released their gross merchandise volume (GMV) figures for the day at midnight Monday.

With analysts watching for signs of a softening economy, sales growth greater than 25% for both companies was impressive, but Alibaba’s sales grew their slowest in the festival’s 11-year history, while JD’s increased slightly faster than last year.

That was despite well-documented efforts from both companies to pump up their figures for the day through promotional gimmicks.

For Alibaba — the company that turned 11.11 into “Double 11” — total GMV across its suite of online platforms via affiliated payment service Alipay grew 25.7%, down from 27% growth last year, to a record of 268.4 billion yuan ($38.3 billion).

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JD.com, China’s second-biggest online retailer and Alibaba’s biggest rival, reported slightly faster GMV growth than for 2018, at a rate of 27.9%, to a total of 204.4 billion yuan. JD.com only began releasing GMV data in 2017, and counts things differently from Alibaba as the companies use different promotional gimmicks.

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None of the other major e-commerce platforms disclosed their Nov. 11 GMV figures — the total value of goods sold on the platforms for the day.

Suning.com Co. Ltd. released daily transaction growth figures but no total sales volume. Insurgent competitor Pinduoduo Inc., which is now more valuable than JD.com, once again declined to release figures.

Taobao Live, the company’s live-streaming arm, has stood out as a growing marketing-based revenue stream for the company. In cosmetics sales for example, live-streaming promotions by various internet celebrities contributed about 16% of the category’s total GMV.

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Taobao’s live-streaming product sales took just 63 minutes to see their sales pass their total Double 11 earnings last year. Live-streaming driven GMV amounted to nearly 20 billion yuan on Monday, Alibaba told Caixin.

Contact reporter Isabelle Li (liyi@caixin.com)

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