E-tailers cash in on Black Friday deals

2023-11-23 08:15:23China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Cross-border e-commerce platforms are doubling down on the Black Friday shopping carnival, which falls on Friday this year, as Chinese consumers demonstrate increasing demand for diversified, personalized and niche products, experts said.

Black Friday, which marks the start of the Christmas shopping season in the West, is a manic shopping day featuring deep discounts. In recent years, it has evolved into a bonanza for brick-and-mortar retailers, e-commerce players and consumers from around the world.

Amazon China Global Store, U.S. tech company Amazon's cross-border shopping platform for Chinese consumers, has kicked off this year's Black Friday shopping season, offering steep discounts on more than 2 million products covering about 20,000 international brands from four overseas sites in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan and Germany.

Sales of fragrance and skin care products, Japanese kitchenware, outdoor sports brands, virtual reality equipment, and healthcare and nutritional goods, have boomed on Amazon and are being increasingly favored by Chinese shoppers, said Li Yanchuan, head of Amazon China Global Store and Prime.

"Price, selection of products and logistics experience are the most important factors consumers consider while buying commodities," Li said, adding that he is bullish on the prospects of China's cross-border online shopping market.

Amazon China Global Store recently announced the launch of its first in-land bonded warehouse at the cross-border e-commerce comprehensive pilot area in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, to provide a more convenient delivery experience for Chinese consumers.

Li said the new bonded warehouse will be connected to Amazon's global fulfillment centers and offer millions of selections at faster delivery speeds. It is expected to save up to 10 days compared to direct international shipments, with the shortest delivery time being two days.

Cross-border e-commerce in China has made great strides in recent years. According to the General Administration of Customs, the country's cross-border e-commerce trade reached 2.11 trillion yuan ($295.8 billion) in 2022, up 9.8 percent year-on-year.

Mo Daiqing, a senior analyst at the Internet Economy Institute, a domestic consultancy, said major online cross-border retailers hope to grab the opportunities arising from the unfading enthusiasm of Chinese consumers, although China's Singles Day shopping extravaganza ended barely two weeks ago.

Black Friday as a cross-border shopping carnival has been growing in popularity in China as an increasing number of Chinese consumers scout for high-quality and personalized products from abroad, Mo said, adding they could snap up some winter apparel during the promotional event.

"Cross-border e-commerce has played a vital role in enriching product supply, promoting the development of new business models, and better meeting the needs of consumers," Mo said.

Meanwhile, Chinese cross-border online shopping platforms are looking to cash in on the Black Friday shopping spree, and ratcheting up efforts to expand their presence in overseas markets and accelerate the building of distribution centers to attract new users abroad.

Fast-fashion online retailer Shein started its Black Friday sales in advance, allowing consumers to get a head start on their holiday shopping. In addition to Black Friday early access, the company will offer Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales all month long on more than 300,000 products across categories, including stylish apparel, cozy home decor and gifts.

Short-video app TikTok, owned by Chinese tech company Byte-Dance, said its promotional event kicked off on Oct 27 and will last until Nov 30 after officially launching its e-commerce service — TikTok Shop — in the United States in September.

Chen Tao, an analyst at internet consultancy Analysys in Beijing, said cost-effective goods have shown some obvious advantages amid a global economic downturn, and the competition among cross-border e-commerce companies is expected to focus on the supply chain.

"The platform that can offer products at competitive prices, fast delivery and good shopping experience, will gain an upper hand in the fierce competition," he added.

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