Consumers walk past an advertisement of "Double Eleven Shopping Festival" at a shopping mall in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province, on Nov 1. (Photp by LONG WEI/FOR CHINA DAILY)
"Almost half of surveyed consumers planned to increase their spending over last year on daily necessities, followed by purchases of clothing, fashion items, footwear as well as household and lifestyle products. In contrast, 39 percent of interviewees had no plans to purchase luxury goods during this year's event," said Justin Koh, senior vice-president of AlixPartners.
Some 88 percent of interviewees said they also participated in other discount festivals throughout the year, but the 11-11 campaign remains the most attractive discount bonanza.
The purchasing frenzy was in evidence as sales boomed on the grand opening day of the shopping event that kicked off at 8 pm on Oct 31, four hours earlier than in previous years. Data from Tmall, one of Alibaba's business-to-customer platforms, showed the turnover of 102 brands surpassed 100 million yuan each in the first hour of its promotional campaign.
Sales of home appliance products via JD's online marketplaces exceeded 1 billion yuan in the first minute of the gala, while the transaction volume of mobile phones such as Oppo, Vivo, Samsung and OnePlus surged 100 percent year-on-year in the first 10 minutes of the promotion, according to JD.
Moreover, 253 homegrown cosmetics and skincare brands saw sales skyrocket more than 100 percent year-on-year in the first 10 minutes, while sales of more than 1,500 outdoor sports brands skyrocketed 100 percent on a yearly basis during the brief period.
"Consumption plays a fundamental role in China's economic development and is the main driving force boosting economic growth," said Wang Yun, a researcher at the Academy of Macroeconomic Research.
Wang highlighted that Singles Day has played a vital role in stimulating consumer purchasing appetites, shoring up the confidence of shoppers and promoting the recovery of consumption.
Jason Yu, managing director of market research firm Kantar Worldpanel Greater China, said consumption plays a crucial part in bolstering the economic growth, and Singles Day serves as a pivotal event in unleashing consumers' purchasing potential.
"Chinese consumers have become more rational and paid more attention to the value of the things they buy during this year's shopping spree," Yu said, adding online retailers should take a longer-term perspective and regard Double Eleven as a very important part of their marketing strategies throughout the year.
"Retailers need to launch new products to attract a breed of new consumers, especially the young generation, and even the elderly people, with greater emphasis on establishing brand image. They should not only take the shopping festival as a gateway to boost sales, but also a significant opportunity for brand building," he said.
Consumption has become the bedrock for China's stable economic growth. Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that China's final consumption expenditure contributed to 52.4 percent of domestic economic growth in the third quarter, driving GDP growth by 2.1 percentage points.