Livestream e-commerce will continue to be an important tool to reach increasingly online buyers, while subsidized shopping—either through discounts or coupons—will be key to retaining users in a weak economy, as more price-sensitive users from lower-tier cities become the major growth engine for e-commerce.
As sales rebound, 618 has basically fulfilled the hopes placed upon it by both e-commerce platforms and the government: to spur post-Covid consumption recovery as the biggest shopping event after a months-long nationwide lockdown.
After lockdown policies forced the shopping experience to move online, the state stepped in with a brand-new digital subsidy program worth billions, and brands are taking advantage of the popularity of livestream e-commerce to boost their business.
First launched in 2010 by JD.com on June 18 to mark its anniversary, 618 spread to other commerce platforms as a lower-profile rival of Singles’ Day—China’s biggest shopping festival, which was created by Alibaba and is held annually on November 11.
In China, shopping festivals have become landmark events that are used to build a “new normal” for sales volumes and to test e-commerce infrastructure.
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