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Alibaba's 6.18 Fuels the Country's Consumption Upgrade

Interactive Infographic - Modern Lifestyle on Tmall

During this year's 6.18 Mid-year Shopping Festival, many new and emerging consumption trends were observed on Tmall. Gen Z lifestyle preferences fueled growth in coffee, healthy meal replacements and low-proof beverage sales. Furry friends were also a major beneficiary of the lifestyle upgrade. Pet products experienced a tremendous boost in sales during this mid-year promotion. 

Play around with the graphics above to discover more about the latest Chinese lifestyle consumer trends.

China's Less-Developed Regions Unleash Spending Power

China’s less-developed regions have been fueling the country’s consumption upgrade, and this trend was no different during Alibaba Group’s 6.18 Mid-Year Shopping Festival (“6.18”). From June 1 to 10, Boluo county in southern China's Guangdong province, Guangrao county in central China's Shandong province and Yanshou county in northeastern China's Heilongjiang province generated the most orders on Taobao Deals, Alibaba’s dedicated app for direct-from-supplier products.
 
Favoring high-quality goods and services that enhance their living habits and standards, especially in the wake of the global pandemic, consumers from lower-tier markets showed a particular interest in personal care and wellness products. On June 1, the first official day of 6.18, mouthwash sales on Taobao Deals surged 560 times year over year, breath freshener orders jumped 14 times YoY and sales for electric nose-hair trimmers increased more than threefold YoY. Massage devices were also massively popular; portable massage guns, in particular, saw an explosive 27,000% YoY growth in sales.
 
To meet the growing demand from the country’s less-developed areas during the shopping festival, Taobao Deals featured 500,000 different products from Alibaba's 1688.com online wholesale marketplace as well as more than 20,000 tons of farm-to-app agricultural goods.

Life Gets Better for Shoppers of All Ages

This year’s 6.18 showed that there is no age limit when it comes to consumers wanting to look and feel their very best. An analysis of shopping carts revealed that younger consumers in China were increasingly embracing healthy lifestyles by reconnecting with the great outdoors. For example, glamping-related products, from tents to artisanal coffees and beers, soared in popularity during the festival. Fishing also reeled in the post-90s and post-95s generations, with the festival seeing many shoppers under the age of 25 buying the gear for this outdoor activity.

Meanwhile, young male shoppers have shown a keen eye for beauty, and from June 1-17 they helped drive a 40% YoY increase in sales for men’s cosmetics, with hot-selling products including foundations, mascaras, eyebrow pencils and shadows, among others. The pursuit of beauty, however, was not restricted to younger generations. For the first three days of the festival, the number of orders for hair-removal devices placed on Tmall Global by silver-generation consumers – that is, those over the age of 55 – increased 84% compared to the same period last year.
 
Indeed, the rapid development and improved inclusivity of the digital economy, coupled with the effects of the pandemic, have led older consumers to increasingly turn to e-commerce for their day-to-day needs. From June 1 to 3, the number of imported health products purchased by the over-55 demographic increased 31% YoY.

Trucks Carry on China’s Consumption Power

6.18 revved up China’s consumption demand, and the country’s busy freight-trucking operations duly reflected consumers’ appetite for deals and new products. According to a recent report jointly published by China Automotive News and Zhonghuan Satellite, the nation’s trucking utilization reached more than 75% of its total capacity during 6.18, a record high since the pandemic outbreak.

According to the report, close to two dozen manufacturing belts with supplier relationships with Tmall became especially popular docking areas for trucks before the 6.18 pre-sales period. These included Guangzhou and Shunde in Guangdong province, Yiwu and Wenzhou in Zhejiang province, Quanzhou in Fujian province and others. From June 1 to 15, over 1 million small and medium-sized businesses in manufacturing belts across the country generated more than double the number of sales compared to last year's event. 
 

Brands Find More Fans During 6.18

One major trend during this year’s 6.18 was the rise of brand loyalty programs. Initial figures showed that from June 1 to 16, brands added more than 60 million members* to their loyalty programs. Brands leveraged the buzz and promotions of 6.18 to increase the fan base for their Tmall flagship stores and used exclusive membership benefits to build up their customer awareness and loyalty propositions. Through an omnichannel approach that included the use of Alibaba’s many marketing features, such as Taobao Live and sales promotions, brands and sellers on the company’s e-commerce platforms were able to connect with consumers all across China, both online and offline, to achieve immediate sales success as well as establish solid foundations for long-term growth.
 
*The figure included multiple membership accounts that may have been registered by one single user.
 

Alibaba Reaches New Green Milestone for 6.18

The 6.18 festival has reached new green heights, as the company shared that it had reduced its per-order carbon emission by 18% compared to last year.
 
The lowered carbon footprint was made possible by Alibaba’s enhanced algorithm and reflects the company’s ongoing commitment to pursing sustainability through green technology and eco-conscious practices. The upgraded algorithm supports Alibaba’s retail platforms, including Taobao and Tmall, and uses machine-learning technology and AI features, such as the image-search function and personalized recommendations, that not only deliver optimized shopping experiences to consumers but also make computer processing more efficient, thereby reducing the resources needed to power large-scale shopping events such as 6.18.
 

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