Since last year’s Double 11, big e-commerce platforms like Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall, as well as rival JD.com, have chosen not to report gross merchandise value (GMV) after shopping festivals. This trend has continued through this year’s 618 festival, and they are doing the same at Double 11 this year.
This year, major platforms all banked on low prices to attract the now rational consumers. Taobao and Tmall displayed tags on items that had “the lowest prices online” while offering compensation if customers found lower prices elsewhere. Other offers included direct 15% off on items without the need to reach a certain order amount. JD.com had offers like 50 RMB (6.86 USD) off every 299 RMB (41.02 USD) spent across the platform, 20 RMB (2.74 USD) coupons and did away with presale to start the sale with items in stock.
However, both companies posted year-on-year growth in sales, as well as new records in several indicators. Taobao and Tmall Group reported growth in GMV, order number and participating merchants. As of midnight November 11th, 402 brands have over 100 million RMB (13.72 million USD) in GMV and over 38,000 brands saw more than 100% in sales growth. Similarly, JD.com reported record-high transaction volume, order volume and number of users.
Although the major individual platforms did not disclose precise growth figures, there are some estimates on cumulative GMV from the whole shopping festival. Syntun, a data provider, estimates that across all major platforms, the cumulative GMV sales grew 2.08% to 1.14 trillion RMB (156.40 billion USD) this year, while last year saw 2.9% growth.
Some, such as the state-owned tabloid Global Times, hail the platforms’ growth as a sign of the full recovery of consumption. At the same time, others think that e-commerce companies continuing to not disclose GMV figures is a sign that consumer sentiment is still a long way off recovering to pre-pandemic levels.