As China’s biggest national holiday appears on the horizon, netizens have been busy stocking up on all the essentials needed to make festivities run smoothly.
With the virus still looming large in peoples’ minds, health products are naturally a major trend of the pre-Spring Festival shopping season. Data from Alihealth, Alibaba’s pharmaceutical branch, showed a 400% increase in sales of products claiming to have immunity-boosting properties, such as protein powder and “magic fungus” spore powder.
Having garnered huge attention online in December for allegedly possessing COVID-repellent powers, preserved peaches are also among the popular health-related products capturing this year’s mood of both celebration and caution.
Many such purchases are made by young people looking for gifts for older relatives. According to a report released by the e-commerce company JD.com, 70% of users plan to purchase gifts specifically aimed at showing their respect for their elders, which include health and nutrition products as well as alcohol and cakes. In contrast to these more traditional gifts, many young people are also opting for the latest gadgets to give to older relatives, with popular products varying widely from AI-driven chess sets to smartwatches.
These findings reflect the continuation of the “stay at home economy” trend, which rose to prominence in 2022 as some major cities in China experienced lengthy lockdowns whilst elsewhere people prepared for the same scenario.
Following the recent lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, Chinese consumers are keen to avoid bringing the virus home for Chinese New Year, choosing at-home shopping over gathering in crowded places.
E-commerce sites such as JD.com have been crucial in facilitating the increased demand in the run-up to the holiday season, including reserving sufficient delivery transportation well in advance and extending operating hours in some cases.
With online shopping platforms doubling down efforts and gifting demands skyrocketing as migrants get set for family reunions, this festive season will help kick the slowed economy back into gear.