The Coronavirus’ devastating impact on the world’s economy is yet to be fully realized. With hundreds of millions of consumers in North America, the EU and Australia facing economic insecurity as a result of COVID-19, and also sitting at home and not purchasing goods and services, many companies are left to search for some sort of relief. For those organizations that are finding themselves with excess product sitting idly on a dock or stowed away in a warehouse, China’s 30 billion dollar mid-year shopping festival, colloquially known as 618, could bring the much sought-after relief.
618 is outshone only by 11/11 Singles’ Day on China’s calendar of popular shopping holidays. The 18-day event begins at the start of June and features progressively enticing promotions that, in 2019, resulted in Chinese e-commerce platforms breaking sales records. JD.com alone reported over 200 billion yuan worth of orders. Considering Singles Day 2019 managed to surpass 618 in GMV, and China’s online annual retail transaction value is worth $1.5 trillion USD and growing, the 2020 installment of 618 is sure to be the richest one yet.
China’s relative success in blunting the rise of new Coronavirus infections and a subsequent easing of lockdown restrictions presents two additional factors that could make this year’s 618 festival the biggest yet.
While most of the Western world installs increasingly severe isolative measures that will inevitably slow-down the rate of commerce, China is at the forefront of affected countries that are successfully flattening the curve. Assuming a continuation of this positive trajectory, the Chinese government will be cautiously quick to encourage its citizens to begin shopping again. Furthermore, it is more likely than not that Chinese consumers will continue, if not accelerate, their old habits of shopping online even if they begin to emerge from their homes in a post-COVID world.
This year’s 618 thus presents a unique opportunity to brands and companies looking to enter China’s e-commerce market and move through inventory at a time when the Coronavirus backlog makes moving existing stock particularly difficult. Although there was a time when setting up a web presence in China used to take the better part of half a year, thanks to new advancements in the e-commerce space, the time-frame has shrunk considerably.
The China E-Commerce Accelerator Program launched by WPIC Marketing + Technologies is designed to be the fastest way possible for retailers in North America, Europe and Australia feeling the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic to prepare for and leverage this year’s 618 shopping festival.
The program allows companies to have their Tmall and JD store activations materialize in days as opposed to weeks. It also includes an expedited Discripto(TM) data program to promptly identify the best merchandising strategy, and inform on the most optimal tactics for each brand, depending on which product category the organization finds itself in.
Following on the success of WPIC’s conference call on Tuesday, March 24th that unveiled the China E-commerce Accelerator Program, WPIC will be hosting a follow up conference call on Friday March 27th at 10:00 AM PT, to answer some of the most common questions that organizations are asking about first steps in China e-commerce. A registration form for the conference call can be found here.
The outbreak of the novel Coronavirus has reminded people the world-over that there are factors beyond our control that can sharply and negatively impact our lives. The globe’s collective health and a return to normalcy are undoubtedly the utmost priority for all. A resumption of the flow of goods would be one indicator that a return is not far off.