Double 11 Shopping Festival 2023: Online-Offline Convergence, Live Streaming Boom and Gen Z Dominance

Jie Zhou

Jie Zhou
Published 21/12/2023 · 3 min read

The 2023 Double 11 shopping festival has come to an end. As it’s the first one after the pandemic, it generated a lot of international attention and signalled the recovery of China’s consumption. Merchants participated in the Double 11 this year through innovative sales strategies and realised an all-round online and offline strategy. Meanwhile, young people of Generation Z showcased a «rational reverse consumption» (focus on cost-effectiveness and rationality) approach when shopping.

According to the data, from 8:00 p.m. on November 10, 2023, to 24:00 p.m. on November 11, 2023, the integrated e-commerce GMV reached about 277.7 billion yuan (≈35,73 billion EURO, ≈31 billion GBP), generated 1.02 billion packages, with a customer order price of 272.01 yuan (≈35 EURO, ≈30 GBP).

Overseas purchase business sales of integrated e-commerce platforms amounted to 34.1 billion yuan, of which Tmall International accounted for 13%, Jingdong International accounted for 8%, Vipshop International accounted for 5%, etc.

Online and offline integrated, offline sales are booming

The Double 11 shopping festival has been developed for 15 years, and this year is the second year physical stores have joined the shopping festival. Compared to previous years, it truly realised the integration of online and offline.

Instant retail opened up a new way for physical stores to participate in the Double 11 through online operations, live-streaming, fast delivery service, and other links around localisation. Consumers could participate in the Double 11 activities online and then get attracted by vouchers to the offline stores or receive goods through “flash delivery” services to achieve the “What you see is what you get” instant consumption.

Live-stream shopping keeps its core influence

Today’s live-stream shopping has grown from an emerging industry to one of the mainstays of the e-commerce industry. As the main battlefield of the Double 11 promotion, the e-commerce live stream provides a powerful, interactive, intuitive experience to guide consumers to shop immediately and effectively. Most live streams are hosted by influential KOLs, further driving the shopping traffic.

During this year’s Double 11, live e-commerce accounted for 215.067 billion yuan (≈27.79 billion EURO, ≈24.15 billion GBP), accounting for 18.9% of the total GMV.
Douyin and Kuaishou performed particularly well, with a 71% year-on-year from October 20, 2023, to November 11, 2023, and a 50% increase for the full cycle, respectively. In addition, as of November 11, Taobao generated 89 live streams, with sales breaking 100 million yuan (≈12.78 billion EURO, ≈11.10 billion GBP). Jingdong said the total number of viewers of its live purchasing broadcasts on Double 11 exceeded 380 million.

The significance of the live stream room for brands has long ceased to be an additional online sales channel, brands also harvest record sales data and close exchange of communication and feedback with their customers.

Generation Z becomes the main spending power, with the reverse consumption trend

Reverse consumption, opposed to the traditional concept of consumption, which advocates avoiding the blind pursuit of brand names, luxury goods, and expensive consumer products and focusing more on the price/performance ratio and quality of the product, the innovation and personalisation of the product, and are willing to pay for unique designs and experiences.

According to this year’s Generation Z Double Eleven Consumer Behavior Report, 88.1% of these young people participated in the “Double 11” shopping festival, and 35.6% had a higher consumption budget than the Double 11 in 2022. 43.4% of them would identify their needs in advance and do good research on social media or websites before placing an order.

Another 30.62% of them would compare prices across multiple platforms before purchasing. 54.3% of those young people also paid attention to offline promotional information, and over 60% had equal or more spending in offline channels than in this year’s Double 11.

It’s worth noting that young people have begun to pay more attention to the consumption of health and experiential services, emphasising self-care and the quality of life. Nearly 60% of the “after 95” generation has purchased travel-related services in this year’s big promotion!

Double 11 Shopping Festival Overseas

The Double 11 Shopping Festival became a boom brought by big Cross-border e-commerce platforms such as AliExpress, it has started to be adapted as part of the marketing strategy by more and more overseas brands. This festival’s influence is expanding because of the increasing importance for overseas brands to attract and connect with Chinese consumers.

Many brands had their Double 11 campaigns this year with the sign “11.11” or “Single’s Day” on their e-commerce sites or physical stores in Europe and the UK. We have seen brands like Primor and Druni participating in the “Double 11” shopping festival with special discounts.

Meanwhile, Chinese consumers’ demand for cross-border goods is growing, and overseas brands are participating more in such events. Tmall International indicated that more than 1,600 overseas brands participated in this year’s shopping celebration for the first time. In the first four hours of the Double 11 sale, 1,540 overseas brands saw year-on-year growth of more than 100%, of which 593 new overseas brands doubled their turnover.

It goes without saying that utilising the Chinese holidays and festivals, such as Double 11’s business opportunities, will give brands an important basis for decision-making to win the Chinese market.

For European and UK merchants, a deeper understanding of Chinese consumers’ needs and consumption behaviour will be more conducive to brand promotion.

For example, focusing on the main purchasing force, Generation Z, follow and understand their shopping preferences and provide goods or services accordingly. In addition to the low-price strategy, brands also need to focus on product quality, after-sales service, and other aspects of improvement.

Build strategic campaigns and brand awareness, then achieve the word-of-mouth marketing effect on Chinese social media and collaborate with KOLs to improve the conversation further. Brands can even combine the shopping festival with Black Friday to create a longer-lasting promotion season.

Data source: Syntun, CICC Global Institute, Just So Soul Institute.

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