New business models boost Spring Festival consumption
China Daily

Employees arrange deliveries at a courier firm facility in Huzhou, Zhejiang province, on Feb 8. (Photo:Xinhua)

During this year's Spring Festival, China's postal and express delivery industry received and delivered about 660 million parcels, a 2.6 times year-on-year increase. Key retail and catering enterprises nationwide registered a sales revenue of 821 billion yuan ($127 billion), a 28.7 percent year-on-year increase.

As the government asked people to remain in the cities they work in and avoid traveling to their hometowns for family reunions during the Chinese New Year holiday, to avoid transmission of the novel coronavirus, people's consumption shifted further online. Apart from shopping, many ordered their new year eve dinner online. With the rapid development of new technologies such as the mobile internet and smart logistics, people's lifestyles and consumption concepts have undergone widespread changes, giving rise to new consumption models.

For example, in order to milk the new consumption trend, some e-commerce platforms held "shopping festivals" during the Lunar New Year. Data show that Freshippo, a unit of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, saw a 40 percent increase in sales thanks to products that were tailor-made for Spring Festival, while e-commerce platform Tmall sold 190 million kilograms of high-quality agricultural products during the holiday.

The new concept gave people staying back in the cities during the holiday a feel of their "hometown", apart from boosting the cross-regional circulation of products.

The continuous upgrading of smart logistics is also improving the delivery time, drawing more people to order online. According to data from Meituan, nearly 70 percent of restaurants remained open during the holiday season and some restaurants launched supply-end innovations to meet consumers' demands for efficiency and high quality.

Consumption upgrading is also prompting enterprises to introduce products and services catering to consumers' specific needs. For example, some traditional products integrated with cultural elements and made environmentally friendly were a hit among consumers.

Spring Festival online shopping carts are evidence that China's consumer market still has huge potential, strong resilience and vitality, having stood the test of the novel coronavirus epidemic. At the same time, the role of the supply side in guiding the consumer market cannot be underestimated.

Driven by new business models such as online and offline integration, enterprises should take advantage of the trend to boost consumption upgrading. As long as they accurately grasp the pulse, tap people's needs and create new consumption points, the Spring Festival consumption boom will further boost economic growth.