Presales for the biggest online shopping spree in China - Double Eleven (November 11), or Single's Day shopping festival - kicked off at the stroke of midnight on Wednesday, with millions of netizens staying up late to get special discounts offered by livestreaming promotions on e-commerce platforms.
Analyst said that livestreaming and other innovative forms of online shopping have become new growth points for the e-commerce industry and online consumption.
Within 10 minutes after pre-sales began on Taobao, Alibaba's e-commerce platform, the transaction volume for livestreaming promotions surpassed that of a full day last year, according to a report sent from Taobao to the Global Times on Wednesday.
The two most representative Taobao livestreaming booths, Viya, attracted 140 million audiences, and Li Jiaqi attracted 160 million audiences online at midnight.
Hot items like home appliances were sold out instantly. For exmaple, 12 cosmetics products, such as a Whoo skin care package and Yaman face-pump, sold over 100 million yuan ($15.02 million) worth of goods by 1 am on Wednesday, according to Taobao.
In the first hour of the pre-sale period on Taobao, the number of participants doubled from that of last year. The pre-sale result of more than 300 brands exceeded last year's turnover of the whole day, according to Taobao. For example, 210,000 Freeplus cleansing creams sold out in one second.
With e-commerce analysts estimating that some 800 million consumers will take part in the online shopping event, it will be the biggest consumption spree of the year. Transactions this year are expected to reach 856.74 billion yuan, according to a report from the China E-Commerce Research Center.
As of Wednesday, nearly 10 million tons of commodities had been prepared at Cainiao warehouses, the logistics section of Alibaba, or an average of 7.1 kilograms of goods for each Chinese, nearly double the amount in 2019.
Mo Daiqing, a senior analyst with the China E-Commerce Research Center, said that new forms of online shopping have boosted domestic demand and attracted consumers.
"Livestreaming is becoming a new growth point in e-commerce sales. E-commerce platforms are attaching more and more importance to livestreaming and the penetration rate is increasing rapidly," Mo told the Global Times on Wednesday.
On another e-commerce site of Alibaba, Tmall, more than 26,000 overseas brands from 84 countries and regions participated in the Double Eleven event, bringing a total of 1.2 million imported products to Chinese consumers, according to data from Tmall sent to the Global Times on Wednesday.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the shutdown of outbound travel. Cosmetics stores, department stores and duty-free stores that Chinese consumers like to visit abroad have all joined Tmall online, including LAOX, Japan's largest chain of duty-free shops, Mecca of Australia, Finnish supermarket chain Kesko and ALDI, Germany's biggest supermarket, according to a Tmall report sent to the Global Times.