In this year’s annual summer shopping event, JD.com — Alibaba’s main competitor — increased its sales by a whopping 37%. It was the first time it integrated physical stores into its promotional campaigns.
China’s second biggest e-commerce platform JD.com raked in around $24.7 billion (RMB 159.2 billion) in sales during an annual summer sale it launched to compete with rival platform Alibaba‘s Single’s Day online retail event.
Transactions during the “618” online shopping festival were up 37% compared to the same period last year, the company reported.
The 618 event was launched by JD.com in 2010 to celebrate the company’s founding on June 18. To commemorate the date, it runs from June 1-18.
According to Technode, this was the first time the e-commerce giant included brick-and-mortar stores in its promotional campaigns.
JD Daojia, the company’s online-to-offline business, allows customers to order products at nearby stores online and then have JD deliver them within an hour. The idea falls under the umbrella of the Jack Ma-coined New Retail concept, a vision in which online and offline experiences merge.
The total sales of JD Daojia increased five times on June 18 compared with the same period last year, according to JD.
JD Daojia reported that it optimized staff deployment and managed store capacity by estimating in advance the volume of orders that would be placed during the promotional campaign based on the data stores had accumulated on the platform.
Electronic products and home appliances including mobile phones, personal computers and air conditioners, were the most popular items, according to JD.
This year, the retailer established partnerships with foreign and local supermarket chains including Walmart, Sam’s Club, Yonghui, Better Life and China Resources Vanguard. Walmart’s sales on the platform quadrupled and Yonghui Supermarkets’ increasing by a factor of five, JD reported.
The event still trailed Alibaba’s Single’s Day — also known as Double 11 — and held on Nov. 11. In 2017, Alibaba’s promotional sale brought in nearly $26 billion (RMB 16.8 billion). The event has become one of China’s biggest annual shopping sprees.