China, with its massive population and rapidly growing economy, has become a global ecommerce powerhouse. Alongside world famous shopping holidays like Singles Day (11.11) and 618, another prominent shopping event is gaining immense popularity in the country – the Double 12 Shopping Festival.
Let’s look at Double 12, exploring the pros and cons for the Chinese people, significance of the December 12 date, participation methods for both Chinese and international consumers, impact on Chinese retailers, the potential for future growth, and competition against other shopping holidays.
The choice of December 12th as the date for the Double 12 Shopping Festival holds significance. The festival’s name is derived from the date itself, with “Double” representing the repetition of the number 12 (12.12). By selecting this date, organizers aimed to create a memorable and easily recognizable shopping event that complements Singles Day.
China’s Most Popular Ecommerce Shopping Festival Days
China’s ecommerce landscape is punctuated by several important shopping festivals that have significant impact on consumer behavior, sales and economic activity. Below we rank the top five most popular Chinese shopping festival days:
- Singles Day (11.11) – November 11th:
Singles Day, also known as Double 11, is the largest and most influential shopping festival in China. It was originally created by Alibaba in 2009 as a marketing gimmick and has since grown into a global shopping phenomenon.
On this day Chinese consumers take advantage of massive discounts, flash sales and promotions across various e-commerce platforms. Singles Day has broken numerous sales records year after year and inspired similar shopping holidays worldwide. The festival’s name is derived from the date – 11/11 – symbolizing single individuals treating themselves to gifts.
- 618 Shopping Festival (618) – June 18th:
The 618 Shopping Festival – named after its date (6/18) – is another significant event in China’s ecommerce calendar. It was initiated by JD.com in 2004 to celebrate the company’s anniversary and quickly evolved into one of the most important shopping events.
Similar to Singles Day, the 618 festival features substantial discounts, attractive deals and intense marketing campaigns. JD.com and other major e-commerce platforms participate, attracting consumers looking for bargains ahead of the summer season.
- Double 12 Shopping Festival (Double 12 and 12.12) – December 12th:
The Double 12 Shopping Festival is held on 12/12 or December 12th, just a month after Singles Day. It serves as an extension of the shopping frenzy and provides retailers with another opportunity to clear inventory and boost sales before the year end.
While it is not as massive as Singles Day, the Double 12 festival holds its own and continues to gain popularity and attract consumers seeking post-Singles Day deals. In fact, there are many more deals and much better prices on the best name brands on the Double 12 Shopping Festival Day because the manufacturers and retailers are clearing out inventory before Chinese New Year.
- Chinese New Year Shopping Festival – January or February each year varies:
The Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is the most important traditional festival in China, marked by family reunions and cultural celebrations. In recent years, it has also become a significant shopping period.
Prior to the holiday, retailers offer special promotions and discounts and consumers shop for gifts, new clothes and various festive items. The spending spree during the Chinese New Year period boosts sales for retailers and contributes to the overall consumer sentiment in the country.
- Mid-Autumn Festival Shopping Festival – September or October each year varies:
The Mid-Autumn Festival is a traditional Chinese holiday celebrated to honor family reunions and the harvest moon. Similar to the Chinese New Year, this festival has also transformed into a shopping occasion.
During the Mid-Autumn Festival, mooncakes – a traditional Chinese pastry – become a popular gift and retailers offer promotions and discounts on mooncake gift sets and other festive products. The Mid-Autumn festival provides retailers with an opportunity to drive sales in the lead up to the holiday.
Importance of Chinese Shopping Festivals
Chinese shopping festivals play a critical role in the country’s retail industry and have several significant implications:
- Economic Impact:
Chinese shopping festivals have an enormous economic impact, generating massive sales and boosting consumer spending. The festivals contribute significantly to the overall economic growth of the country and provide a boost to various industries, including retail, logistics and manufacturing.
- Consumer Behavior:
Chinese consumers have come to anticipate and plan for these shopping festivals often postponing major purchases until these events. The festivals create a sense of urgency, driving impulse buying and consumer excitement.
- Global Influence:
Singles Day, in particular, has gained global recognition and has become an international shopping event attracting consumers from around the world. This global reach has helped Chinese retailers and brands expand their customer base beyond China’s borders.
- Innovation and Marketing:
Chinese shopping festivals push retailers to innovate and develop creative marketing strategies to stand out in a highly competitive market. The festivals have also spurred collaborations between brands, influencers and ecommerce platforms.
- Logistical Challenges:
The surge in online orders during these festivals poses significant challenges for logistics and delivery services. Retailers need to prepare in advance to ensure smooth and timely deliveries to meet consumer expectations.
The Chinese shopping festivals, including Singles’ Day, 618, Double 12, Chinese New Year, and the Mid-Autumn Festival, hold immense significance in China’s ecommerce landscape. These festivals not only drive massive sales and boost the country’s economy but also shape consumer behavior and influence global retail trends.
As China’s ecommerce market continues to evolve, these shopping festivals are likely to remain vital events for consumers and retailers alike impacting the way people shop and engage in commerce both within China and beyond.
What is the Double 12 Shopping Festival?
The Double 12 Shopping Festival, also known as the 12.12 Shopping Carnival, is an annual ecommerce extravaganza held on December 12th in China. It serves as a continuation of the shopping fervor that begins on Singles Day (11.11) and extends the shopping spree for an additional period of time.
The festival has gained prominence in recent years with various online retailers, ecommerce platforms and brick and mortar stores offering enticing discounts and promotions to entice consumers. The last few years, brick and mortar stores have really embraced Double 12 as the best performing and most successful shopping festival for local independent shops.
Pros and Cons of Double 12 Shopping Festival for the Chinese People
There are several advantages and disadvantages of offering so many shopping festivals to the Chinese people. How do you hold their interest every couple months? Do people have enough discretionary income to participate? What about damage to the environment? We discuss the pros and cons of China’s shopping festivals below:
Pros of the Double 12 Shopping Festival:
- Discounts and Savings:
Double 12 provides an opportunity for Chinese consumers to enjoy substantial discounts and savings on a wide range of products. This comes in handy especially during the holiday season when people are looking to buy gifts and other items at lower prices.
- Extended Shopping Period:
As a one day shopping event following Singles Day, Double 12 allows consumers more time to catch up on deals they might have missed or explore new discounts for items they didn’t purchase on the previous holiday.
- Variety of Products:
Ecommerce platforms during Double 12 offer an extensive array of products, from electronics and fashion to household items and cosmetics catering to diverse consumer preferences.
Cons of the Double 12 Shopping Festival:
- Overspending and Impulse Buying:
With attractive deals flooding the market, there is a risk of overspending and succumbing to impulse buying, which can lead to financial strain for some consumers.
- Proximity to Singles Day:
Coming one month after Singles Day – the largest and most popular Chinese Shopping Festival – is tough to compete against. Double 12 needs to find a way to stand out as different – and it does just that by offering better deals – but following Singles Day puts a strain on consumers for sure.
- Logistical Challenges:
The surge in online orders during Double 12 can put a strain on logistics and delivery services leading to potential delays in receiving purchased items.
How Do I Participate in Double 12?
Participating in the Double 12 Shopping Festival is relatively straightforward for Chinese consumers. The majority of Double 12 sales occur on various e-commerce platforms such as Alibaba’s Tmall and Taobao, JD.com and many more.
Chinese consumers browse through these platforms and take advantage of discounts, coupons and flash sales. Brick and mortar stores and local independent shops also participate in Double 12 by offering substantial discounts and promotions. Chinese shoppers visit the physical stores to find deals on products they are interested in.
A few days ahead of the Double 12 Shopping Festival, consumers often start preparing early by creating wish lists of items they want to purchase and even add them to company websites before 12/12. This allows them to quickly add items to their carts and check out once the deals go live at midnight December 12th.
In recent years, Chinese retailers have made efforts to expand the reach of the Double 12 Shopping Festival beyond the country’s borders allowing international consumers to join the shopping extravaganza:
- Cross-border Ecommerce Platforms:
Chinese cross-border ecommerce platforms, such as AliExpress, have been at the forefront of enabling international participation in Double 12. These platforms allow consumers from around the world to access Chinese products and take advantage of Double 12 deals.
- Promotions on Global Websites:
Some Chinese retailers and brands with a global presence may offer Double 12 promotions and discounts on their international websites, ensuring that consumers outside of China can also benefit from the shopping festival.
- Social Media and Influencers:
Social media and influencers play a crucial role in promoting Double 12 to international audiences. Through marketing campaigns and sponsored content, Chinese retailers can reach a wider global audience.
Impact on Chinese Retailers
The Double 12 Shopping Festival holds significant importance for Chinese retailers. Double 12 provides an excellent opportunity for retailers to boost their year end sales and revenue. The festival comes at a time when consumers are already in a shopping mood making it an ideal occasion to capitalize on increased demand.
For retailers looking to clear their old inventory before the end of the year, Double 12 offers a chance to offload products through attractive discounts and deals. The intense competition during Double 12 encourages retailers to engage in creative marketing strategies to stand out. This in turn, helps in building brand awareness and customer loyalty.
Will Double 12 Continue to Grow and Compete?
The Double 12 Shopping Festival has witnessed significant growth in recent years, but whether it will continue to expand and compete with other prominent shopping holidays like Singles’ Day and 618 depends on several factors.
The festival’s success relies heavily on consumer demand for discounts and the overall shopping experience. If Chinese consumers continue to show enthusiasm for Double 12, it is likely to grow further. The participation of major retailers and ecommerce platforms is crucial for the festival’s success.
If retailers continue to invest in marketing efforts and offer attractive deals, it will drive consumer interest and boost the festival’s growth. Retailers need to differentiate their offerings and create unique selling propositions to maintain Double 12’s relevance and competitiveness.
The Double 12 Shopping Festival ia a prominent event in China’s annual retail calendar offering both Chinese and international consumers the chance to enjoy significant discounts and savings on a diverse range of products.
While it shares similarities with other shopping holidays like Singles Day and 618, Double 12’s unique position on December 12th (12/12) allows it to extend the shopping excitement and provide retailers with an additional opportunity to boost sales.
As consumer demand and retailer involvement continue to shape the shopping festival’s growth, Double 12 has the potential to remain a key player in China’s ecommerce landscape, driving economic activity and delighting shoppers for years to come.
Visit Double12.com for more information.