The festive e-shopping frenzy
More and more consumers are turning to online platforms to buy their Chinese New Year essentials as these virtual stores allow them to avoid the crowds and gain access to a wider selection of goods
spianata calabra from Hubei province, seafood from Dalian of Liaoning province, as well as snacks from Xiamen of Fujian province and Macao.
According to JD.com, the most popular products for this year’s Chinese New Year are wines (119 percent month-on-month increase), nuts (95 percent) and home appliances (89 percent). However, the popularity of items generally vary in the country’s different regions. For example, the top three products purchased in East China are white wine, nuts and laundry detergent, said Liu Hui, director of public relations at JD.com.
In the lead-up to the Spring Festival, the daily sales of fresh groceries and imported goods bought on JD.com have grown exponentially as well, with the majority of the orders being placed by white collar workers aged between 26 and 35.
Other items, such as children’s books, air purifiers and flat-screen televisions, have also seen a big spike in sales.
Over at Amazon China, the most popular items for the Chinese New Year include books, kitchenware, apparel, shoes, baby products and beauty goods .
“It is a Chinese tradition to wear new clothes during the New Year and this tradition has resulted in a surge of our apparel sales. Clothes used to be ranked seven among all categories last year but this year it has jumped to third,” said Brandy Niu, vice-president of Amazon China.
The upgrade in consumption demands of Chinese consumers in recent years has also inherently boosted the sales of premium items in the lead-up to the Spring Festival. In first-tier Chinese cities, goods such as cosmetics, designer handbags and imported air purifiers rank among the most popular, according to data from Netease Koala, an e-commerce site that specializes in cross-border trades.
“People, especially those in firsttier cities, are seeking personalized products these days for a special New Year experience,” said Wang Zheng, spokesperson from Netease Koala.
For Dai Yun, her New Year’s gift to her 9-year-old daughter is not a toy or a new bag for school. Rather, it will be a trip to Hokkaido, Japan. Even the presents she had been giving to her parents have changed. Since a few years ago, she had been gifting them therapeutic devices and electronic footbaths, items she said they like very much.
Business owners, too, have been getting in on the action. Ge Cong, the owner of an advertising agency, said that he will be giving away imported air purifiers and eye masks to motivate his staff to perform better in the coming year.
“I want to make it special this time. Sending pragmatic and highquality gifts will help them get off to a good start,” said Ge, who budgeted around 10,000 yuan for these New Year presents.
He Wei in Shanghai contributed to this story.
People shop for decorative flowers and plants at a shopping mall in Shanghai ahead of the Lunar New Year.