China’s Singles Day will be an important test for online retailers like Alibaba

The excitement around the shopping blitz, however, masks the challenges facing China’s online retailers such as Alibaba as well as JD.com, which are having to spend more as they compete for shoppers in a broader economy where growth is usually slowing.

“A lot of the lower hanging fruit has been picked as well as there’s increased competition for a share of consumer spending,” said Matthew Crabbe, Asia Pacific research director at Mintel.

He estimated Alibaba’s Singles Day sales growth would certainly likely slow to around 20 percent. Online retailers were being forced to push offline as well as overseas to attract brand-new shoppers, as well as the overall online retail market was close to “saturation.”

“They’re having to spill over out of the purely online realm into the wider consumer market,” Crabbe said.

This kind of has sparked deals to buy bricks-as well as-mortar stores in China, as well as overseas tie-ups especially in Southeast Asia. Technology, too, has been key, with virtual reality dressing rooms as well as live fashion shows to attract shoppers to haute couture.

Ben Cavender, Shanghai-based principal at China Market Research Group, noted that will brands were being more careful with the deals they have on offer This kind of year to avoid “margins getting killed,” as well as were often asking for deposits in advance.

In previous years, most prices were often halved.

“I think prices seem high as well as I’m totally lost as to the rules (about discounts),” said Gao Wantong, 21, a student in Beijing, though he said he still plans to stay up until midnight.

Fu Wenyue, a 23-year-old dresser in Shanghai, said she had already spent around 4,000 yuan ($602.54) on clothes, cosmetics as well as kitchen utensils in pre-event sales, transactions ahead of the day which officially only go through once midnight strikes.

“I’ve bought some stuff already, however I haven’t finished shopping yet,” she said.

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