THE “Double 11” shopping festival in China has been held 15 times since 2009 and has evolved from a flash sale event with a few participating brands to a window reflecting China’s overall consumption vitality and habits.
According to data from major Chinese shopping platforms, domestic brands were highly popular with consumers during the 2023 Double 11 shopping festival.
Double 11, also known as Singles’ Day, was previously a one-day online shopping festival that fell each year on November 11 in China. Over time, the event has been extended to several weeks.
For this year’s festival, domestic brands in China have exploded in popularity. According to the data provided by domestic e-commerce platform Tmall, 243 domestic brands achieved sales exceeding 100 million yuan, and over 70,000 domestic brands doubled their first-day sales compared to last year.
Data from JD.com, another domestic e-commerce giant, showed that on November 11, domestic smartphone brands such as Xiaomi, Honor, Huawei, OPPO, OnePlus and vivo achieved sales of over 100 million yuan within 1 second.
According to data from Tmall, both new and established domestic brands have shown strong momentum in various sectors, particularly in the beauty industry.
During this year’s festival, sales for Herborist increased by 315 percent, for Hua Zhi Xiao by 689 percent and for Kefumei by 1,745 percent.
In the home furnishing sector, established domestic brands such as Linsy and Yeswood were the first to achieve sales exceeding 100 million yuan.
Data from Pinduoduo showed that promotions boosted sales for domestic beauty and fashion brands such as Bee & Flower, Yu Mei Jing, Shanghai Soap, Kong Feng Chun, Bai Que Ling and Pechoin. Some popular products saw sales growth of over 20 times.
In the past few years, domestic brands have gradually gained greater appeal among young people. This trend is expected to continue, with established domestic brands such as Feng Hua, Yu Mei Jing and Lian Hua frequently appearing in trending searches and hitting high sales.
According to a survey report released by AlixPartners ahead of the Double 11 festival, 66 percent of consumers planned to increase their consumption of Chinese brands, indicating a growing loyalty toward domestic brands.
The popularity of domestic brands and the rise of Generation Z as the main consumer force are closely related, said Wang Xianqing, president of the Guangdong Business Economics Association, according to Zhejiang News.
Wang noted that the generation no longer holds excessive admiration and fascination for foreign brands. In addition, domestic products speak for themselves in terms of quality, and are more in line with their consumption habits.
“I believe this trend will become more apparent in the future,” he said.
A 23-year-old female consumer from Beijing told the Global Times that she bought many domestic brands during this year’s Double 11 shopping festival.
“I used to prefer foreign brands, but in recent years, I have become more aware of the premium effect of those brands,” she said. “Domestic brands are usually priced lower but are still good quality.”
She also hopes to support more domestic brands through her purchases, allowing them to invest more in product development.
Another 25-year-old shopper from Hangzhou told the Global Times that she believes domestic brands offer better value for money. After comparing domestic and foreign cosmetics brands, she thought there was not a significant difference in terms of quality.
However, she mentioned the “Li Jiaqi incident,” which made her realize that domestic brands also invest heavily in marketing.
This makes her think about the actual value of the product more before making a purchase, she said.
“Our domestic products now have considerable product quality and cost-effectiveness,” said Tian Xuan, associate dean and chair professor of finance with the PBC School of Finance at Tsinghua University.
He said that although the popularity of domestic brands is related to marketing to some extent, there are other underlying reasons for it.
“Chinese brands that are well established have the foundations for market competition,” he said. “It is necessary to seize this opportunity, continuously innovate, grasp new consumer trends, constantly enrich products, and maintain product quality. At the same time, it is important for them to ensure reasonable prices, operate with integrity, strengthen market competitiveness, and achieve long-term development.”
Meanwhile, the overall strong sales momentum of domestic e-commerce platforms shows an optimistic outlook for recovery of consumption in the fourth quarter, Zhang Yi, CEO of iiMedia Research Institute, told the Global Times.