JD.com says lower-tier cities and membership programme were crucial to 11.11 sales boost

While Alibaba saw a significant boost in sales for this week's 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, rival platform JD.com has revealed its own scorecard, hitting RMB 204.4 billion over its 11-day sales event.

In a post-event commentary, JD.com highlighted several factors that contributed to this year's success. The eCommerce company said that lower-tier cities drove new customer growth, with the number of orders placed by shoppers in lower-tier cities showing an increase of 60% year-on-year. Over 70% of JD.com's new users were from lower-tier cities and 55% were women.

To engage customers from lower-tier cities, JD.com leveraged its social e-commerce platform Jingxi (??) as a marketing tool to encourage online shopping by offering incentives, rebates, and promotions. During the promotion period, nearly 40% of new JD.com customers hailed from Jingxi.

?With Jingxi, we?ve developed a platform that can better serve the needs of lower-tier cities. JD connects manufacturers of quality products with consumers, providing a clear channel for these goods to reach lower-tier cities consumers," said Simon Han, vice president of JD.com and head of Jingxi.

Apart from lower-tier cities, the growth of JD.com's JD PLUS membership programme was also significant. During the Singles Day sales period, the average consumption volume of JD PLUS members was four times higher than that of non-PLUS members.

Members preferred new and higher quality products, with one particularly shop-hungry member?s purchases reaching a total of RMB 467,000.

JD.com also leveraged big data and AI to help customers navigate a wide variety of deals available during the shopping festival. Its AI-powered open platform Neuhub handled more than 29.8 billion requests on 11 November, providing content reviews, sentiment analysis, and voice recognition technology support. Meanwhile, its JD.com?s Smart Sentiment Customer Service handled over 34 million inquiries. This was in addition to the JD StarLink IoT platform supporting over 10,000 offline stores transforming to smart stores, integrating over 1,000 technologies and applications. And through all this, different types of coupons were offered to customers through targeting.

Lastly, yo celebrate the shopping festival, JD.com opened a giant brick-and-mortar store in Chongqing at midnight 11 November. As of noon on the first day of opening, more than 30,000 customers had visited the physical store, with sales totalling more than RMB 10 million in just the first hour after opening. According to JD.com, The 50,000 square-metre shopping mall offers more than 200,000 products and is the world's first mall covered by a 5G network.