Significant growth in online sales, strengthening trend of brand going global, and Shanghai’s digital consumption driving force

After the official launch of the 2024 International Consumer Season and the 5th Shanghai “May 5th Shopping Festival” last night, the “2024 Shanghai Double Product Online Shopping Festival and Digital Life Festival” has also kicked off, which will continue from April 28th to May 12th.

During this period, local e-commerce platforms, enterprises, bases, and commercial districts will launch more than 80 content rich consumer promotion activities around the four major sectors of “digital products, digital services, green consumption, and digital commercial districts”, promoting the formation of a higher level of supply and demand dynamic balance in the field of digital consumption.

Digital Consumption Trends

In the process of economic fluctuations and consumer recovery, online consumption has maintained a good growth trend, which has also attracted attention to the activity of Shanghai that focuses on online shopping and digital consumption.

According to statistics from Shanghai, the total retail sales of consumer goods in the first quarter of this year reached 461.435 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 0.1%. Looking at different business models, the retail sales of non stores above the designated size increased by 9.5%, with online stores above the designated size increasing by 8.3%. According to statistics from key e-commerce enterprises in Shanghai, the city achieved an e-commerce transaction volume of 897.89 billion yuan in the first quarter, a year-on-year increase of 12.7%. According to the monitoring of business big data by the Ministry of Commerce, Shanghai achieved an online retail sales volume of 361.45 billion yuan in the first quarter, a year-on-year increase of 17.2%, accounting for 11% of the national total.

In the process of continuous upgrading of consumption, new online consumer brands that provide new products and services have achieved rapid development through the adoption of new technologies, new marketing, new platforms, and other means. At the launch ceremony of the 2024 Shanghai Double Product Online Shopping Festival and Digital Life Festival on the 28th, the Shanghai Online Shopping Chamber of Commerce selected and released the “Top 50 New Consumer Brands in Shanghai for 2023”, covering popular fields such as cosmetics, skincare, clothing, personal care, pets, home furnishings, mother and baby, food, and beverages. The list highlights the themes of health, aesthetics, pleasing oneself, environmental protection, China-Chic, etc., and also presents the trend characteristics of obvious online sales growth, brand innovation and going to sea. According to data, 88% of brands with annual sales of more than 100 million yuan account for 88%, and 18% of brands with annual sales of more than 1 billion yuan account for 18%; The total number of patents for the listed brands is close to 2000, a year-on-year increase of 41%; Overseas brands account for 34% of the list.

The Big Data Laboratory of the Consumer Market at Fudan University also released a report on the characteristics and trends of digital consumption development in Shanghai on site. The report shows that digital consumption in Shanghai presents four major characteristics: live streaming releases attention economy and the emergence of a massive number of dynamic entities; The digitalization process of physical commercial districts is accelerating, with two-way interaction with social media; The cultural tourism and entertainment industry has successfully attracted traffic to the commercial district, resulting in significant economic benefits; Digitalization supports brand growth, surpassing domestic products on new tracks.

Close linkage between government and enterprises

During the 2024 Shanghai Double Product Online Shopping Festival and Digital Life Festival, Shanghai will focus on industries such as home appliances, new energy vehicles, and rapidly growing beauty and daily chemical products, electronic products, sports apparel, and outdoor products, using digital innovation sales models to expand sales scenarios; Leveraging the advantages of international cooperation in the Silk Road e-commerce industry, we aim to assist in the introduction of high-quality products from overseas, as well as the export of domestic brands and new online consumer brands.

In terms of expanding the experience of digital services, Shanghai plans to launch new consumer formats, models, scenarios, and services around areas such as instant retail, lifestyle services, sports services, cultural and tourism services, and automotive services. Digitization will also drive the integration of business, tourism, and cultural activities, innovating integrated, immersive, interactive, and experiential consumer scenarios. At the same time, a full scenario digital RMB joint marketing promotion will be launched.

In order to promote the transformation of green consumption, Shanghai will focus on the “trade in” of household appliances and other consumer goods during this period, and introduce multiple subsidy and preferential measures from the government, enterprises, and other sources, as well as convenient recycling services such as sending new and taking old; Carry out green consumption activities such as “CD experts”, carbon accounts and low-carbon consumption activities, and green life festivals. In the field of innovative digital business district applications, Shanghai will also launch AR interaction technology, AI digital employees and other smart application innovations in the business district, creating a new consumption experience that integrates data and reality, links online and offline, and promotes consumption of goods and services.

Recently, Shanghai has issued a series of policies to stimulate consumer vitality. Among them, the “Several Measures for Shanghai to Further Promote the Linkage of Business, Tourism, Culture and Sports Exhibitions to Attract and Expand Consumption” clearly states that internationally renowned or domestically first-class large-scale concerts, music festivals, excellent plays, cultural, museum and art exhibitions held in Shanghai will be rewarded according to the different scales of audience flow; For major domestic and international sports events held in Shanghai, rewards will be given based on the different sizes of spectators or participants; For internationally renowned exhibition projects or large-scale exhibition projects held for the first time in Shanghai, rewards will be given based on the exhibition area or daily average attendance; Rewards will be given to international cruise tourism routes, visa free transit tourism products, and online tourism management platforms based on the number of international cruise voyages and inbound tourists.

The action plan for further improving payment facilitation in Shanghai and the special action plan for exchanging old for new consumer goods in Shanghai, which were launched simultaneously, have also formulated 16 and 21 specific measures, respectively. According to public reports, Shanghai will increase the number of registered wild card POS machines to 80000 this year, based on 45000 registered last year.

As a new e-commerce platform born in Shanghai, Pinduoduo will invest a total of 4.5 billion yuan in consumer subsidies for the May 5th Shopping Festival this year. Users in Shanghai can receive various subsidy vouchers by entering the special area. JD’s May Day price increase focuses on a full range of household appliances, partnering with over 500000 stores and numerous brands to invest a total of 1 billion yuan in subsidies in Shanghai. Taotian has established an online “trade in” zone, which provides a maximum subsidy of 10% on top of government subsidies, with a single transaction not exceeding 1000 yuan. Seven mainstream shopping malls, nearly 20 well-known brands and time-honored brands participated in the Nanjing Road pedestrian block. During the activity, nearly 50000 coupons were issued online and offline, and the overall profit margin exceeded 10 million.