Taobao Drops Presales for China’s 618 Shopping Festival
Chen Yangyuan
DATE:  May 07 2024
/ SOURCE:  Yicai
Taobao Drops Presales for China’s 618 Shopping Festival Taobao Drops Presales for China’s 618 Shopping Festival

(Yicai) May 6 -- Taobao Tmall Commerce Group, the Alibaba business unit that runs the e-commerce giant’s two main shopping sites in China, has scrapped presales for this year’s 618 shopping festival after almost a decade of using the strategy.

The two sites -- Taobao and Tmall -- will instead offer spot sales starting from 8 p.m. on May 20 and 8 p.m. on May 31, Yicai learned. They will also open multiple online marketing channels for different types of merchants.

Alibaba rival JD.Com, which started the 618 shopping festival in 2010, ditched presales last year. It is also expected to have two spot sales periods, though the company has yet not confirmed that.

Tmall has followed suit this year to stop shoppers from switching to other platforms during the presales period, said Li Chengdong, e-commerce analyst and founder of think tank Dolphin.

Similar to Singles’ Day (or Double 11) and Double 12, the mid-year 618 shopping festival is one of the biggest online retail events in China. The country’s leading e-commerce platforms, which also include Pinduoduo and Douyin, logged gross merchandise volume of CNY798.7 billion (USD111 billion) over the course of last year’s event, according to data firm Syntun.

The problems of the presale model include the failure to deliver goods in time, higher prices, inconsistencies in after-sales services, and even financial risks, Zhuang Shuai, retail e-commerce expert and founder of Bailian Consulting, pointed out. These issues can affect the reputation of platforms and merchants and drive away buyers, Zhuang added.

Their demise has a relatively limited impact on merchants. A home furnishings vendor on Taobao explained that with the promotions continuing this year, the pressure on the inventory will be minimal.

For merchants, the demise of presales has a relatively limited impact. A home furnishings vendor on Taobao said that since daily sales are mainly spot goods, and Taobao has been promoting sales continuously this year, with promotions normalized, there is not much pressure to stock up.

The end of presales will be likely followed by the introduction of new innovative marketing methods, which will begin to debut at this year’s 618, according to Zhang Yi, an analyst and chief executive of iiMedia Research. In addition to offering discounted prices, platforms and vendors will also focus on product innovation and meeting consumer needs, Zhang noted.

Editor: Futura Costaglione

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Keywords:   Alibaba,Taobao,Tmall