China’s “Single’s Day” (aso know as “Double 11 Day”) has become a well-known online shopping carnival. However, in recent years, “Single’s Day” is not only an online shopping holiday but also a famous offline event which attracts physical store retailers’ attention and offers discounts and promotions for consumers.
The Omni-channel Insight Report for ‘Single’s Day’ 2017 by Nielsen shows that consumers are fairly enthusiastic about participating in the “Single’s Day” offline shopping promotions, with 44% of consumers willing to take part in offline shopping events and, among them, young people under 35 are more active in turning from online platforms to the offline ones, with half of the consumers aged 25 or below and 47% of consumers ages 26 to 35 ready for offline shopping events.
“The ‘New Retail’ has exerted a huge impact on traditional retail industry and modern consumer behavior has also experienced a sharp change with the emergence of a new shopping mode— “online orders, offline delivery, and online promotions, offline sharing.” ‘New Retail’ is a new mode in which online and offline shopping become each other’s channel with logistics as the link. Online and offline shopping are no longer in hostile competition but in a complementary relationship so as to achieve a two-way closed-loop flow. Besides the direct experiences that online shopping cannot provide, physical stores may also offer discounts as great as those of e-commerce platforms,” Vice-president of Nielsen China, Tommy Hong said.
Mr. Hong said that online consumers’ shopping path is quite simple during the early stages of e-commerce: search online first, compare products and price, place order online, and at last leave comments and feedback. But in today’s ‘New Retail’ environment, people can see that the trends impacted by marketing and the information sources and channels are all rapidly increasing. The world of the new generation of online consumers will be more complex, fragmented and varied.
Nielsen’s report found many reasons why consumers who are willing to participate in offline shopping during this year’s “Single’s Day” festival. The first reason is “to better judge the quality of products in offline stores “(69%), and “to have on-site experience” (59%). There is also an interesting phenomenon that middle-aged consumers (aged 46 or above) prefer most to shop in physical stores (82%) and married people without children are most concerned about the quality of products (79%). Among consumers who chose “Don’t need to worry about out of stock issues”, 47% are high-income consumers with a monthly personal income over 20,000 yuan.
We can see that the pursuit of quality and experience of Chinese consumers is gradually increasing, and consumers are more and more impatient, especially for the middle-aged, high-income group, which is the core demographic of modern consumers. Improving product quality and consumer experience are the key to winning the market for both online and offline platforms.
Hong remarked, “This year we will see the ninth ‘Single’s Day’ festival. In the increasingly intense “e-commerce war”, the regular routine of “lower prices” will give consumers visual fatigue and consumers have been gradually out of blind pursuit of low prices. With the increased consumption power, consumers start to pay more and more attention to experience and service, and the new mode with integration of online and offline channels will bring about better experiences for consumers. In the future, the O2O experience consumption will become the mainstream choice for consumers.”
With the changes of consumers’ spending habits, e-commerce also begins to diversify. Traditional enterprises continue to transform under fierce competition with e-commerce companies. O2O, as one of the most important channels of online and offline integration, opens an important part of the whole channel business. And O2O gradually covers more and more areas of commerce, with developments occurring across the food, retail, education and training and automobile industries.
More and more businesses and supermarkets choose to settle on O2O platform and provide home delivery services, reducing consumers’ concerns about time and labor cost. Nielsen’s report shows that 77% of consumers who are willing to participate in this year's 21 events will consider O2O platform events, and 57% of the respondents believe that the O2O platform is more flexible because it saves time and energy, even compared with traditional e-commerce platforms. In addition, because offline business and supermarkets have earned a positive reputation in recent years, most consumers think that the quality of their products can be guaranteed.
Hong also said, “The ‘New Retail’ has developed rapidly in 2017, for both e-commerce platforms and retail stores, and no matter which way they adjust, they should put consumers’ needs first and lead the whole industry to a period of higher efficiency and quality, and better user experience. This mode of integration of all channels actually optimizes consumers’ shopping experience and enriches their choices. Online and offline linkage will become the key words of this year’s ‘Single’s Day’ shopping carnival, redefining the chain of ‘consumers—products—markets.’ The new mode in which online and offline shopping become each other’s complementary channels with logistics as the link will become the key to winning the market during this year’s ‘Single’s Day’ shopping carnival.”