- JD.com's 618 Shopping Festival, which ran from June 2 to June 18, racked up 159.2 billion yuan ($24.6 billion in U.S. dollars), a record for the company, according to Coresight Research. This was a 37% increase over last year.
- The top sales categories were mobile phones, PCs, air conditioners, other digital products, and food and beverages. Sales of mobile phones were especially hot, reaching 10,000 units in eight seconds on June 18, and 100 million yuan in 30 seconds.
- The festival was also a logistical success. During the 18-day sale, JD.com employed 27 unmanned warehouses, with an increase in daily order-processing power of 1,415% over the previous year. JD.com-operated stores delivered 90% of orders within one or two days during the 618 festival period, Coresight reported.
Merchant-specific shopping events reached another milestone as JD.com — which Google recently invested $550 million in — notched record sales during its annual 618 Shopping Festival this year.
The festival is intended to celebrate the founding of JD.com; however, other retailers are increasingly riding the coattails of the event, including rival Alibaba's Tmall. Tmall's sales of mobile phones were even faster than JD.com's, with over 10,000 units selling in five seconds on June 18.
Self-made shopping holidays are increasingly popular among retail's e-commerce giants, with Amazon's Prime Day leading the way in the U.S. Prime Day 2017, which ran 30 hours, saw revenues balloon 60% over 2016, to $2.9 billion, according to Profitero. Retailers that weren't selling through Amazon also benefited with a 30% sales increase during the week of Prime Day, per Criteo.
While the date of this year's Prime Day remains uncertain, Amazon's U.K. website may have inadvertently leaked the date, with that advertisement suggesting it will take place July 16 and 17. This would be a 36-hour sale. The banner ad was quickly taken down, and the company has maintained silence about the date of Prime Day.
Alibaba's Single's Day has also seen great success in China: Last year, revenues increased 42% to $25.2 billion, from $17.8 billion in 2016, which was a 32% rise over 2015's $14 billion. JD.com also participated and saw significant sales increases, reporting transaction volume of about $19.1 billion, up over 50% from 2016.
JD.com's partners also saw a huge leap in sales growth during the 618 Shopping Festival this year, with Walmart experiencing fourfold growth, according to Coresight Research. Besides the use of unmanned warehouses, increases in order processing power, and one and two day deliveries, JD.com also launched an automated cold-chain supply-chain center, Coresight said, with the company's chairman telling Coresight that "In 10 years, our success in the supply chain service in China will be a model to expand overseas. ..."
Earlier this year, JD.com was reported to be planning a U.S. based logistics operation and a fulfillment center in Los Angeles to facilitate same-day delivery. However, a JD.com spokesperson downplayed that story, telling Retail Dive, "Southeast Asia is our international focus for now, with the U.S being a longer-term aspiration. We are considering different options, but any near-term efforts in the U.S. would likely look at partnership models."