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Jake’s Take: Debunking the 618 Sales Slump Myth

Published on: June 26, 2024

Picture of Jacob Cooke

Jacob Cooke

Co-founder & CEO

A report from Syntun is going around showing that 618 sales were down 7% from last year—and it’s flawed.

Indeed, there has been diminished buzz around this year’s festival, but let’s be clear: GMV was up from 2023.

We didn’t crunch the numbers for every platform this year but our assessment is that Tmall GMV was a record high—and Tmall has the largest market share.

JD stated it also had a record high GMV. We know Douyin has been rapidly growing. Xiaohongshu also released early data showing big growth in GMV.

Yiguan and NBS reported mid-teen growth in the first phase of 618.

So a drop in GMV, as reported by Syntun, does not align with the broader consumption trend, the longer sale window this year, and other data sources. HSBC and Citi analysts have also come out questioning the data.

However—Syntun’s data does align with a narrative that 6.18 has diminished buzz and the consumer lacks confidence. So what’s the deal?

Discounts are now available throughout year due to the rise of livestreaming and the proliferation of secondary shopping festivals.

Previously, consumers marked their calendars with 6.18 and 11.11 when they would stock up on goods at a discount. And brands would use these times to shed inventory.

That’s no longer happening—the landscape has matured.

Still, 618 generated a GMV bump from baseline and overall GMV was up from last year.

But consumers are simply shopping more throughout the year.

Consumption for the festival is solid, and combined with recent travel and service spending numbers, I think the festival reflects positively on sentiment.

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