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Top Performing Sectors for China’s 618 Shopping Festival 2024

Last updated on May 13, 2024

Top Categories to Watch in China's 618 Shopping Festival 2024

As we edge closer to June 18th, the buzz around the 618 shopping festival is impossible to ignore. Originally commemorating JD.com’s anniversary, this event has blossomed into a cornerstone of China’s e-commerce calendar, drawing consumers from across the nation with unparalleled offers. The 618 shopping festival isn’t just a sale — it’s a vibrant showcase of consumer trends, innovation, and the unmatched potential of Chinese e-commerce platforms.

With the 2024 festival on the horizon, international brands need to identify the product categories poised to take the lead. Tapping into these hotspots is key to capitalising on the vast opportunities this dynamic shopping festival presents.

So, what are the top categories expected to make waves in the 2024 618 Shopping Festival? 


A Glance Back at China's 618 in 2023

The 2023 618 festival was nothing short of spectacular, with JD.com reporting over 23% more brands surpass US$14 million in sales within the first 10 minutes compared to the previous year. Luxury labels such as Bulgari and Givenchy experienced a particularly lucrative period, with their sales figures tripling and thereby setting a new standard for future festivals. Furthermore, Douyin’s engagement metrics were extraordinary, with live streams amassing 42.02 million hours and short videos featuring shopping links garnering 130.9 billion views, culminating in a 66% increase in sales compared to the year before.

This paints a vivid picture of a festival that’s more than just a shopping day; it’s a pivotal moment for brands to connect with millions of consumers. As we look ahead, the trends from 2023 offer a roadmap for what categories will likely lead the pack in 2024.

Top Categories for 618 Shopping Festival in 2024:

Nutrition & Health Care

In the wake of recent global health events, China has embraced a vigorous health and wellness trend. The health supplement industry leaped to US$17.8 billion in 2022, and is forecasted to reach around US$59.6 billion by 2027. This surge underscores a growing dedication to preventative health measures. Leading the pack, JD Health shattered records by assembling an unparalleled range of health products designed to meet diverse wellness needs. Meanwhile, Douyin doubled its sales in the sector, signalling a skyrocketing interest in health and wellness products.

As we move from a reactive to a proactive approach to health, the demand for products that offer a comprehensive health philosophy is on the rise. Consumers are on the lookout for a variety of products, ranging from dietary supplements and traditional Chinese medicine to nutrition that fuels physical fitness.

Top Categories to Watch in China's 618 Shopping Festival 2024 - Health
Promotional Campaigns for 618 Shopping Festival on Tmall

Today’s Chinese consumer is more discerning than ever, prioritising authenticity and quality in health and wellness products. Brands that stand out by providing transparent, research-backed solutions are set to capture the market.

Moreover, there’s a growing appetite for innovative health products crafted to address specific needs, such as enhancing immunity or reducing stress. This marks a significant shift towards personalised wellness solutions.

Sports & Outdoor Gear

The thirst for adventure and a healthy lifestyle is transforming the sports and outdoor sector into a bustling market. Imagine everything from high-tech sportswear and shoes to must-have gear like tents, backpacks, and gadgets designed for the great outdoors. It’s not just about the gear, though. The growing popularity of activities like climbing, hiking, and biking is opening up new avenues for brands eager to connect with enthusiasts.

Post-pandemic, we’ve seen a spike in the craving for sports and outdoor merchandise, with a Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) hitting US$4.1 billion during China’s 618 shopping festival in 2023. This isn’t just about the basics. We’re talking about a range of products including stylish luggage, high-performance outdoor apparel, and footwear. Plus, niche sports like equestrian and climbing are climbing the popularity ladder, offering fresh opportunities for brands to make their mark.

Top Categories to Watch in China's 618 Shopping Festival 2024 - sports

Data from JD.com from the previous year highlights a significant 28% increase in GMV for sports and outdoor items, with outdoor jackets alone witnessing an impressive 76% rise. Pre-sale figures for JD.com’s 2023 618 Shopping Festival show robust growth in specific categories, including trail-running shoes, summer jackets, and outdoor backpacks, each soaring by over 100% in sales. Over at Douyin, the demand for outdoor, hiking, and camping gear surged by 98%, with sun protection products also seeing a spike in popularity, underlining the sector’s vibrant growth.

But there’s a twist. Today’s consumers aren’t just looking for the best gear; they’re also mindful of the planet. There’s a growing trend toward products made with sustainable practices and materials. Brands that can marry innovation with eco-friendliness, without skimping on quality, are the ones that will truly resonate with this active and environmentally conscious demographic.

Pet Products

The pet industry is witnessing a surge, with online sales reaching US$701 million during China’s 618 shopping festival last year. This growth reflects a cultural shift, particularly among “empty nest youth,” who turn to pets for companionship, driving demand for a variety of pet products from luxury foods to fashionable accessories.

Top Categories to Watch in China's 618 Shopping Festival 2024 - Pet

At the core of this industry’s expansion is the deep bond between pets and their owners, who see their pets as family members. This has led to a wider demand for quality pet nutrition, health supplements, engaging toys, grooming products, and tech gadgets for pets. Consumers are especially attracted to products that boost their pets’ health and happiness and those that offer innovation and convenience in pet care. There’s a clear trend towards customisation and personalisation, with Chinese pet owners seeking products tailored to their pets’ specific needs.

For brands, this shift presents a significant opportunity to engage with a passionate consumer base by delivering innovative, high-quality products that cater to the evolving needs of pet owners and their pets.

Beauty Devices

China’s youth are driving a booming interest in beauty devices, making it a standout category for the 618 shopping festival. High-tech skincare tools, especially those targeting aging signs, are in hot demand. For instance, the Seayeo LED facial beauty light sold out on Taobao in just 20 seconds, illustrating the market’s fervour.

It is forecasted the beauty device market in China will balloon to over US$2.2 billion by 2026. With lower penetration rates compared to Japan and Korea, the sector — currently led by foreign brands — is ripe for growth.

Top Categories to Watch in China's 618 Shopping Festival 2024 - Beauty
Promotional Campaigns for 618 Shopping Festival on Tmall

Douyin’s data confirms the trend, showing significant year-on-year growth in beauty device sales. Chinese consumers are gravitating towards at-home, professional-grade skincare, with a preference for easy-to-use, effective, and luxurious products. This shift towards personal wellness and advanced skincare solutions places beauty devices in the limelight for the upcoming festival.

This surge in popularity underscores a broader movement towards self-care, with tech-savvy consumers seeking out the latest in skincare innovation. Brands that focus on developing user-friendly, high-quality devices are likely to capture the market’s attention during one of China’s biggest shopping events.

Key Takeaways

China’s 618 shopping festival is much more than a sale — it’s a pivotal moment for brands to engage with a vast audience eager for quality, innovation, and personalisation across various sectors. From health and wellness products to sports gear, pet supplies, and beauty devices, the trends are leaning heavily towards authenticity, sustainability, and tailored solutions that resonate deeply with consumers’ evolving needs.

For global brands eyeing the Chinese market, the 618 shopping festival represents a golden opportunity to tap into these dynamic consumer trends and carve out a space in one of the world’s largest e-commerce landscapes. But navigating this vast and complex market requires expertise, local insights, and a strategic approach.

That’s where WPIC comes in. With our deep understanding of the Chinese market and our expertise in driving successful campaigns during major shopping festivals like 618, we’re here to help your brand stand out and capitalise on this golden opportunity. Connect with us today to elevate your brand’s presence in one of the world’s most dynamic retail environments.

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