Reporting $17.6 billion in sales for its 6.18 shopping festival promotion yesterday, JD.com hopes to convince global brands it is a formidable competitor to Alibaba’s Tmall.
For the e-tailer’s 18-day event to celebrate its anniversary on June 18, JD.com sales came close to the those of Alibaba’s annual 11.11 Singles’ Day festival in 2016 – US$17.8 billion in just a 24-hour period. While Tmall remains the behemoth among B2C e-commerce sites in China, its second-place rival is coming up close in both market share and acquiring official brand flagships.
According to L2’s newly released Insight Report on Alibaba, over 90% of Index CPG brands maintained official flagships on Tmall in 2014 but only 26% had an official JD.com shop. Now, in 2017, the percentage of CPG brands with an official shop on JD.com has surged to 98%. Meanwhile, the share of Index brands in the Beauty category on JD.com has skyrocketed to over 80% in 2017 from 26% in 2014, surpassing the number of Alibaba shops among brands benchmarked by L2 since 2014. When looking at brands added to the Index in 2017, JD.com only has 3% fewer official beauty brand flagships than Tmall.
In the luxury category, where brands remain wary of opening official flagships on mass e-tailers due to concerns about the gray market, exclusivity, and counterfeits, Tmall still has the lead. Twenty-four percent of Index Luxury brands have a store on Tmall vs. just 10% on JD.com. JD.com also appears to have set its sights on the luxury market and heavily promotes high-end delivery and logistics services like its recently unveiled white-glove delivery service.
For now, Tmall is still the leader in China with 56.6% of total B2C e-commerce market share by the end of 2016. However, that lead is continuously shrinking as JD.com widens its presence. A sign that the two are nearing equal footing: both companies are so massive that their respective main shopping festivals have become internet-wide sensations in China. JD.com offers its own extensive promotions for the Alibaba-created 11.11 event, and Alibaba does the same for 6.18.