Has hype around China’s Singles’ Day fizzled out?

According to Bain & Co., enthusiasm around Singles’ Day is waning as Chinese consumers become more value-conscious and emotionally-driven.

What Happened: Chinese consumers are no longer that excited about Singles’ Day, according to Bain & Co. The consultancy’s latest Singles’ Day report, released yesterday, shows that in a survey of 3,000 consumers across Chinese cities, only 53 percent of respondents said they were excited by this year’s shopping extravaganza, compared with 76 percent in 2021.

This waning enthusiasm is coupled with pronounced caution when it comes to spending. Only 23 percent of respondents said they would spend more this year, whereas 77 percent plan to spend less or maintain their spending at 2022’s level.

When asked about their motivations for spending during the festival, which culminates on November 11, 45 percent said they were mainly seeking value, with many waiting for better promotions or even switching to cheaper brands to make their money go further.

The Jing Take: Given the slowdown in China’s GDP growth this year, it’s unsurprising that Chinese shoppers are feeling the squeeze and becoming more value-conscious. According to Bain, this trend is particularly evident among China’s lower-income consumers, residents of lower-tier cities, as well as Gen Z shoppers, who have yet to build up the spending power of their older peers.

But this budget-first mentality isn’t unique to this year’s bonanza. As James Yang, a Hong Kong-based partner at Bain & Co., points out, this level of caution is actually comparable to consumer sentiment last year, when 76 percent of shoppers mentioned reducing or maintaining spending during Singles’ Day.

“There seems to be an element of structural slowdown about the event linked to its longevity and scale. This year’s survey dug deeper into general spending intentions beyond Singles’ Day, and 71 percent of respondents told us they would cut or maintain retail spending through 2023,” he said. Continue to read the full article here