E-commerce Booms As Chinese Valentine’s Day Comes

Pinduoduo launched "Xixi Festival" in celebration of Chinese Valentine’s Day
Pinduoduo launched “Xixi Festival” in celebration of Chinese Valentine’s Day (Source: Pinduoduo)

In the past Qixi festival, also known as Chinese Valentine’s Day, Chinese people show greater enthusiasm in consumption in some sectors, such as travel, food, presents, etc. Pinduoduo, an e-commerce platform, also offers users promotions change in the past festival.

On Aug. 24, Pinduoduo launched its “buy one get one free” event for Chinese Valentine’s Day, but this time with a catch – users had a chance to get freebies valued over 550-times the value of the item they purchased.

On August 24, Pinduoduo launched its “buy one get one free” event for Chinese Valentine’s Day, but this time with a catch – users had a chance to get freebies valued over 550-times the value of the item they purchased. (Source: Pinduoduo APP)

Some of the promotions offered during this event included an iPhone 11 when purchasing a 9.90 yuan mobile phone case, or a bottle of 53% Flying Maotai when buying a 9 yuan bottle opener, or even a 3,000 yuan Dyson Hair Dryer when buying a small handheld fan priced at 22 yuan.

Users across China showed great enthusiasm for this promotion event, saying they were shocked by the high value of the freebies they could receive with relatively small purchases during the event.

To access promoted products during the event, consumers only needed to search for ‘Xixi Festival’ in the Pinduoduo app, otherwise they could access certain promotions via ‘limited time flash sale’ channels. For a short period of time, the item’s price drops and users who can click fast enough during this time get a good bargain on the product.

These promotions were a hit among PDD’s young user base, and some users posted on social media about the freebies they would like to see added in the future, such as having the chance to win Christian Louboutin lipstick when buying diced raddish, Yeezys when buying coconuts, or Hermes bags when buying stuffed meat buns.

The event swiftly attracted attention from millions of netizens on social media when it went live.

“During the event planning process, we conducted a lot of research on what types of products young people like and what sort of strategies they like to engage in when shopping,” said Zong Hui, the manager of Pinduoduo’s Xixi Festival event. “We used our core resources to subsidize some of these purchases during the event.”

According to Pinduoduo’s usage data, the launch of Xixi Festival was followed by a huge spike in both search and sales volume for products featured during the event.

Compared to last year, this year’s Xixi Festival has drawn in a younger audience. Pinduoduo’s usage data shows that during the Chinese Valentine’s Day period this year, there was a noticeable increase in searches for mobile phones, earphones, watches, perfume, earrings and branded bags.

A search for “what freebies can I get Valentine’s Day” in the Pinduoduo app reflects current consumer shopping trends. A larger crowd of young people have joined Xixi Festival this year, leading to the appearance of some unusual new products to meet their consumption needs. (Source: Pinduoduo)

“Participation from young people in this event has allowed us to modify our platform strategy,” Zong said. “Some items on young users’ Valentine’s Day shopping lists are different compared to older users, and include things such as HPV vaccines, miniature figurines, ukuleles, lingerie, and coffee machines. We’re striving to expand the selection of products offered on our platform while simultaneously providing subsidies for these products.”

Founded in 2015, the Shanghai-based leading Chinese e-commerce player is one of the fastest growing internet companies in the world. It launched its IPO on Nasdaq on July 26, 2018.

On Monday, Pinduoduo became a component of the Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX), joining the likes of category-defining companies like Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Intel and Facebook on one of the world’s preeminent large-cap growth indexes.