Summary Chinese online shopping sites are making a big splash in the Black Friday sales this year, with some seeing huge growth. They are taking advantage of China’s large e-commerce market, efficient logistics and supply chain, and strong manufacturing sector that produces cheap and quality goods.
Black Friday is the first Monday after Thanksgiving, and it is the biggest online shopping day of the year in the US. Online retailers offer big discounts and promotions to attract customers.
According to Adobe Analytics, online spending in the US on Black Friday reached a record $9.8 billion, up 7.5 percent from last year. A lot of the online sales came from mobile shopping and flexible payment methods.
Chinese-owned cross-border e-commerce platforms, such as Temu.com, Shein, and TikTok Shop, played an important role in the online sales growth.
They used strategies such as offering huge discounts and spending a lot on advertising. Some of them reported significant increases in their sales. For example, TikTok Shop said that its orders in the US jumped 205 percent from November 14-20.
Temu and Shein did not reveal their sales figures, but they also increased their efforts to boost sales. They offered discounts of up to 90 percent, much higher than the 30-50 percent discounts offered by traditional US retailers. CNBC reported that the Chinese apps could become new Black Friday giants, competing with Amazon.
Although Amazon is still far ahead of the Chinese shopping apps in many ways, the Chinese apps are growing fast. In October, Shein had 28.6 million unique monthly visitors, up 7.25 percent from last year, while Temu had 42 million, more than four times the number from last year, Reuters reported, citing data from Similarweb. Amazon had 268 million unique monthly visitors in October.
Rob Garf, a retail expert at Salesforce, said that Shein and Temu are the two most representative platforms in the wave of Chinese e-commerce platforms going global.
He said that they have successfully entered the mainstream US market, and are challenging Amazon. He said that the biggest advantages of the Chinese platforms are the size of the Chinese market, which offers a variety of affordable products, and the efficient logistics and supply system, which is based on China’s strong production capacity and complete supply chain.
He said that the Chinese platforms are bringing high-quality and low-priced products to American consumers, and achieving win-win development.
Many Chinese manufacturers are also benefiting from the cross-border e-commerce platforms. A hatmaker in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, said that it expects to sell about 1.3 million hats around the world during the Black Friday sales. A pet clothing seller in Ningbo, Zhejiang, said that it expects a 20 percent increase in sales this year.
Cross-border e-commerce has become a key driver of China’s exports. According to the Ministry of Commerce, the proportion of cross-border e-commerce in China’s goods trade increased from 2.2 percent in 2016 to 4.2 percent in 2019.