JD.com, WeChat, to Share Users' Data in Attempt to Wrestle Singles Day Out of Alibaba's Hands
The world's biggest online shopping event will start at midnight Friday, as two China-based giants partner in attempt to steal Alibaba's mojo
BEIJING—On Monday, screens at the south Beijing headquarters of online retailer JD.com presented data from the company's last special sales day in June. At midnight Friday, the charts will be replaced with new ones, tracking in real-time sales on China's biggest shopping festival, Singles Day.
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Data about deal volume, bestselling products, and total sales will be shown for all to see, making sure all managers' and employees put foot to floor. To drive the point home, the same data will be presented on the computer screens of all managers in the company throughout the day.In 2009, online retailer Alibaba turned what used to be a holiday invented by Chinese students celebrating single life into an online shopping fest with around-the-clock discounts and special offers. By 2016, sales on Chinese commerce websites reached $25 billion on Singles Day, according to a report by Hong Kong-based marketing data company iiMedia Research Group—nine times the total online shopping spend of Americans on Black Friday.
"When I think of Singles Day, what comes to mind first is lack of sleep and a lot of instant noodles,” said Belinda Chen, general manager of the company's watch sales unit, JD Watch, in an interview with Calcalist.
In the days leading to Singles Day, she added, most meeting rooms in the company would be occupied even as late as 10 pm. The average age of employees at JD.com, Ms. Chen said, is around 27. "People here move fast and are ready to work around the clock to provide our customers the products they want," she added.