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On the eve of China's annual online shopping festival, "Double Eleven" (November 11), Jane Doe is tired and stressed. As a promoter for Tmall, the biggest e-commerce site in China, she has been working overtime for several days in the lead-up to the big event, and tonight, unfortunately also means another sleepless night for her.|
As the first one in the field, Tmall's "Global Shopping Festival" will mark its 10th anniversary this year. Originally meant to be a day that encouraged singles to socialize, the day has turned into a massive online shopping event, with people collecting e-vouchers, coupons and saving items in their online shopping cart days in advance.
In 10 years, online shopping has become a must for Chinese on November 11, not only on Tmall, but across various sites, including taobao.com, jd.com, suning.com, kaola.com, and more. For many Chinese, "Double Eleven" is the equivalent of "Black Friday" for Americans.
Bu Min, a 25-year-old female working in a PR agency, said, "people are all talking about this recently, so it's natural for you to click the app and have a look."
"If I found something I need, I'll buy," she added, "I'll also enter the shops I follow, to look at coupons."
"I will go shopping online on ‘double eleven'," Jiang Chengyu, a governmental officer in his 50s, said, "Because I think all things would be cheaper on this day. But I will buy necessary stuff only."
In addition to some of the traditional promotions – discounts, vouchers, advance payment – marketers have gotten more creative in recent years.
For example, you can invite your friends to "like" you, collect "energy," and get a personal discount. There are also timed promotions with items being released every hour, random discounts and more. The rules and activities differ across platforms.
But it seems to have overwhelmed some customers.
"The promotions in the previous years were really customer-friendly, but in recent years, the promotions are more like fancy stunts instead of actual bargains," said Mr. Wang, who works in a private enterprise. "All the complex money-off calculations, in fact, make us confused."
"I prefer an explicit and simple discount. I hope the merchandisers can use fewer tricks and give us more real bargains."
Miss Shi, who works at an e-commerce company, said although as an insider, she feels tired during this season, she will likely go shopping that day.
As Bu said, although the annual promotion seems to be tricky, many people will still participate.
"Many people will buy just because they want to amuse themselves," Bu explained. "They need a reason to spend their money."
"It's important that they have a time, or a ceremony, to spend some money and gain happiness in return." (CGTN)