Fonterra is hailing the success of online sales of its products on China’s “Double 11” shopping frenzy day, equivalent to New Zealand’s post-Christmas bargain sales. By GERARD HUTCHING
The number of consumers who purchased Fonterra products was up 56 per cent on last year, with the purchasing rate lifting 3800 per cent compared with the daily average.
Fonterra director of farm services Matt Bolger said the sales were the best way to connect with a modern audience.
“We have an incredible story and we’re really ramping up the way we tell it,” he said.
Online sales of Anchor UHT milk were particularly successful, with a total volume of two million litres sold. Milk powder pouches were another favourite with 270,000 pouches sold, “enough to stretch from Auckland to Hamilton if the packaging was laid end-to-end”, the dairy giant said.
Chief operating officer of global consumer and foodservice, Jacqueline Chow, said the popularity of Double 11 was impressive and highlighted the growth of e-commerce in China. Some businesses do 30 per cent of their yearly sales on this day.
“E-commerce is an opportunity that we are working hard to capitalise upon, so this year’s growth figures are pleasing,” she said.
Double 11, timed to coincide with China’s “Single’s Day” holiday, was launched in 2009 and has grown rapidly to become the biggest day on the global retail calendar. According to data from Syntun, China’s 16 largest e-commerce merchants achieved a combined $36.3 billion in sales this year.
E-Commerce Director for Fonterra Greater China, Xiao Lu, said the scale and competitiveness of Double 11 required a strategic and innovative approach.
“More than 100,000 merchants participated this year, so competition is fierce. We put a lot of energy into a smart strategy that ensured we engaged consumers well.
“Our team ran a number of innovative warm-up campaigns, which included live-stream broadcasts and interactive online ‘shopping towns’. This helped us to build momentum as the shopping day approached.”
The total Double 11 sales volume of $36.3b broke records set in previous years. Alibaba contributed $24.6b through its Tmall and Taobao platforms and at the day’s peak Alibaba was processing 175,000 orders every second.
Fonterra launched its e-commerce presence in China in 2012 when the Anlene Tmall flagship store was first introduced. This is the fourth year that Fonterra has participated in the Double 11 event.