This week, shoppers in South Korea made the most Black Friday purchases on Alibaba Group international online shopping site AliExpress by country, beating out France and Brazil — where Chinese cell phones and beachwear did well among categories.
Logistics branch Cainiao Network is making it possible for consumers in the coastal Chinese city of Shenzhen to eat shrimp and other delicacies imported from Malaysia within four hours.
In other news, on-demand delivery service Ele.me is helping restaurants create tasty menu items with an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered tool being beta-tested across China. Meanwhile, business-to-consumer marketplace Tmall has been inundated with health food purchases by shoppers born after 1995.
South Korea Leads Black Friday Orders on AliExpress
Alibaba’s international e-commerce site AliExpress saw robust Black Friday sales around the world this year, particularly in South Korea, where order quantities surged during the four days.
Parcel volume to South Korea shipped from five domestic selection warehouses in China was the highest among all countries. Those warehouses were located near transportation hubs to expedite the delivery of goods from China to consumers worldwide.
South Korean consumers are in good company. In France, Chinese smartphone brands Xiaomi and OnePlus saw strong sales performance during Black Friday, with Xiaomi seeing its sales increase 104.2% year-on-year and One Plus witnessing a 524.6% jump.
Brazil reported the largest increase in orders and buyers and gross merchandise value in the first six and a half hours exceeded AliExpress’ first-day sales in the country last year.
Searches on summer products in Brazil surged, reporting a 7600% increase. Some of the most popular products on the site during Black Fridays are sunglasses, bikinis, beach tennis paddles and cooling fans.
Cainiao Launches Weekly Charter Flights for Fresh Produce from Kuala Lumpur to China
Cainiao launched charter flights this week carrying fresh produce between Kuala Lumpur and Shenzhen, a coastal city in southern China’s Guangdong province.
The charter flights will fly three times a week and carry 13 tons of fresh produce each time. After the launch, Chinese consumers can get specialty products from Malaysia, including Musang King durians, live crab and shrimp in four hours.
The move comes amid cargo and commercial flight disruptions between Southeast Asia and China and helps Malaysian businesses expand in the Chinese market. Earlier last month, the Cainiao Aeropolis eWTP, a regional fulfillment hub situated at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, started operations to support growing e-commerce logistics demand in Southeast Asia.
Local businesses will also be able to export to the rest of the Asia Pacific region following the expansion of air freight routes in the near term.
“The enhanced air freight stability will play a key role in fostering economic development in Malaysia while also instilling greater resilience among SMEs,” said Shawn Louis, Executive General Manager for Cainiao and Chief LazGlobal Logistics Officer.
Ele.me Pilots AI Tech That Helps Restaurants Create New Menu Items
Ele.me has developed an AI-powered system to help merchants tap the latest food trends and dish out new offerings for hungry customers.
The platform has beta-tested the technology across nearly 700 stores in 41 Chinese cities, helping restaurant chains such as Guangzhou’s Real Kungfu come up with 12 dishes. Per Ele.me, the AI-designed menu items have chalked up a 30% bump in sales compared to existing offerings.
It’s helped a beverage shop expand its menu beyond its lemon tea line to include more tropical fruits popular among local consumers, including mango, pomelo and grapefruit.
Leveraging Ele.me’s findings, Chinese restaurant chain Real Kungfu designed a two-in-one chicken and pork chop rice bowl for the Guangzhou, Shenzhen markets. Its orders increased by more than 5%, even as the company reduced its marketing spend by 16%. Ele.me said it would continue to work with partners to enhance the technology before rolling it out more widely to merchants, free of charge.
Young Chinese People Fell in Love with Healthy Snacks on Tmall Supermarket
Health-consciousness, or Yangsheng in Mandarin, is no longer exclusive to the older generation. Young Chinese people are also becoming more mindful about ingredients these days, reflected in their snack preferences.
A recent consumer survey from Tmall Supermarket shows that starting from November, black sesame balls, sweet pear jam lollipops, and ginger tea with black sugar saw sales triple year-on-year. About 70% of the products are bought by young people born after 1995.
Most buyers are located in first-tier cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. But still, among the top 10 cities where buyers are from, some are smaller cities, such as the city of Shaoguan in Guangdong province and Zunyi in southwest Guizhou.
Those best-selling healthy snacks, made on the basis of traditional Chinese recipes, adjusted their product designs to cater to younger consumers. They are made easy-to-pack and come in multiple flavors.