Consumption in Shanghai on the rise | Updated:May 7, 2020

Before the five-day Labor Day holiday, many consumers in Shanghai found one product unexpectedly sold out – tents.

The flagship stores of several major brands on e-commerce platforms sell tens of thousands of tents every month and many models are out of stock. Merchants were busy replenishing goods to meet the needs of people traveling in the holiday.

Everything comes back to life in spring, including the consumption market. At a time when many of the world's commercial cities are in the doldrums due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Shanghai, China's business hub, has taken the lead in igniting the enthusiasm of the city's consumers.

Shanghai launched a massive consumption-boosting campaign – May 5 Shopping Festival – as merchants gave shopping coupons to spur spending and resuscitate an economy temporarily hampered by the novel coronavirus epidemic.

In the Greenland Global Commodity Trading Port, in response to the shopping festival, imported naked diamonds were 15 percent off, attracting the attention of consumers all over the country.

The diamond business at the trading port is the result of a tie-up with Israel's largest diamond retailer at the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in 2018. The enterprise has formed the largest import diamond warehouse in Asia in Shanghai.

From the spillover effect of CIIE to the shopping festival, behind the dazzling diamonds is the determination of Shanghai to build itself into an international consumer city.

"There is no contradiction between discounts and upgrading. The citywide promotion is like a 'trigger point' to tap into potential new consumption drivers," said Guo Yu, chief economist of Shanghai Development and Reform Commission.

Many domestic and foreign merchants in Shanghai said that they hoped to participate in the shopping festival to boost sales with discounts, but the more important purpose was to observe the consumption trend and promote the upgrading of supply.

What's more, livestreaming has become the "new norm" for marketing products and services, given that Chinese consumers are increasingly used to filling everyday shopping needs on the go.

According to the Shanghai Commission of Commerce, the emerging consumption trend in the city consists a series of activities such as cloud shopping, cloud exhibitions, cloud runways and cloud experiences, which has built the brand of "Shanghai cloud shopping".

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