Photo Gallery 043: An Ordinary Chinese E-Commerce Company's 2016 Double Eleven Shopping Festival

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(Chinese Version)

Editor’s Note:

This was the fourth Double Eleven Shopping Festival for Ms. Gao and her online shops on Tmall. Last year, it took less than half an hour for transaction volume of her biggest online shop to reach one million yuan, yet it took five more hours this time.

Double Eleven Shopping Festival meant so much for this ordinary Chinese e-commerce company, though more on a spiritual sense. How come? In TMTpost Photo Gallery 043, we joined this ordinary Chinese e-commerce company in its long wait for the transaction volume to reach one million yuan on this year’s Double Eleven Shopping Festival and witnessed its struggles, sorrows and excitement.

[Click here to watch the related video]

On 22:00 o’clock of November, 10th, a projection screen was set up in the Beijing office of Moutain Outdoors, a Chinese e-commerce company selling mainly outdoors goods on Tmall. Transaction volume of all their online shops on Tmall would be displayed live on the screen after this year’s Double Eleven Shopping Festival began, while countdown board and their goal (a total transaction volume of over 27 million yuan (over $3.9 million) were displayed on both sides of the wall.

Bottles of Coffee, RedBull and instant noodles could be seen everywhere this night on the desks of the less-known e-commerce company’s crowded office room for operation personnel located outside the north fifth ring of Beijing. Customer Service personnel’s office room, however, was based in Changsha, Hunan Province.

To celebrate the victory, the company prepared several bottles of red wine. Their plan was: they shall open the first bottle at 00:00 o’clock, the second when transaction volume of one of their shops reaches 1 million yuan (over $145,000), and the third when transaction volume of one of the rest shops reaches half a million yuan, so on and so forth.

Mountain Outdoors had one online shop of their own and several other online shops they helped maintaining. On the eve of November, 11th, known as the annual online shopping festival in China, nearly thirty employees stayed at the office after work. To get better prepared, they even had their dinner much faster than before.

The company’s CEO Gao Wei’e prepared a dish of “good luck” fruit and gave out to every employee, in hopes of bringing good luck and helping them complete their task.

Gao called on all her employees to join her in a ten-second countdown to the Double Eleven Shopping Festival. This was the fourth Double Eleven Shopping Festival for her and her company went through. (Photographed by Zhu Lingyu)

After zero o’clock, they all began to pay attention to the increasing transaction volume displayed on the projection screen. They all wanted to find out how much time does it take for transaction volume of their biggest online shop to reach one million yuan. In 2015, it took less than half an hour for their transaction volume to one million yuan. This time, however, transaction volume didn’t reach one million long after the festival began. (Photographed by Zhu Lingyu)

Everybody got quiet after waiting for a long time but still didn’t see the transaction volume reach one million yuan. “Many employees used to leave when our transaction volume reached one million yuan,” Gao explained. According to her, on the one hand, consumers seemed to know better how to get bigger discounts; on the other hand, many consumers already pre-ordered before Double Eleven. “Consumers began to know it would be difficult to get big discount for products of low stock even when they stayed up, and they could get big discount for most products in the daytime. So there’s no need to stay up anymore,” she explained.

It was 05:42 AM, November, 11th. The long-waited one million yuan transaction volume still didn’t come. Gao and her partner tried to have some fun, so they began to sing. By then, transaction volume of their biggest online shop on Tmall reached 994,700 yuan (over $144,557). Gao reflected: We can’t figure out any other way to improve our transaction volume. All we can do is improve our operation capability, though it’s no easy thing to do so. “To succeed in business, you really need to be able to always come up with new ideas and innovation,” she said.

It wasn’t until 05:50 AM when transaction volume of their biggest online shop on Tmall reached one million. She and her partner were finally relieved and hugged each other to celebrate. Although many of their new online shops had better sales performance than this old shop, Gao and her partner still attached higher importance to the one million yuan transaction volume of the old ship, since this shop marked the beginning of their entrepreneurial adventure.

The few people left finally opened the second bottle of wine. “We cherish it more since it came so hard. As a matter of fact, we don’t know when our transaction volume reached one million yuan last year, since it came so easily,” Gao told TMTpost. She shall never forget thw 2016 Double Eleven Shopping Festival, since it wasn’t until five o’clock in the morning that transaction volume of their biggest online shop reached one million yuan. (Photographed by Zhu Lingyu)

At 06:12 AM, the rest employees finally decided to leave the office after the long-awaited one million yuan transaction volume came. Although transaction volume of some of their shops already reached one million yuan on November, 11th, they still cherish more the the one million yuan transaction volume on Double Eleven. “Many shop owners were showing off their transaction volume on their WeChat friends circle,” she said with smile. She told TMTpost that it might be time for her to let go of Double Eleven Shopping Festival and focus more attention on daily transaction volume instead.

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[The article is published and edited with authorization from the author @flybutchery, please note source and hyperlink when reproduce.]

Translated by Levin Feng (Senior Translator at PAGE TO PAGE), working for TMTpost.