What Are the Busy Season & Slow Season for China eCommerce?

TMO Group
China eCommerce busy season slow season

There is no secret that every business has its busy season and slow season. As a business owner, what you can do is to always prepare for the busy season and make the most out of your slow season.

But if you aim to bring your business to China via eCommerce, there will be more homework for you to do. For instance, did you know if the business cycle in China is as same as the one from your home? If not, what are the typical busy season and slow season here?

We have gathered all the information below to serve your cross border eCommerce business in China. Hopefully these will give you a clear understanding about the business cycle in this new market.


In China, what are the busy & slow seasons for eCommerce?

Honestly, there is no such busy or slow time for eCommerce.

The reason is very simple: eCommerce is only one sales channel, while busy & slow seasons are more regarding to exact products.

For example, any ice cream business will obviously have its busiest season during summer time, no matter on eCommerce or offline. On the other hand, summer can be really slow for different products (e.g. scarfs), despite it’s on eCommerce or else.

So, back to the question, to learn the different busy & slow seasons regarding different products will be more beneficial for your business.


Busy & slow season overview for different industry/products in China

That being said, here is busy & slow season overview for some of the most popular foreign products to sell in China:

cross border eCommerce in China busy season slow season


Summer: Slowest Season in China confirmed

Lovely as a summer day? Well, not exactly the case if you just started your business in China. From the sheet above, one thing we can all agree is: summer can be really slow for most of the business listed ahead. Whether you are operating an offline store, or you are selling online, the visits or the sales are just lesser.



Care to tell me why?

Reason 1: Lack of Holidays

Think you like holidays? Trust me, business retailers LOVE holidays more than you do. To them, holidays are the best time of period to boost their sales.

First things first, here are the Chinese important holiday calendar:

cross border eCommerce in China busy season slow season Holiday season calender

Your cross border eCommerce will be on the rise on any of those days mentioned above. To any Chinese shoppers, traditional holidays like Lunar New Year and Mid Autumn Festival, and public holidays like National Day and Labor Day are very important. Sales will definitely grow during these holidays. Besides, Western holidays like Christmas and Valentine’s Day has been growing in China for years, and Brands often carry out holiday sales and promotions to boost their sales as well.

Plus, The “618” shopping day, which JD.com launched in 2010 to celebrate its anniversary on June 18, joined the ”11.11” Singles’ Day sale on November 11 initiated by its largest rival Alibaba Group to become one of the largest online shopping sprees in the country. The amount of sales on theses online shopping festivals will be insanely high due to the large amount of promotions across all eCommerce platforms.

On the other hand, it is not hard to find out that there is no significant holiday during summer time, especially July and August. As a result, your sales figure won’t look that beautiful in summer.


Reason 2: Thanks to you, warm weather

Summer is a “classic” slow season for a lot of different industries, and the warm warm weather is the one to blame.

One perfect example to look at is the dairy products. Because of the warm weather, milk cannot be stored as long as those will be in winter. This somehow force retailers to throw dairy products to clearance in a short while.

Apparel industry is suffering from summer days too. For example, even the demands for summer shoes & apparels will be high, customers mostly will place the orders around April or May, the time before heat actually hits. Moreover, the costs and the profits of summer apparel will be much lower than those winter ones. Very often, apparel business will face summer cloths overstocking during July and August.

In fact, one of the main purposes JD.com started “6.18” Online Shopping Festival is to dust off the summer slow time cliché. However, the result is still not as pleasant. There is still a long way to go for retailers to take advantage of the summer slow time.

JD 618 eCommerce online shopping festival

 JD’s promotional poster during “6-18” online shopping festival 


To Make the Most of “Slow Time”

The slowdown may seems inevitable, but there are ways to keep your cross border eCommerce in China going until business booms again.

Please stay tuned, and we will provide a laundy list of ways in which you can maximum your sales in slow season, especially when you in the world of China eCommerce.


More on China eCommerce Development:

Bring your grocery business to China via eCommerce? It’s happening.

3 Keywords to Reflect the Future of Cross Border eCommerce in China

These Are the 5 Must-have Magento Extensions for Your eCommerce Store in China



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