How China’s Shein topped the e-commerce industry?

Nov 30, 2021 E-commerce


The epidemic has accelerated the development trend of cross-border e-commerce, and now it is a development trend for Chinese brands to go overseas.

"It seems that every development trend of cross-border e-commerce is produced with an important event." Shein's popularity, Anker's sale was successful, and Amazon "banned" big sellers...

For cross-border e-commerce merchants, 2021 will be an extraordinary year after all.

Shein has grasped the outlet of every cross-border e-commerce period

As a fast-fashion star, Shein has attracted global attention with its super-speedy development.

Relevant data show that as of May 17, 2021, Shein was the top iOS shopping app in 54 countries and ranked top in the category on Android devices across 13 countries; and on social media such as Instagram, Facebook and TikTok, Shein has already had close to 300 million followers, with more than 30 million active users per year, and 120 million registered users.

This company, which was founded in 2008 under the domain SheInside, is a site that sold wedding dresses and women's fashion geared toward US and English-language shoppers.

In 2011, Chris Xu used the money he earned from selling wedding dresses to create and built an independent station from a single category to a full-category service platform for women's clothing. And in the same year, he launched an Italian website. Since then, the platform has been launched in France, Ukraine, France, Spain, and Saudi Arabia one after another.

Taking advantage of social media and early influencers bonuses, coupled with average prices and a wide range of styles, Shein attracted a huge following.

2014 may be a key year for Shein. In May of that year, Shein's App was released for testing. At the same time, it was found that the rapid growth of orders brought about the problem of inadequate supply chain. According to relevant reports, Chris Xu went to Panyu District, Guangzhou to create an 800-person design department. The team began to layout a supply chain that could ship as fast as 7 days, 200 pieces per batch, and at the same time, the suppliers do not press the accounting period, and can achieve a week to a month settlement.

After several years of hard work, in 2018, Shein became popular in the circle.

By the end of 2018, Shein had become a large website in the "top 10 shopping apps" in the United States, and the data showed that the monthly traffic of Shein's U.S. site had reached 1.57 million, and it started to venture into men's and children's clothing business, and received a total valuation of $2.5 billion in financing from Sequoia in this year.

In 2019 and 2020, Shein completed its Series D and E rounds of financing. According to relevant reports, and related reports say that in the latest round of financing, Shein's valuation has exceeded 300 billion yuan ($46.8 billion).

Nowadays, Shein has gradually come to offline promotion. In September 2021, a three-day offline event of a pop-up store was established in Miami, USA. Relevant statistics show that more than 3,000 orders were received before the store was opened. And the products were all sold out within two hours, with about 125 people entering the store every hour.

Meanwhile, Singbada, as one of the suppliers of Shein, has completed a new round of financing in July this year.

Therefore, with the advantages of the supply chain, the traffic and a strong digital engine capability, whether SheIn's success can be replicated has attracted a lot of attention.

But it is inseparable from the development of social media, it can be seen that the rapid development of TikTok in overseas is a new wave of wind for cross-border e-commerce.

Shein will hold and participate in a variety of fashion-related themed events on TikTok to increase brand exposure and customer loyalty. And it will also look for content marketing companies and networks all over the world to create a "fast fashion" ecological chain.

So for Chinese companies that want to brand overseas, they need to grasp the benefits of new social media such as TikTok, take advantage of the innate advantages of China's manufacturing industry base, improve supply chain management, and focus on digitalization. Maybe when the next windfall comes, they will be able to follow the trend and stand out.


Data and content are important productivity for brands going abroad

Marketing is indispensable for brands to go abroad, and nowadays marketing decisions are also changing: on the one hand, they focus on market orientation, and on the other hand, they focus on consumer research.

With the development of digitalization, the concept of data-driven decision-making is gradually seeping into the blood of enterprises. Previously, corporate decisions often relied on experience and function, but now along with digital development, so that multi-dimensional data can connect and bring a new relationship, then, customer demand can be exchanged for advertising, customers interested in content can interact with the company, there will also be purchase behavior, and then the company will receive customer reviews, and even have a repurchase ... And this whole set of processes, all to be managed with digital.

Here it involves user acquisition, content production and user data. Cao Hu, Global Partner of Kotler Consulting Group & President of China Region, believes that user data is the key to the technicality of corporate marketing. It is difficult to personalize and customize marketing if it is not mastered, and it cannot establish long-term communication and contact with customers.

Therefore, marketing content system, customer data system and marketing automation system constitute the core part of enterprise marketing technology, and they are interrelated.

For example, if a company wants to complete targeted promotion, the latest customer data information must be the key, and it must cooperate with dynamic content database query and the distribution of marketing automation technology. For this matter, Mr. Cao summarizes the 4R basic theory:

Recognize and reach:

Want to reach first to recognize, in which the customer center plays a role, relying on multiple channels, such as online mini programs, online and offline platforms, private domain e-commerce, live broadcast, and so on.


In order to build the relationship of continuous customer transactions, that is, public domain and CRM, which is the basis for long-term relationships and continuous transactions.

Return or reward:

That is to say, the methods to complete the transaction. It is necessary to use membership systems to achieve long-term profitability.

So, how to express what is marketing technology in one sentence?

He said, "it is a new generation of technical means, based on data, so that marketing effectiveness to obtain a great improvement. It is a human-machine combination that can improve the error of marketing problems, which is also the core part of Mr. Kotler marketing 5.0. And in the past, enterprises do not have the opportunity to operate the data."

As everyone knows, technology is only a method, not the final goal. As a key component of marketing, content also needs technical support. Adobe, for example, is a typical company that provides a platform of technology and tools to provide users with content production tools. "Adobe is the world's largest marketing content SaaS company."

If you help users choose the tools that can directly create content, it forms a content ecology such as TikTok, and then there is cloud content storage, and then the content tagging and intelligent distribution at the back, and the database to open up customer relationships, which is the marketing cloud.

About content marketing, which not only tests creativity and understanding of local culture, the form of communication is also increasingly important. In the mobile era, short videos are more in line with the habits of young consumers and have become an important part of content marketing that makes full use of the fragmented time of life.


Cross-border e-commerce logistics escort brands to go abroad

Nowadays, cross-border e-commerce is developing on the highway in Southeast Asian countries. For example, in 2021, the e-commerce platform Lazada's order volume increased by 82% year-on-year, sales in Singapore for one hour increased 10 times more than usual, and Vietnam for one hour doubled last year.

And this is inseparable from the technical construction, localization operations, logistics system, etc., the links complement each other.

As the infrastructure of an e-commerce platform, the importance of logistics is obvious. For service platforms and merchants, it is one of the most critical things to pass the sold goods out and deliver them to customers in good condition.

For example, the history of Lazada's logistics dates back to 2013. After being acquired by Alibaba in 2016, Lazada's originally relatively isolated process management system was integrated into all Alibaba's process management systems, including the logistics.

The first network built by the team is the direct shipping from China to Southeast Asia.

When the store submits the order with one click, it opens the collection, sorting, customs clearance, delivery, and then to the arrival station to deliver it to the customer. It took 7-14 days to carry out such steps before, and it will be shortened to 7 days faster in 2021. This will rely on the entire international air transport Internet. The key to the acceleration is that Cainiao's industry group closely surrounding merchants, especially the supply chain.

And at the level of the parcel network, it is necessary to improve the entire parcel road tour.

For example, Vietnam, a large number of consumers are distributed on both sides, before a parcel from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, there are more than 1000 kilometers. Now the two have their own routes, which is highly efficient. And in Malaysia, East Malaysia did a direct delivery, so that the time efficiency increased by 50%, logistics costs reduced by 50%.

For large items that are not suitable for long straight hair, such as large and medium-sized household appliances, furniture, motorcycles, bicycles, etc., it was previously difficult to make them in Southeast Asia. Therefore, it is necessary to unlock the sea transport, but also the layout of the overseas warehouse.

In terms of international shipping, Lazada has made a number of key improvements for the medium and large objects in international shipping in 2021. It opened a sea freight logistics hub for Southeast Asia in Guangzhou, and opened a land freight logistics hub for Thailand and Vietnam in Nanning.

In addition to overseas warehousing, a core warehouse in China is also necessary, so that stores can store goods in overseas warehouses conveniently and quickly. For example, in 2021, Lazada guarantees that the goods will be exported to a certain Southeast Asian region, and customers can receive bags within 1-3 days.

For the same fast-increasing sales market in Southeast Asia, Cainiao has launched 7 flights a day for charter flights between China and South America. The parcels shipped to Brazil in September this year increased by more than 200% year-on-year, which is inseparable from the collaborative development of Cainiao and other cross-border logistics enterprises.

For sellers, to light cost in advance reserve goods in overseas warehouses, with customer orders and then delivery, can significantly improve logistics efficiency and save logistics costs. For cross-border logistics enterprises, the common goal of the industry is to protect the profit margin of goods and improve efficiency.

This is an article from WeChat official accounts Leifengwang (ID: leiphone-sz), written by Dai Runze.