Is the SheIn D2C movement in China for Real

Today , my colleagues of our newly established technology solution provider,Interface Company, Shenzhen (因特飞思科技(深圳)有限公司) attended our firstD2C Summit here in Futian, Shenzhen at the Ritz Carlton Hotel.

今天,我们新成立的技术解决方案商因特飞思科技(深圳)有限公司的同事首次参加了在深圳福田丽思卡尔顿酒店举行的 D2C 峰会。

Although I personally felt as I were in an abyss of Chinese speaking individuals with no translation to be found, I roamed around in the lobby of the hotel, remained determined to make connections while reflecting and absorbing anything and everything about this emerging movement called D2C in China. D2C , short for “direct to consumer” marketing, is a growing trend in which Chinese sellers invest in their own branding, to eventually sell directly to overseas consumers on their internal website and social media channels like Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, as opposed to relying on sales through traditional e-commerce platforms like Amazon, AliExpress, Walmart. In my opinion, this movement is trending due to a perfect storm of two fewrecent events:

我在酒店大堂闲逛,虽然我觉得我处在一个讲中文的没有翻译的巨大鸿沟中,但我仍然决定去建立一些联系,看看能不能获得或吸收一些有关中国 D2C 新兴运动的一切。D2C,是“直接面对消费者”市场营销的缩写,是一种日益增长的趋势,是中国卖家投资自己品牌,最终通过内部网站和社交媒体渠道(如 Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok)直接向海外销售,而不是依靠亚马逊、速卖通、沃尔玛等传统电子商务平台进行销售。在我看来,因为最近发生的两起事件,这方面正在形成趋势。

1) Shein, a once rumored to be a small wedding dress Chinese clothing manufacturer turned massive D2C US $47 billion brand, now is one of the worlds largest “fast-fashion” companies, beating Amazon to its own game and outdoing incumbent brands like Zara and H&M . In fact they have overtaken Amazon as the #1 most downloaded shopping App in the US and 49 other countries,and the second most popular fashion website in the world. Part of success has stemmed from innovative investments for scale :

1)Shein 曾经传闻是一家中国小型婚纱服装生产商,后来成为了价值 470 亿美元的大型 D2C 品牌,现在是世界上最大的“快时尚”公司之一,用他们自己的方式击败了亚马逊,并超越了 Zara 和 H&M 等现有品牌。事实上,他们已经超越亚马逊,成为美国和其他 49 个国家下载量最大的购物应用程序,以及全球第二受欢迎的时尚网站。成功的一部分原因在于规模化的创新投资:

1. Product Reach - On Demand Marketplace, including a massive online marketplace with around 6K Chinese clothing manufacturers

1. 产品覆盖面 - 随需应变市场,包括拥有约 6,000 家中国服装制造商的大型在线市场

2. Innovation - Propropritary software algorithm that collects near real-time feedback on trending items, leading to on demand new inventory, original commissioned designs through software as opposed to brick and mortar designers.

2.创新--专有的软件算法,收集热门产品近乎实时的反馈,从而按需提供新库存,通过软件而非实体设计师进行原始委托设计。

3. Streamlined operations - Through its manufacturing partners, Shein churns out and tests thousands of different items simulantiously (over 7K items of daily new items), adding to its App on a daily basis. Using a LATR model, “large scale automated test and re-order”, it will start with order small batches of garment for test with buyers, leading to larger orders

3.优化操作--通过其生产合作伙伴,Shein 同时生产和测试数千种不同的产品(每天超过 7000 个新项目),并每天添加到其应用程序中。使用 LATR(大规模自动测试和重新订购)模式,它将从订购小批量服装开始,以便买家进行测试,从而获得更大的订单。

4. Efficiency - Inventory Prodution time- 30 day turn cycles

4.效率--库存生产时间-30 天周转周期

5. Behemoth marketing engine - customer acquisition by gamifying E-Commmerce to the rest of the world. Making shopping a form of entertainment t featuring livestreamers, flash sales, enticing pop-ups, custom product recommendations, a mini social network with mini games, a reward points sales, TikTok short-burst videos, etc

5.强大的市场推动力-通过将电子商务“游戏化”到世界其他地区来获取客户。使购物成为一种娱乐形式,包括直播、闪购、诱人的弹出窗口、定制化产品推荐、带有迷你游戏的迷你社交网络、奖励积分销售、TikTok 短视频等。

2)Amazon and Chinese Manufacturer relationship deterioration. Customer complaints about counterfeiters , dangerous products and fake reviews, damaged the reputation of Amazon, leading to hundreds of merchants being banned from the Amazon platform. This shift of policy along with constantly tougher policy and larger service fees for warehousing and order fullfillment, is leading to rising frustration with Chinese merchants, contributing to this D2C movement

2)亚马逊与中国生产商的关系恶化。消费者对假冒产品、危险产品和虚假评论的投诉损害了亚马逊的声誉,导致许多商家被禁止使用亚马逊平台。这种政策的转变,加上不断强硬的政策、更高的仓储费用和订单完成收取的服务费,导致中国商家的挫败感日益增加,促成了这场 D2C 趋势。

Back to the Summit at the Ritz… As I wonder through the halls of the lobby at the summit , I hunt for clothing manufacturers looking to go D2C , to try entice them to use the technology solution of our client, Gupshup, an international Silicon Valley based company with roots in smart messaging. Gupshup is now providing smart solutions to help brands have conversations with customers via the likes of AI Chatbot technology, helping brands with scale initiatives in e-commerce , support, and marketing.

回到丽思卡尔顿酒店的峰会, 当我在峰会大厅寻思的时候,我极力寻找那些想要加入 D2C 的服装厂商,试图吸引他们使用我们客户 Gupshup 的技术解决方案,Gupshup 是一家总部位于硅谷,扎根于智能通讯的国际公司。Gupshup 现提供智能解决方案,帮助品牌通过 AI 机器人技术与客户进行对话,帮助品牌在电子商务、支持和市场营销方面实现规模化。

Unfortunately, as I meet others at this event, I am realizing that I’m amongst a sea ofother service providers, investors, and platform companies, like Shopify, Shoplaza,OKKI, FunPinPin… all looking for those same customer prospects. Those merchantprospects are nowhere to be found, perhaps sitting behind a factory floor- focused ondesign and new product development as opposed to attending events like this. I spoketo an investor I met, a former NY based Goldman Sachs employee, who came back toShenzhen to join a local VC young startup looking to invest in the next big brand…Although she sees promise in D2C, she still feels its a long ways away for most Chinese manufacturers. According to her, most chinese sellers are not brand oriented, they are increasingly product oriented, but still not brand. It’s a matter of them though, as today, they are still more focused on short term results of profit, and not long term growth. The future of providing solutions like Gupshup’s to D2C Chinese market seems very real, the opportunity being immense. The only question is the timing of this emerging opportunity. But given the rate at which industries,markets and trended develop over here, I’m optimistic. Back to my networking…and getting educated on this new movement.

当我在这次活动中遇到其他人时,不幸的是,我意识到我是其他众多服务商、投资者和一些平台公司中的一员,类似 Shopify、Shoplaza、OKKI、FunPinPin...所有这些公司都在寻找相同的潜在客户。那些潜在客户无迹可寻,也许是坐在工厂车间里面-专注于设计和新产品开发,而不是参加类似这样的活动,我和遇到的一位投资者,一位前纽约高盛员工聊了聊,她回到深圳加入了当地一家创投青年创业公司,希望投资下一个大的品牌。尽管她看到了 D2C 的前景,但她仍然觉得对于大多数中国生产商来说,这还有很长的路要走。据她介绍,大多数中国卖家不是以品牌为导向的,他们越来越以产品为导向,而不是以品牌为导向。不过,这是他们的问题,因为直到今天他们仍然更关注利润的短期结果,而不是长期增长。向中国市场的 D2C 提供 Gupshup 这类解决方案的前景看起来很真实,机会巨大,唯一的问题是这一新兴机会的时机。但考虑到这里的行业、市场和趋势发展的几率,我是持乐观态度的。回到我的人际关系网,并继续接受关于这一项新运动的知识。

References: “How Shein beatAmazon at its own game - and reinvented fast fashion ,by Louise Marsalis, Meaghan Tobin and Wendy Chenhttps://restofworld.org/2021/how-shein-beat-amazon-andreinvented-fast-fashion参考:Shein 是怎么用自己的方式打败亚马逊-并重塑快时尚by Louise Marsalis, Meaghan Tobin and Wendy Chen

https://restofworld.org/2021/how-shein-beat-amazon-andreinvented-fast-fashion 

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International freelancing for me, though I can face uncertainty, provides balance, adventure and exciting new possibilities. The opportunity to work on new projects is consistently stimulating and is a lifestyle I would have a tough time changing, especially for the corporate employee life. 国际自由职业对我来说,尽管我要面对不确定性,但它提供了平衡、冒险和令人兴奋的新的可能性. 在新项目上工作的机会总是令人兴奋的,这是一种我很难改变的生活方式. 尤其是对于在企 业员工的生活.