According to China Customs statistics, the number of import and export lists inspected and released through the customs cross-border e-commerce management platform in 2020 reached 2.45 billion, a year-on-year increase of 63.3%, which was four times that of 2017, which was less negatively affected by the international macro environment. In terms of volume, China’s cross-border e-commerce imports and exports increased by 31.1% year-on-year in 2020, of which export growth was 40.1%, much higher than imports.
The good situation of cross-border e-commerce benefits from the support of enterprises and domestic policy resources. It is also inseparable from the mature supply chain, manufacturing and talent advantages accumulated by the industry in its long-term development. Domestic cross-border e-commerce has not only accumulated strong products, but is also actively exploring how to use new technologies and new channels to better meet consumer needs. With the guidance of their predecessors, more and more e-commerce companies are embracing the dream of becoming a globally popular consumer brand and are working hard to achieve it.
At the same time, the market environment is also sending similar signals to all e-commerce companies – the market environment is becoming more and more mature, and companies need to find sustainable development models. In 2019, the global cross-border online shopping penetration rate reached 51.2%. ³After 2020, catalyzed by the epidemic, changes in consumer groups and shopping psychology have accelerated. The global e-commerce market has accelerated its development and gradually evolved into a “new normal.” This also requires cross-border e-commerce merchants to It may be necessary to adopt new methods to maintain its sustainable development and gain longer vitality.
01 Brand building: a new turning point for cross-border e-commerce
Under the influence of the epidemic, A large number of global consumers’ shopping behavior has shifted from offline to online. This not only brings excellent development opportunities for cross-border e-commerce, but also profoundly changes the competitive landscape of cross-border e-commerce. Although user growth seems to have become easier, how to retain users has further exposed the shortcomings of traditional distribution and traffic monetization business models. If the growth of brand sales is centered on traffic and products, communication and connection with consumers will be ignored. In turn, for consumers, contact with the brand will be limited to purchasing behavior, and will not leave a deep shopping impression and experience. As a result, it is difficult for brands to achieve user retention, which further means that it is difficult to achieve sustained growth. When industry dividends gradually recede and competition shifts from incremental to existing, if they want to achieve long-term sustainable development, how to drive growth from users and build brands to attract consumers has become a top priority for cross-border e-commerce companies. .
The purpose of building a brand is to build the ability to develop markets, occupy markets, and obtain profits. Only by relying on strong brand influence can we build obvious loyalty among consumer groups. It determines the customer’s preference for the brand, and more importantly, it determines the degree of customer attention and trust in the brand. This way, we can avoid falling into repeated price competition, avoid operating risks, and at the same time enjoy the value brought by the brand. On the other hand, as users’ own experience in cross-border online shopping increases, users’ recognition of brands is also constantly improving. Cross-border e-commerce has ushered in a critical turning point for brand-based development.
In order to jointly build a sustainable brand development model with cross-border e-commerce, Google and Deloitte jointly released the “2021 China Cross-border E-commerce Development Report” (hereinafter referred to as the “Report” ).
This article will analyze consumer groups and tracks, hoping to provide some thoughts on the direction of sustainable brand building for cross-border e-commerce under the new normal.
02 Consumers: In-depth online shopping and brand awareness
The current changes in the business environment and shopping patterns will have a greater impact on e-commerce consumers and tracks in 2020. On the one hand, the main consumers of e-commerce have gradually matured in their understanding of brands and are willing to recognize the value of the brand; on the other hand, although the categories of e-commerce have not changed much, they still focus on clothing fashion, home gardening, and 3C products. and beauty products are the main tracks, but there is more room for brand development in the subdivisions of some tracks, and the unit price per customer has increased.
In 2020, the epidemic not only brought about “social distance”, but also brought about a periodic “lockdown” in some economically developed countries due to epidemic prevention. Consumers’ lives The status has changed dramatically. In order to understand the changes in shopping behavior and mentality of online shopping consumers, researchers of the “2021 China Cross-border E-commerce Development Report” based on the mature cross-border e-commerce markets represented by the United States, Britain, Germany, France and Spain, A survey questionnaire was distributed to online consumers who had made purchases through independent e-commerce channels in the past 12 months, and a total of 5,005 questionnaires were collected.
The age distribution, income, and purchase categories of three consumers in 2019-2020
(Information source: “2021 China Cross-border Cross-border e-commerce development report”)
From the questionnaire survey results, we can see that changes in consumer lifestyles have had a more direct impact on the growth of cross-border e-commerce retail . The report shows: “Between 2019 and 2020, major countries in Europe, the United States and the Asia-Pacific regionOn the track, retailers still dominate. However, under the epidemic, brand e-commerce, especially DTC brands, has shown rapid growth. Some brands have exceeded the core price of US$50 and developed into mid-to-high unit prices, showing strong competitive potential in the beauty and personal care category. Among subdivided categories, the personal care category enjoys higher retail sales and maintains a higher growth rate; the demand growth of skin care and sunscreen categories far exceeds that of cosmetics and personal care categories, and the relative degree of competition is low.
2020 U.S. beauty and personal care industry segmentation category chart
(Information source: “China Cross-border E-commerce in 2021 Development Report”)
04 Sustainable solutions: the linkage of brands, users and products o:p>
For cross-border e-commerce, when we talk about “brand building”, it does not refer to pure brand marketing, but should be called a sustainable e-commerce business model. . It takes users as the core and uses a single brand site as the carrier to provide customers with products with dual emotional and functional connections, forming a linkage between users, products, and brands, thereby enabling cross-border e-commerce to achieve sustained growth.
Affected by changes in lifestyle, changes in market structure and consumer behavior have brought unprecedented development space to cross-border e-commerce, and brand official websites have ushered in a new round of development opportunity. In addition to gaining the favor of consumers in terms of product functional performance, how to build brand awareness through effective channels, continuously optimize the operation of the brand’s official website to enhance consumer trust, and ultimately achieve conversion and repurchase is also in the pursuit of long-term sustainable development. An undeniable important part.
While consumer behavior is changing, the competitive landscape of the global retail market is also changing rapidly. In the four major opportunity tracks of clothing and fashion, home and gardening, 3C products and beauty and personal care, we will continue to pay attention to unit customer price and segmented tracks as factors for brand development. DTC brands have broad development space in the apparel and fashion categories. In the home and gardening track, DTC brands in certain vertical categories are growing rapidly, and the future is promising. The overall 3C market is experiencing strong growth and relatively low competition, providing more opportunities for brands. DTC brands have also shown strong competitive potential in the beauty and personal care category, with many brands breaking through the core price range of US$50. </p