TREND 5 of the internationalization of brands: The internationalization of brands is more of a test for the control ability of the supply chain
The internationalization of Chinese brands is also the upgrading of China’s supply chain. In the era of digital trade, the mature “supply chain” behind the brand is the high R & D and innovation ability to deal with large-scale output and the service integration ability enabled by new technology. Digitization and specialization will become the inevitable trend of industry optimization.
1.Innovation ability is more valued in R & D and design
Strong product strength is always behind a great brand and the real product strength depends on the investment of R & D and design. Anker Innovations, being a small company when it was established, now has been a listed company ranking in the forefront of 3C category. Anker Innovations walked out a path where it advances product strength by R & D then builds its brand by strong product strength. Owing to its large success in and beyond Chinese market of digital consumption, Anker Innovations successfully landed on the China Growth Enterprise Market(China GEM) in 2020 and became the first independent listed company of cross-border e-commerce. Anker Innovations said that 50% of their employees are occupied in R & D work and the brand has more than 1,000 patents.
2.Elastic, quick, intelligent in production link have become the significant characteristics
The inventory problem is directly related to the cash flow and turnover of enterprises in the cross-border e-commerce industry with a longer link chain. How to make the production line and supply chain system freely switch between personalization, small batch and large batch, while the delivery time and cost will not change greatly, is an important focus for the long-term development of cross-border e-commerce brands. The well-known Shein with mature experience in flexible supply chain is characterized by “large scale, small order and quick reaction”. Specifically, on the premise of real-time analysis and tracking of market demand, start from small orders (generally 100 ~ 200 pieces), return orders immediately if the sales trend is good, and stop production if the sales do not meet expectations.
At the same time, Shein uses its advantages in informatization and technology to help the manufacturing factory upgrade and improve, so that the factory can realize smarter intelligent production, and make the “small order&quick reaction” mode realize large-scale automation application. According to industry statistics, Shein‘s average renewal rate of 40,000 ~ 50,000 pieces / week is significantly higher than the average level at home and abroad. Moreover, due to the improvement of efficiency and the reduction of cost waste, the high cost performance advantage of the products on Shein is obvious, which in turn further helps it win more consumers.
3.The full life cycle service is more highlighted in service link
For most enterprises of cross border e-commerce, the supply chain management are mainly divided into 4 links: purchase, sale, storage and logistics, and each link is closely related. The service provider chain is constantly extended in single link in recent years, demonstrating the trend of providing one-stop services around the full life cycle. Specifically, product selection and layout at the first step, then the supply chain finance which is specially provided for strengthening the stock capacity of cross border e-commerce sellers, finally it comes to assisting the later operation of store and digital marketing service which helps sellers drive traffic and enhance the brand image. All services are completed in every line.
TREND 6 of the internationalization of brands: Capital boom sweeps over the upstream and downstream industries of brand internationalization
The outbreak of cross-border e-commerce has also attracted the pursuit of capital, and news of acquisition, financing and listing have been heard very often. According to the data of the Global Cross-border e-commerce Branding Research Center, there were 67 cross-border e-commerce financing events in 2021, with a total financing amount of more than 20 billion yuan.
1.The interest of capital switches from distribution mode to brand mode
From 2016 to 2018, there was a wave of capital boom in the field of cross-border e-commerce, including a large number of big sellers such as Aukey electronics, ATC and Youkeshu began to land on “the New Third Board”, while enterprises such as Globalegrow, Patozon and Yibai entered the capital market by means of merger and acquisition. At that time, a large number of big sellers, under the huge “gambling pressure”, planted widely and reaped little in the distribution mode of “large and comprehensive extreme cost performance”, and fell down in the disorderly expansion. As the market is worried about the cash flow and inventory of distribution sellers, the number of cross-border e-commerce industry financing began to decrease, and the industry financing has cooled down.
In 2020 when the development of traditional foreign trade was more and more difficult, cross border e-commerce was given the important task of stabilizing foreign trade, and the supporting policies have been strengthened at all levels. Capital noticed the era opportunity of this field again. Especially the star projects like Anker Innovations and Shein have shined, which, made the outside world begin to re-recognize the cross-border e-commerce and the internationalization of brands, which is still promising.
Looking back at the financing events of cross border e-commerce, many top risk investment agencies like SoftBank Vision, Capitaltoday, DST Global are included. Internet giants also began to appear in the internationalization investment circle. Doublelefs received $100 million in Round A financing from ByteDance in June 2021, and Xiaomi Group invested in beauty and makeup field such as Inface. It can be imagined that apart from the competition of operation capacity and supply chain ability in the future cross border e-commerce industry, it will usher in the competition of capital.
TREND 7 of the internationalization of brands: The service market of cross border e-commerce brands is gradually becoming a complete and highly marketized service ecosystem
The prosperity of the internationalization market of cross-border e-commerce brands and the upgrading of demand give birth to more professional services. The corresponding purchase, logistics, capital and technical support are also more perfect, which greatly reduces the threshold for small and medium-sized businesses to build brands.
1.Take coordination and opening as the guideline, comprehensive services are more highlighted
On the one hand, supporting services such as software companies, agent operating companies and logistics enterprises gather around cross-border e-commerce platforms. The service covers online store decoration, website operation, marketing, return and exchange, financial services, insurance and other contents. The ecosystem of the whole industry is becoming more and more perfect and the division of labor is becoming increasingly clear. On the other hand, a single brand service provider improves the ability of gaining new users and retaining them by upgrading the comprehensive service mode, makes high-quality cross-border e-commerce services within reach, forms a open, collaborative and prosperous new ecosystem of cross-border e-commerce services, and allows more people to enjoy the dividends of online cross-border e-commerce services.
2.Take industrial parks as the carrier, the service mechanism is more perfect
In recent years, the government has continuously improved the policy support for cross-border e-commerce, which is a necessary measure to resist the impact of the epidemic, and encouraging the internationalization of brands is an great momentum to accelerate the transformation and upgrading of traditional trade industries. The internationalization of cross border e-commerce has high requirements for enterprise capital, supply, technology and talents. Therefore, gathering the necessary services for the internationalization of brands in the offline industrial park will effectively reduce the entry threshold of small and medium-sized businesses. For example, Hangzhou promotes the digital transformation of offline parks, builds cross border e-commerce with regional industrial clusters supported by offline parks, and there are industrial parks focusing on new business formats such as “cross-border e-commerce + livestream” , serving more Hangzhou brands to “go global”.
3.Take digital technology as the support, mode innovation and development is more remarkable
New technologies such as big data, cloud computing, 5G and artificial intelligence(AI) have laid a deep technical foundation for brand empowerment.
Big data can be used to analyze global consumption trends for enterprise selection and marketing, and to better match supply and demand by accumulating identity information, behavior patterns and capacity data of both sides of trade;
Through the complex algorithm analysis of AI, we can organize the data, constantly evaluate the changes of market dynamics and competitive environment, help sellers select suitable products and re-price products in time. Video, AR, VR, 360 panorama and other media applications are used to help the buyer and the seller achieve information symmetry.
TREND 8 of the internationalization of brands: Chinese brands accelerate the globalization and look for the international expression of Chinese stories
National is the world’s. From product internationalization to brand internationalization, Chinese elements become the essential “gene” . Chinese brands with cultural soft power such as traditional culture and oriental aesthetics are getting recognition by overseas consumers depending on technology and creation.
1.Time-honoured brands are accelerating on the new road of internationalization exploration
For time-honoured brands, transformation is inevitable. In recent years, the internationalization of time-honoured brands has become a group action. Zhang Xiao Quan, Shanghai Watch and other time-honoured brands are sailing overseas and becoming the “New Chinese Card” for Chinese and foreign cultural exchange. Take Zhang Xiao Quan, a time-honoured brand with almost 400-year history as example. Zhang Xiao Quan is always viewed as the “leading sheep” of scissors and hardware industry in China, and its featured products scissors are widely famous for the craftsmanship and exquisite styles. In 2017 it established on cross border e-commerce platform Amazon and eBay and in 2019 it joined Lazada. Under the condition that the sales of cutting tool industry is not as fast as that of FMCG industry, the sale value of Zhang Xiao Quan reached $370,000 in 3 months at that time, promoting the rise of the overall sale value.
2.New consumption brands make overseas users their fans by younger way of expression
In recent years, “China-chic” culture’s emerging has arrested the eyes of “Gen-Z”. Among the trend of the internationalization of “China-chic”, the track of beauty makeup is extremely hot. According to 2021 Insight Report on the Trend of Beauty Makeup Industry co-issued by CBNData & Tmall Golden Makeup Award, just take references of the sale number in the stage of “Buy in advance” of Tmall TaoBao overseas Double 11 shopping festival, the internationalization of Chinese beauty makeup has increased by more than 10 times.
Southeast Asia and Japan have become popular markets for the internationalization of these brands. Many brands believe that there are less cultural differences in these regions and it is easier to establish brand awareness locally. Overseas channels like Amazon, Shopee, Lazada and Tmall have also become hot options for brands. In addition, many brands have added stand alone websites and social media such as Facebook and TikTok on this basis.
Take makeup brand Florasis whose hot sale products are Chinese style for example. In 2021, Florasis officially started selling on overseas third party platform. Its products such as “Love locks lipstick”, etc. were quickly sold out at the moment they started being sold on Japanese Amazon. It’ s noteworthy that its selling price is 6,129 yen (about 371 yuan) which is almost the same price as that of brands such as Chanel. Meanwhile the stand alone websites of Florasis have established the service in 43 countries and regions. Depending on overseas mainstream video and social channels such as YouTube, Instagram and Twitter, through younger way of expression, Florasis’ insisting on exporting Chinese culture and telling Chinese stories attracted lots of overseas users to be their fans. Consumers generously express their love for the products on social media.
3.New consumption brands are deeply rooted in the emerging markets of the “the Belt and Road”
According to the 2021 Southeast Asia Digital Economy Report co-released by Google, Temasek and Bain Capital, the number of Internet users in Southeast Asia surged by 40 million in 2021, exceeding 440 million, which means that up to 70% of users have access to the Internet. Meanwhile, the total scale of e-commerce in Southeast Asia will reach $120 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $234 billion by 2025. Behind the continuous expansion of the number of Internet users and the scale of the digital economy, the Southeast Asian market is entering the next decade of the digital economy.
Since January 1, 2022, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) has officially entered into force for Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. On February 1, RCEP has officially entered into force for South Korea. The remaining member states will also take effect after completing the domestic approval procedures. 90% of the goods of RCEP member states are tariff free. The cross-border e-commerce platform is the primary choice for competing RCEP countries. Major cross-border e-commerce new consumption brands have laid out the emerging markets in Southeast Asia as soon as possible, attaching great importance to Generation Z and sinking markets. Behind the continuous expansion of the number of Internet users and the scale of the digital economy, with the RCEP agreement taking effect, emerging markets represented by Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asia will become a new unknown market for the internationalization of cross-border e-commerce brands.
By Global Cross-border e-commerce Branding Research Center