It took less than a year for community group buying to switch from small private domain traffic to giant melee.
Last June, 27 year old he ma (not his real name) joined the business of buying vegetables in his convenience store. Although the time is not long, he ma has fully felt what is "Crazy".
Xingsheng selected the latest entry into the Wuhan market, and soon radiated to Jiangxia District outside the third ring road. A year later, two other giants, meituan and pinduoduo, also quickly entered the market. In May and June, he Ma's shop launched the two businesses simultaneously.
"At the beginning, meituan and pinduoduo had many salesmen go to the door of the community and go door-to-door to seek cooperation with our businesses. They don't care how far away they are, no matter what they sell in the store. " He Ma told the 21st century economic reporter that he didn't want to sell vegetables at first, and he felt that the profit was not attractive. However, he could not resist the enthusiasm of pushing. In addition, the surrounding clothing stores, mother and baby shops, post stations and laundry shops all joined in, so there was no threshold. If you don't do it yourself, the business in the store may also be affected.
This is not surprising. In a district in downtown Shanghai, Ms. Cao can meet three or four local pushers in half an hour of walking her dog and ask her to download the shopping app. "Meituan and dingdong are the most aggressive in buying vegetables. They set up stalls to send oil and eggs to the community every day."
According to incomplete statistics, there are more than 200 community group buying enterprises in China. From January 2019 to November 26, 2020, a total of 26 investment and financing events occurred in the domestic community group purchase e-commerce field, with a total financing of more than 11.7 billion yuan. Some organizations predict that the market size will exceed 100 billion yuan by 2022. Among them, Alibaba, meituan, pinduoduo, byte skipping, didi and other giants have all entered the Bureau. No matter whether the outside world can understand it or not, it seems that no one wants to miss such a savage growth of the Red Sea market.
All kinds of signs show that this competition, which has not yet reached its peak, is bound to become a game for the giants. No matter whether meituan pinduoduo can win or not, the latecomers will find it hard to get involved. The pattern is bound to change from a large number of local platforms to an "inverted pyramid" in which most markets are monopolized by oligarchs. It is only a matter of time before shuffling. After all, this is a war that Huang Zheng and Wang Xing both said they must win.
Community groups are closer to users, and new patterns of retail and consumption will appear in the future. -Visual China
The sudden outbreak of the epidemic, to the fierce competition of the community fresh track added a fire, capital all the way running, into the outbreak of the market.
On July 7, meituan announced the adjustment of its organizational structure, set up the "optimization division" and launched the "meituan optimization" business, officially entering the community group buying track. At the same time, the original "elephant business unit" was renamed as "shopping business department" to continue to develop meituan's business of buying vegetables. Just over a month later, on August 31, pinduoduo's community group buying project "Duoduo buying vegetables" was officially launched, and took the lead in Wuhan and Nanchang.
Their development speed is not without speed. As of November 27, more vegetables have covered 14 provinces and cities except Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, most of which are concentrated in the sinking market. Meituan's practice in the field of fresh food is divided into two paths. Meituan adopts the mode of front-end warehouse + instant delivery, focusing on Benchmarking Alibaba's box horse in first tier cities. Meituan preferred focuses on the second and third tier cities, adopting the mode of pre-sale + self delivery.
Although insiders of the two companies kept their mouths shut and kept a low profile in an interview with 21st century economic reporter. However, from the business level, personal hand to hand combat has already begun, and the focus has been on the heads of various regions.
Why is the team leader important to the platforms? "If it's a new team leader, the role of pushing orders is obvious. If it's an old customer, it doesn't matter. Because now, no matter whether you place an order in the group, as long as the user comes to pick up the goods in the store, the team leader can get the income. However, the role of the head of the team is still very important. He needs to stimulate the purchasing mood of the group friends and take on multiple roles of good commodity management and after-sales service. " An insider of Xingsheng optimization told the 21st century economic reporter, especially at the detail level, such as whether vegetables will be covered with wet cloth to keep fresh, whether frozen products are put into the refrigerator immediately, etc., will have an impact on the user experience.
In order to increase the volume quickly, meituan has played its usual advantages in pushing, setting up a new recruitment mechanism and recruiting new service providers nationwide. According to a BD internal training material obtained by 21st century economic report, each new team leader contacted by BD personnel can reach the standard by completing 5 orders a week. The BD can settle 50 yuan next Monday, and the remaining 50 yuan will be settled on the 20th of the next month, totaling 100 yuan. If a contract is reached with the meituan service provider, the BD personnel can get a reward of 120 yuan. This means that the subsidy to attract a new head of the US regiment is between 100 and 120 yuan.
The platform can quickly complete the accumulation of original customers in a short period of time through the form of subsidizing and soliciting the league leaders of community stores. Ms. Xiong, the owner of Guichun store of Guangxi Nanning new agricultural group, told the 21st century economic reporter that when contacting Duoduo and meituan platforms, the promotion point of buying more vegetables is 10%, and the higher meituan can reach 13% - 15%. However, in fact, there are often changes in policies, and after the 11th National Day, the rewards are much less.
For the group leader, the subsidy strategy is more for the group leader than for the new group leader. Rely on the huge traffic of pinduoduo client, guide users to take the initiative to place orders. "At present, the order quantity of duomaicai is almost the same as that of meituan, but the Commission of duomaicai is almost nothing, which is horribly low. Pinduoduo is mainly because the price is cheap, the price of some dishes has broken through the cost, and the orders from the main station are also easier to deal with. " He ma showed to reporters a lot to buy vegetables Commission records, a 59 yuan durian, he only harvested 1.18 yuan Commission.
However, if the head of the team buys more than 20 dishes a day, he can also get an extra 27 yuan reward. "These fresh prices feel like they've broken through costs." He ma pointed out. What is more noteworthy is that in the commodity page of buying more vegetables, there are also categories of standardized, easy to store and easy to transport, such as normal temperature milk, cereals and oils, which are also subsidized, far lower than the normal retail prices on the market.
In his opinion, this will have some conflicts with the category of the store, which will affect the sales of the store, but the loss is within the acceptable range.
Capital becomes winner or loser
Before the market structure is formed, the subsidy war will continue. Buying vegetables is not only a rigid demand in daily life, but also a high-frequency consumption scenario. Once the user habits can be cultivated and consumption stickiness is established, the user's activity can be greatly improved, the user's time can be occupied to a greater extent, and the consumption of other products and services on the platform can be driven.
For the leaders, at this stage, it is almost "sitting" to pick up money. "The basic Commission is between 10% and 15%, which is an extra income. But this is a trend, and it can't be done without doing it. " He Ma's community has 39 buildings. At present, the net income from group buying is about 8000 yuan per month.
However, investors are not as optimistic as expected. "To be honest, I feel that people in the circle are a little confused. If you give more than a billion yuan to the United States, you don't have a chance to go to the community quickly. Now for investment institutions, it is also confused. " If you don't want to invest in the community fund, you can hardly find a chance to invest in the community fund. However, if it is based on the supply line and the industrial chain to do some optimized innovation to create value for these giants, there are still some opportunities. After all, the track is big enough.
According to AI media consulting data, China's fresh food e-commerce industry as a whole maintains a stable growth trend, and the market size of China's fresh food e-commerce market will reach 162 billion yuan in 2019. During the period of "high-speed consumption of e-commerce" and "fresh housing", the market penetration rate of e-commerce and fresh housing industry will increase sharply in 2020.
Recently, pinduoduo released its third quarter financial report, which is the first quarterly profit after two years of listing. The net profit attributable to common shareholders was 466.4 million yuan, which was 1.660.4 billion yuan compared with the same period last year. It is worth noting that in the following performance telephone conference, "buy more vegetables" has become the most concerned topic of investors. According to QM data, as of the end of October, dau, a small program for buying more vegetables, has surpassed competitors such as Tongcheng life and Shihui group, showing a rapid growth trend.
Huang Zheng, chairman of pinduoduo, once explained that the mode of vegetable buying business can not be simply interpreted as "community group buying", but a mixture of multiple forms, such as front-end warehouse, pinxiao station and community site. At the conference call, pinduoduo CEO Chen Lei once again discriminated and said, "Duoduo buying vegetables is not a community group buying business. As far as we are concerned, buying more vegetables is actually a natural extension of pinduoduo's business. "
But at present, the mode of buying more vegetables basically adopts the method of community group buying. In addition, both meituan and pinduoduo are facing traffic pressure. Meituan's anxiety is that its core business, catering delivery, is facing a growth bottleneck. As the takeout industry matures, the customer base has become relatively fixed. Pinduoduo is facing the pressure that the high growth rate for many years is gradually slowing down, and the growth of user volume seems to be approaching the ceiling.
"Pinduoduo has more than 730 million users, and it is inevitable that the growth will slow down gradually." David Liu, vice president of pinduoduo's strategy, explained at the financial report telephone conference that the most concerned issue now is the ranking of pinduoduo in users' minds, which is also the reason why the company carries out vegetable shopping business. It wants to keep up with the changes of user behavior and expand its proportion in users' minds.
Therefore, the subsidy for buying more vegetables will be consistent with the main e-commerce platform. On this platform, the price of 2 jin yellow heart potatoes is even less than 1 yuan, and the price of 30 eggs is only 10.9 yuan, which is less than 1 / 3 of the market price. On November 17, pinduoduo ushered in a new round of financing: to issue 1.75 billion US dollars of convertible bonds. This action is undoubtedly to buy more vegetables to prepare "food and grass.".
In the past three quarters, pinduoduo's marketing expenses were 9.11 billion, 7.3 billion and 9.27 billion, respectively. As a result of revenue growth, marketing expenses accounted for 69% of revenue. One obvious change is that pinduoduo's subsidy strategy has quietly changed, focusing on commodities from high price electronic products to agricultural products.
By the end of the third quarter, pinduoduo's cash, cash equivalents and short-term investment reserves reached 45.6 billion yuan. With the same volume of meituan, the capital reserve can not be underestimated. As of June 30, 2020, cash and cash equivalent of RMB 13.9 billion and short-term investment of RMB 44.5 billion.
Or a predictable outcome
At present, meituan optimization plans to enter Beijing in the middle of December, and its direct marketing needs 20000 leaders, which is large in scale. In the process of adding weight, both sides began to pay more and more attention to the role of "people". In November, meituan bought vegetables, and meituan preferred to buy vegetables on laguo.com, boss direct employment and other websites, and also increased the recruitment efforts of local promotion personnel, especially in the recruitment demand of super first tier cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, which increased nearly twice compared with October.
The giants have entered the game, no wind has come, the rainstorm has arrived. In September 2019, once known as the "dark horse of the community group buying industry", the squirrel competition suddenly spread the information of "bankruptcy" without warning. Some employees even reported that they were still working overtime the day before, and came to the company at 9 am the next morning and were interviewed about layoff compensation. In the original company with more than 2000 employees, there were only about 100 employees left in the Beijing headquarters.
Yang Jun, the founder of the company, has worked with Wang Xing for 10 years, and jointly founded xiaonei.com, fanfu.com and meituan. He has publicly said that in the future, community group buying will certainly hatch out 10 billion dollar enterprises. But he didn't predict his own end.
"These early start-up companies that do community group buying have become martyrs. At that time, the main problem was to control the flow of funds in the whole country. It is not like the prosperity of later optimization, can take some ways to join in to reduce investment. " An investor who once invested in the company repeated the failure case to the 21st century economic reporter. During the whole process, the squirrel's book capital reserve was very tight, and even could not support it for six months.
Now, in his opinion, if the squirrels can survive, it will be a good result to be acquired by the giant again this year. "There are still many problems in the logistics chain, whether it is a logistics infrastructure or not. Generally speaking, this model is more in line with pinduoduo's gene. It naturally has the advantages of fresh retail e-commerce. Although it lacks the ability to push the local e-commerce business, it does not have a strong local layout. "
Therefore, even with the foundation of orange heart optimization or prosperity optimization, it is still necessary to seek opportunities to break through under pressure. Up to now, the number of members of meituan's optimization Division has expanded from the original 100 member group to more than 3000 in just three months. Recently, Didi has also carried out a series of personnel adjustments to orange heart optimization and small orange car clothing. Among them, Liu Yang, the general manager of Xiaoju owned car and the person in charge of car service products, was transferred to the orange heart optimization business department as the person in charge of product experience, users and mall operation, and reported to Chen Ting, senior vice president of Didi, CEO of orange heart optimization Division and general manager of car owner service company.
Just last month, Didi transferred Lai Chunbo, an old general of didi and CTO of the former online car Hailing platform company, to be in charge of product technology, customer service, warehouse allocation, quality control and performance system construction, and also reported to didi Senior Vice President Chen ting. Up to now, orange heart optimization has been launched in 16 provinces in China, including Sichuan, Henan, Fujian, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Hebei, Nanjing, Guangdong, Hunan and Hubei.
According to the source, orange heart has invested more than 1 billion yuan in subsidies. In this regard, Didi related people in the 21st century economic report reporter interview, did not disclose more information.
Who is the ultimate winner?
In the vigorous community group buying war, the users in the first tier cities seem to be free from the storm. In the process of layout and code addition, different platforms have similarities and differences. The players who mainly attack the second and third tier cities also see the opportunity, and their ambition of "fast hand" and "byte jumping" leaps out.
According to the report, byte skipping considered its own incubation community group buying. In the discussion scheme, the project was named "buy vegetables today". And fast hand's community group buying business may also enter Changsha in the near future. Mo daiqing, senior analyst and director of the online retail department of the E-commerce Research Center for e-commerce, said that this year's epidemic has given community group buying opportunities for development, accelerated the cultivation of users, and released the explosive force of community group buying. As an important jigsaw of local life plate, it can better open the sinking market while occupying the first and second tier cities.
Prior to this, byte beat has been in the e-commerce business for a long time: trial water today's special sale, online "rest assured purchase" business, "rest assured purchase" upgraded to "value point mall", etc. This year, byte hop officially established a first-class business department named after "e-commerce" to coordinate the e-commerce business operation of the company's Twitter, today's headlines, watermelon video and other content platforms. In the field of e-commerce, we are involved in more, such as live e-commerce, cross-border e-commerce, etc.
"It's normal that they don't lack money or traffic. Nowadays, the cost of online traffic is rising day by day. Community group buying has the advantage of flow dividend because of its low cost of getting customers. Byte jump, fast hand, want to share a share of the market share is also the need to seize market share. " Mo daiqing further analysis said.
For a long time, the Survival Logic of China's Internet companies is: relying on subsidies to compete for sales and market share, those who win the leading position will be able to obtain venture capital and continue to work hard until the day when the winner is king. To a certain extent, the pursuit of long-term doctrine can not be separated from the factors such as favorable weather, favorable location and harmonious people.
"Community group buying may only be a temporary transitional form, and pinduoduo is also a new offline layout. In particular, the sixth tier market has not yet sunk. In the central and western capital cities, there are also opportunities for live e-commerce. " Zhu danpeng, an analyst of China's food industry, told reporters of the 21st century economic report that Gangsu is just an entrance of drainage. What these participating platforms want to do is not just a single business of buying vegetables, but in fact it is still a big flow to pave the way for the layout of other categories in the future.
If the community group buying doesn't transform or upgrade in the future, it will only be busy in the end. According to the insiders of Shengsheng selection, the platform mainly covers provincial capitals across the country, and then to prefecture level cities, towns, and rural areas. "The number of orders in the sinking market has exceeded half."
From this, it is not difficult to see the determination of pinduoduo to participate firmly. The community group buying is almost the same group as its main station users. However, community group buying is closer to users. Many people in the investment industry believe that wechat ecology is the biggest winner for meituan, which won the battle of qiantuan, and pinduoduo, or other platforms. Wechat ecology will be the biggest winner, and new patterns of retail and consumption will appear in the future.
(trainee reporter Yi Jiaying also contributed to this article)