The Road Of E-Commerce Entrepreneurship: The Post-95 Xueba Sells Clothes
In the past two years, Liu Guangyao has been on the cloud and has fallen to the bottom for a time.
Born in 1995, this big boy is surrounded by many shining labels: Qingbei Xueba, star entrepreneur, post-95 President... His best work is the clothing brand bosie. Up to now, the total value of siboe and Zhenzhi capital has reached RMB 2 billion, and the latest round of capital has been sold to the two funds.
Life is so smooth that when receiving blessing from friends, he would jokingly say, "you don't have to wish me smooth sailing, you'd better wish me good health."
Until March this year, a basin of cold water poured on his pride and confidence.
Shanghai was silent when the epidemic hit. 10% of bosie's online sales and 35% of its offline sales nearly returned to zero for three consecutive months; The 2000 square meter flagship store, which was only a few months old and full of bosie's ambition, had to cut off all the carefully arranged exhibition areas and cut out 1000 square meters for subletting in order to protect itself; The newly established Shanghai office was closed and a team of dozens of people was disbanded on the spot.
Shanghai is the second largest consumer market of bosie and the "pilgrimage" place for consumer entrepreneurs. This "attack" failed against the background of the epidemic situation superimposed on the downturn of the entire consumer market. The figures fell back, and growth became difficult. "In the second half of last year, I turned down investors behind closed doors, and then they didn't see me again."
Liu Guangyao calculated the cash flow. According to the situation in March and April, bosie could last until September at most. In those days, he had to drink some strong liquor at night to make himself slightly drunk before he could fall asleep. He wrote a "letter to the shareholders" word by word.
Fortunately, in June, Shanghai returned to normal and the data recovered, bosie "picked up a life". As usual, bosie will hold a mid year summary meeting at this time, and Liu Guangyao refuses to speak at the meeting. "I have a lot of responsibility for the company's poor performance."
After this time, Liu Guangyao changed. In the past, he felt that the brand should be "big" and then "beautiful". The scale should be enlarged first, and the flow and capital will naturally follow. This is also the practice of many Internet companies and even new consumer brands. But now he believes that "beauty" must be first followed by "big". Beauty is a business model and brand tonality, which means sustainability.
"The world's online business" has interviewed Liu Guangyao many times.
At the same time, it is the first time that the sales volume of siboe will expand to 100 million in 2020.
The second time is in 2021. Liu Guangyao with golden hair has become a dazzling presence in the crowd, just like capital's pursuit of bosie. It is said that some investors even let Liu Guangyao set a valuation for the enterprise in order to get bosie's investment.
The third time is now. Liu Guangyao dyed his hair back black again. Bosie moved into a brand-new office building, but due to 40% layoffs, a lot of work stations were vacated. "Last year I went too far," he admits In 2021, bosie has achieved sales of 700 million yuan, which is more than twice that of the previous year (300 million yuan). Therefore, bosie wants to take the opportunity to rush again.
Speed makes bosie, but it also masks the problem.
The first is the product problem. Bosie used to shine on the industry with "gender free" design style, attracting a large number of fans of generation Z. However, the excessive pursuit of sales volume has smoothed the design spirit, resulting in serious homogenization of products. "Too many meaningless styles" have been made. Liu Guangyao also saw that bosie clothes have broken lines and buttons, and even the obvious English word logo is misspelled
"It's just collapsing. It's too low." Recall, Liu Guangyao is still very excited, "how can this be a brand?"
Product problems are most easily exposed, but they are similar to the first cockroach you see at home, which often means that there are deviations in team management, assessment system and operation direction. Therefore, the impact from the performance may not be a bad thing, bosie began to "slow down" to solve the problem.
In the past nine months, Liu Guangyao has spent money with the team every week. The elimination rate has been greatly improved, and "tonality" has come back to the field of vision. Then there are the operation details, such as the order rate, the sell out rate, the order chasing rate and the discount rate... Liu Guangyao is familiar with these detailed data, and he and his team are facing a long list of indicators, one by one and optimizing one by one. Then there are terminal actions, layoffs, reduction of marketing budget, closure of unprofitable Direct stores.
This year, bosie's core KPI has changed from maintaining growth to maintaining profits. It's more important to survive.
Liu Guangyao also calmed down from his initial anxiety. "In the past, low speed was dangerous on the highway. Now it's dangerous to run fast on mountain roads. To be a brand, you have to adjust the speed constantly." In this year's tmall double 11, Liu Guangyao stratified the price strategy: the old model was discounted and the inventory was cleared, but the new product discount could not be low, which was the first time in four years. "New products can sell well without discount, which means that consumers really approve of your design."
When bosie was born in 2018, the main consumer groups changed from generation to generation, media channels were comprehensively updated, and e-commerce infrastructure was infiltrated downward. The three overlapped, and new consumption emerged. People wanted to redo all consumer goods, but in fact, most of them were local innovations in channels and products. When the initial channel dividend and crowd dividend were divided, entrepreneurs had to stop racing, Take the road that our predecessors have gone through once more in a down-to-earth manner. Just as Yuanqi forest began to build factories and dig channels, perfect diary began to develop and expand categories.
Bosie, on the other hand, walks between designer brands and fast fashion brands, looking for a balance between minority aesthetics and mass commerce. Some people say that it is based on Zara and H & M, or it belongs to China's z-generation fast fashion. However, Liu Guangyao clearly knows that it is more like a story told to investors.
To build a brand, Liu Guangyao still needs to answer this question in the future: who is bosie.
Recently, "the world's online business" talks with Liu Guangyao, the entrepreneur in the new consumption wave. The following is the transcript of the dialogue, which has been edited and sorted out.
"I used to think the company couldn't make it through September."
"World online business": what brings you back from last year's wild running state?
Liu Guangyao: the epidemic situation in Shanghai in March had a great impact on us. For three months, I had insomnia every day. This may be the biggest hurdle I have encountered in 27 years, because maybe four years of starting a business will be put to death.
"The world's online merchants": what was the level of anxiety at that time? How to get out?
Liu Guangyao: I began to try to drink strong liquor. I could only sleep half a cup every night. Reading a variety of biographies makes me grow up quickly. Looking back on myself half a year ago, I think it's too floating.
During this period of time, I wrote my master's thesis which had been delayed for several years, and then applied for a joint training program for PhD in management between Peking University and * * University. I used to spend more than 10 hours a day meeting, but now I only work less than 6 hours a day. Although the working hours have become shorter, the efficiency of decision-making has become higher. I have changed from pretending to be busy to thinking about more essential things in business.
"The world's online merchants": so double 11 is the battle of returning blood?
Liu Guangyao: as a whole, bosie's income has not decreased this year. In the first half of this year, it is basically the same as that of last year, and it is estimated that the income of bosie in the second half of this year is almost the same. But the most important thing is that we should pursue profitability now, and the fourth quarter is very promising.
Therefore, this year's tmall double 11, we have two goals. First of all, we should realize the maximization of profits, which is a very pragmatic thing; The second is de stocking.
This year's double 11 our new logic has also changed, new products discount will not be very big, mainly to maintain the brand tone, to ensure profits, this attitude is very firm. In the past, in order to increase sales, the sales of new products were also greatly discounted. In fact, the company was very uncomfortable. Because of the new development of the product condensed a lot of design efforts, the original concentration is very high.
"On highways, low speed is dangerous; on mountain roads, high speed is a risk."
"The world's online business": bosie is now in what stage?
Liu Guangyao: bosie has been on the line of life and death. When the environment is good, no growth is hopeless. In 2020, I think it's a huge risk to double the growth rate, because if the brand development is too slow and there is no more capital, it will be buried.
On the freeway in those years, low speed was a risk; Now it's a mountain road. It's rugged. Too fast is a risk. We always have to adjust our own speed.
"World online business": what problems have you found in the last year? What adjustments have been made?
Liu Guangyao: first, the product efficiency is low. We made about 4000 or 5000 models last year, with many styles but serious homogenization. Less than 20% of them contribute more than 80% of sales. In other words, we make a lot of meaningless styles. So now it's time to refocus on design and products. We've adjusted it for nearly a year, and now I've got to share it with you every week. Next spring's new product may be different.
Second, the efficiency of commodity operation is low. Single order quantity, sold out rate, production planning cycle, reaction cycle, data optimization space is very large. Last year we found that many of the series sold out very low. 90% of good series, only 20% of bad series. The low sell out rate will lead to overstocking of inventory, so it will be discounted. Discount is to pay for the previous decision-making mistakes, which is very harmful to the brand. Therefore, from the rationality of early production planning, the accuracy of intermediate tracking, and then to the timeliness of supply chain response, we need to comb again.
The third is sales efficiency. We closed four non profitable Direct stores this year.
"World online business": is the decline in product strength the result of scale?
Liu Guangyao: Yes. We never think it's the designer's problem, because 80% of the core designers have not changed. It's more about the mechanism. On the one hand, it is very difficult for designers to pay attention to other departments except for designers; On the other hand, designers' involution leads to homogeneous competition. The income of bosie designers is linked to the sales data of styles, so everyone will do those styles that sell better, and they will become more and more similar and lose the vitality of innovation. Everyone began to pile up the "pop up elements", take a chance to see which one will pop up.
During the adjustment, we did not change the assessment rules, but increased the elimination rate of styles. It means that designers have to work harder to make products that are both "good and popular".
"Without offline, we are a very relaxed company"
"The world's online business": bosie was born online, but decided to go from online to offline very early. Why?
Liu Guangyao: 90% of the difficulties we encountered this year come from offline. If not offline, we are a very relaxed company. But if there is no offline, the brand will not be so sexy, and the capital and consumers will not be so recognized. In the long run, whether it's clothing or brand, offline is particularly important. I'm still a more resilient person. Although I encounter impact and difficulties, I will definitely do it offline.
"The world's online business": what is the situation of offline stores now? After this round of impact, how to adjust the offline strategy?
Liu Guangyao: at present, we have less than 10 direct stores, 25 of which have joined, and more than 30 in total. Stores are relatively scattered, accounting for 70% of the first and second tier cities. There are mainly two aspects in the adjustment. First, the store type has become more standardized. In the past, we didn't focus on selling a dog's brand, but we didn't focus on selling a dog's brand in the past. Now we have more stores with an area of 200-300 square meters. The second change is to slow down the pace of opening stores. There were 50 stores to be opened this year, but less than 15 have been opened so far.
"Consumption is an old industry, we have to respect its tradition"
"World online business": now many brands start to talk about "gender free". How do you look at the current competition?
Liu Guangyao: I'm proud. When we first proposed "gender free" as a business concept in 2018, no one thought it was right. But after 2020, many start-up companies and mature clothing groups are joining, almost becoming standard. Bosie was the first to eat crabs and made a little contribution to the industry. Competition is certainly annoying, but if no one does it, it may be wrong. Bosie defines "no gender" and we will stick to it. Because of its high efficiency, a piece of clothing can be sold to both boys and girls, which doubles the efficiency and expands the range of consumers.
"World online business": we have observed that overseas fast fashion, which has dominated the Chinese market for more than a decade, seems to be ebbing. In your opinion, is the local "fast fashion" of Chinese youth represented by bosie?
Liu Guangyao: the advantage of the new brand is that there is no burden. Young people can do whatever they like. In this case, there is no distance between the product and the consumer. Bosie's advantage is to connect with consumers in a short and easy way.
In a sense, bosie is really a personal group brand. In the past, the Chinese were divided into many categories, with different ages, genders, styles, and so on. Now, they can only expand their own brand from the circle of three people to the core of their own brand.
"World online business": as an entrepreneur, what do you think of the new consumption ebb?
Liu Guangyao: I think entrepreneurship is really looking for sunshine in the cracks. When new consumption came into being, people pursued this model. When new consumption failed, they said it was wrong. But consumption has never been new. It is just some new categories, new capital and new flows. Now it seems that new categories and old brands can also be done, and new brands can be crushed. New capital and new flow are also disappearing.
Therefore, the "new" of new consumption is a concept that has been spawned, and we have always been the traditional "new" brand. Because the business model and business logic have not changed, only local innovation.
Consumption is an old industry, we have to respect its tradition.
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