One is the leader of world-class casual wear, and the other is the open platform of Asia’s largest online retail circle. The combination of the two provides a model of B2C business model for the industry.
On April 16, 2009, the Japanese casual clothing brand Uniqlo (uNIQLO) officially opened its flagship store on Taobao. In just ten days after its launch, it became the number one single-store sales of men’s and women’s clothing on Taobao Mall. This is also the earliest single store of a clothing brand in Taobao Mall to reach 1 million sales.
Uniqlo is one of the top ten casual clothing brands in the world and one of the representative enterprises of SPA retail mode. The strategic cooperation between Uniqlo and Taobao shows that more and more international companies have realized the importance of e-commerce in the Chinese market.
The sPA model based on the network platform The
SPA (private brand clothing professional retailer) model refers to the current clothing brand through direct connection between production and retail, so that products can directly face customers, save time and cost, grasp business opportunities and ensure profits. Way. It is characterized by a comprehensive revision of business processes such as planning, production, distribution, and sales, and strives to establish a business model that is most suitable for consumers. The key is to mass-produce according to the needs of consumers. SPA has made GAP, UNIQLO, MUJI, ZARA and many other well-known brands succeed.
1 Network: an integrated platform of “marketing + communication”
The media attribute, social attribute and economic value of network media are increasingly reflected; the development of network media also provides a good brand marketing communication integration platform for enterprises. In the traditional 4P marketing mix, the achievement of brand consumption behavior is affected by multiple factors such as channels and prices; while the use of network platforms fully exerts its strength in the four links of consumers, cost, convenience and communication in the 4C marketing mix. Marketing through the network platform can not only effectively reduce the cost of marketing communication, but also facilitate consumers to participate in brand interaction, realize communication between consumers and brands, and achieve brand purchase behavior.
It is precisely because of the awareness of the commercial value of the Internet that many companies currently carry out online sales based on the integration of marketing communication on the Internet platform. There are three main modes:
(1) Based on the use of existing e-commerce platforms. For example, brand online sales based on existing B2C platforms such as Jingdong Mall, Dangdang, Joyo, and Taobao Mall. Uniqlo is using this model.
(2) Build a brand exclusive online sales website. The enterprise invests funds to establish its own brand network marketing website, and through the promotion of the website, it can gather popularity and promote sales. Brands currently adopting this model include PPG, Vancl Eslite, etc.
(3) Online shop alliance based on C2C platform. Initiated by the organizer of the alliance, the seller’s alliance is distributed uniformly by the organizer, and all alliance merchants sell their agent products at the uniform price of the alliance.
Among these three models, the first two models coincide with the ideas of the SPA clothing brand retail model, and have become the first choice for many enterprises to carry out online direct sales.
2. Taobao: a comprehensive online marketing communication integration platform
According to the 23rd “China Internet Development Statistical Report”, as of December 2008, among the 298 million Internet users in China, the utilization rate of online shopping was 24.8%, and the number of users reached 74 million , has become one of the top ten network applications. However, compared with the development situation in foreign countries, the online shopping proportion of South Korean netizens is 57.3%, and that of the United States is 66%. China’s online shopping market still has a lot of market space and development potential.
Taobao.com, as the largest B2B and B2C e-commerce platform in China, has also made powerful explorations in fully utilizing the integrated functions of marketing and communication on the network platform. In September 2008, Alibaba Group launched the “Great Taobao Strategy”. Its subsidiary Taobao and Alimama merged and developed together to create the world’s largest e-commerce ecosystem. Start Taobao Mall on the basis of Alimama’s merger with Taobao. With the help of Taobao’s resources, reach cooperation with enterprises, directly enter Taobao Mall, expand the influence of Taobao’s B2C platform, and establish independent B2C sites for enterprises. With the help of Taobao Resources for internet marketing.
3 The value of Taobao Mall in SPA
E-commerce with the help of the Internet can effectively reduce business costs. With the emergence of humanized shopping, price advantage, quality assurance and Alipay, a safe payment method, online shopping has become more and more popular in people’s lives. Clothing is the item with the largest number of purchasers and the highest amount of money online. According to the data of the China National Commercial Information Center, the transaction scale of the online clothing market in 2008 has exceeded 17 billion yuan, accounting for 6% of the total size of the clothing market and 23.5% of the total online shopping amount. Under the influence of the international financial crisis, online sales have become the most popular cheap shopping channel for consumers.
Taobao now has 90 million registered users and 20 million log-ins every day, and this group of people is mainly active people between the ages of 22 and 35, with purchasing power unmatched by other website groups.
Since Uniqlo entered the Chinese market in 2002, the main problem that has troubled its development is the slow expansion of the number of physical stores. Uniqlo stores are mainly concentrated in Shanghai and its surrounding markets, and there are large blank domestic markets to be developed. The B2C model of cooperation between Uniqlo and Taobao Mall just makes up for this deficiency. The sales of Uniqlo’s Taobao online flagship store are booming, but it has not affected the revenue of physical stores. The sales of physical stores in Shanghai and Beijing continue to grow at a high speed, keeping pace with online sales. Because buyers come from almost all over the country. Data monitoring of Taobao’s flagship store shows that two-thirds of sales come from regions where Uniqlo has no stores.
Relying on the superior resources of Taobao, Uniqlo got rid of the restrictions of many conventional methods, and rapidly expanded its share in the Chinese consumer market through the B2C platform of Taobao Mall. This not only realizes online sales, but also contributes to the construction of the brand’s online brand image.
Inevitable factors behind the
success The success of the B2C model of cooperation between Uniqlo and Taobao Mall is not the result of a simple addition of “clothing” and “Taobao”. There are many inevitable factors behind it.
As the casual apparel brand with the highest market share in Japan, Uniqlo has more than 20 years of operating experience; it entered the Chinese market in 2002, and the brand experience function of its physical stores has built a certain brand image and consumer loyalty; at the same time, Uniqlo has Nearly 10 years of online sales experience, owns the e-commerce website with the highest online sales of clothing in Japan. These have laid the advantages for Uniqlo to further develop the Chinese market.
When Uniqlo first entered China, it was positioned as casual clothing for the masses. It was obviously a wrong strategy to compete with local brands at prices that were not particularly close to the people. Since 2005, Uniqlo has begun to adjust its competition strategy in the Chinese market, shifting from emphasizing the sale of clothing products that everyone can wear to focusing on “all-match” products. This positioning has effectively attracted China’s emerging middle class, and it is also in line with the consumer’s return to cost-effective consumption patterns under the financial crisis.
Fast and massive designs are also the supporting force behind Uniqlo’s high cost performance. For example, the printed T-shirt series launched every summer has hundreds of styles, and each has its own theme. Consumers can always find their favorite styles. And this is one of the essential qualities of the “Fast Fashion” (fast fashion) brand.
In addition to opening a flagship store on Taobao, Uniqlo has also cooperated with Taobao to open a shopping platform on its official website. The payment system and maintenance of this platform are also cooperated with Taobao. This not only integrates Taobao resources for Internet marketing, but also better maintains Uniqlo’s unified global brand image.
Problems affecting long-term development
The value brought by the B2C model of cooperation between Uniqlo and Taobao is beyond doubt, but based on the consideration of the long-term development of the brand, the problems of this model must also be faced squarely.
From a formal point of view, although the B2C platform of Uniqlo and Taobao adheres to its consistent marketing idea of SPA model, it is actually quite different from the existing SPA model of offline physical direct-sale stores. As an existing e-commerce platform, Taobao does not belong to Uniqlo, nor does it only belong to Uniqlo. Taobao launched the “Big Taobao Strategy” and began to test water offline sales. Taobao’s goal is to become a new type of monopoly
Channels and retailers. This is the same as traditional channel providers, which will increase Uniqlo’s operating costs and weaken the company’s control to a certain extent. No matter how powerful Taobao is, it is impossible to completely cover all market segments. Therefore, companies cannot rely entirely on platforms like Taobao for marketing and promotion.
At the same time, the threat from Fancl Eslite cannot be ignored. The biggest difference between Fancl and Taobao is that they have their own brands and self-built channels. Although the cost is high, the operation of the brand is completely in their own hands. Therefore, in the long run, Uniqlo’s model will inevitably fail.
Think calmly and draw lessons rationally. The
financial crisis has impacted China’s textile and garment manufacturing industry and exports. Many manufacturers who used to do foreign trade only began to use the Internet to expand the domestic market. The popularity of Uniqlo’s cooperation with Taobao in online sales will surely attract more clothing manufacturers to turn their attention to online marketing. What needs to be emphasized here is that the cooperation model between Uniqlo and Taobao is based on rational decision-making. Other companies of the same category should not blindly imitate, but must think calmly and learn rationally.
1 Height: Guidance of corporate strategy The application of the
Internet brings great convenience to corporate marketing, but the essence of the Internet is media, a tool that serves and obeys corporate marketing strategies. Whether an enterprise needs to use this tool, how much to use, and how to use it should be considered at the strategic level of enterprise marketing. The cooperation between Uniqlo and Taobao is based on the strategic consideration of the goal of becoming a global clothing retailer.
2 Perspective: Consumer demand-oriented
The key to the SPA model is mass production according to consumer demand. At the same time, the “all-match” concept advocated by Uniqlo, “clothes are supporting roles, and the person who wears them is the protagonist” highlights its people-oriented concept of dressing.
The “2008 Consumer Behavior Analysis Report” shows that among the active members of Taobao in 2008, among the five age groups excluding those under the age of 16 and those who did not fill in the age, the number of members in the age group of 25 to 32 is the largest, accounting for 10.7% of the number of active members. %, is the backbone of the habit of online shopping.
Therefore, the primary factor for the success of Uniqlo’s online SPA model is not the use of the Internet, but the rational grasp of target consumers’ demand for convenient online shopping.
3 Width: online and offline integration When
many companies set their sights on online sales, they hesitate whether online channels will impact offline channels.
This is obviously a preconceived bias that the new model will have an impact on the old model. Why not promote each other? Uniqlo’s hot online sales have not affected the income of physical stores.
In today’s competitive ecological environment, all marketing thinking models of enterprises should face the consumer market. Distribution channels are not determined by enterprises, but by consumers when, where and how to purchase the products they need. The convenience strategy is the key point of the competitiveness of the network platform. Therefore, when deciding whether to build online channels, it is necessary to transform from “channel strategy” to “consumer shopping convenience”, and then use “consumer shopping convenience” as a basis for decision-making.
Although e-commerce originated from the Internet, it cannot be limited to the Internet. Uniqlo’s deployment of physical stores in China has not slowed down because of the launch of B2C. It is understood that Uniqlo plans to have more than 50 physical stores in China in 2009. At the same time, Taobao also began to test the offline sales. The next step in the professional B2C market will be to develop offline specialty stores and develop themselves into an order provider. Offline delivery and logistics work will be done by their specialty stores, while brand owners will focus on brand building and website development. operate.
Therefore, there is no absolute conflict between online and offline. The key is how to effectively integrate consumers’ shopping convenience. Only the e-commerce model based on the establishment of online and offline interactive retail channels can really have practical significance.
4 Depth: Improvement of overall strength
The successful enterprises adopting the network SPA model are not only because of low prices. The popularity of Uniqlo’s online sales is not just based on low prices. As a fast fashion brand, compared with ZARA and H&M, Uniqlo’s advantage lies in quality rather than speed and price. On the B2C platform opened by Uniqlo this time, the commodity prices are roughly the same as those in physical stores, but the styles will be more diverse. For consumers in the Internet age, the price does not fully explain the problem, and the money paid is only a small part of the cost.
Therefore, enterprises must be able to highlight the true charm of the online SPA model on the basis of the integration and overall competitiveness from product planning, design, production, to retail.