Text | AI Finance and Economics Yang Qiao
Edit | Yang Jie
From hot to”quiet”, community group buying only took less than a year.
In December 2020, the State Administration for Market Regulation put forward the “nine no Low-price dumping, big data, product quality control, etc., emphasized that Internet platform companies must strictly regulate community group buying operations.
From the end of 2020 to now, the supervision of community group buying is still being strengthened.
In March of this year, the State Administration for Market Regulation conducted improper price behavior on five community group buying platforms Impose administrative penalties. On May 27, due to improper price behavior, the State Administration of Market Supervision imposed another administrative penalty on Shihui Mission and fined 1.5 million yuan. In June, according to media reports, Meituan and other platforms received rectification requests again. Among them, Meituan’s”Penny Spike” products were required to be removed from the shelves; other platforms demanded to continue to tighten subsidies.
The subsidy war was stopped, and low-price promotions had to be stopped. I was used to using” The platforms that”burned money” in exchange for traffic began to find a balance between expanding the market and increasing revenue. The leaders and suppliers involved in this emerging industry have felt the”temperature difference” before and after, and the”honeymoon period” between them and the platform has also been announced early and the”involution” has begun.
The platforms are still expanding the market in a low-key manner. However,”wool” has been gathered on the platform, and the suppliers who rely on the community group buying ecology have also lost their bargaining power and have begun to have a hard time. The future of the community group buying industry is still in the exploratory stage of”crossing the river by feeling the stones”.
The group leaders must either”retire”, Or”wool wool”?
The era of”subsidies” for community group purchases is quickly coming to an end.
It was Zhang Zhi that quickly experienced this”two heavens of ice and fire” within a few months. Feel. Zhang Zhi, who runs a convenience store in Hangzhou, joined the community of a major Internet company at the end of 2020 The group buying platform serves as the group leader. At that time, the community group buying was still hot, and the enthusiasm of the group leaders was also very high.
“In the beginning, people on the platform came to me, and the commission they raised was more attractive YES:The commission is sales 10%, sometimes there are other subsidies activities, sales over 1,000 yuan Just reward 50 yuan.” Zhang Zhi thought that this was”good income”, so he agreed to join.
But Zhang Zhiwan never expected that the changes would come so fast.”In the first month or so, the commission I got was about 10%, and there were activities from time to time. But after two months, the commission ratio dropped to about 7%, the activity rewards were also less, and the monthly income was also It slowly dropped. After 4 months, the commission rate I can get is basically between 3%-7%, and it’s good to get 5%when combined.”
Zhang Zhi told AI Finance and Economics Agency that for them, the significance of the activity is to balance the income of group leaders with lower commissions. Activity subsidies pull their commission income ratio to about 7%. But now, not only is the commission income not fixed, but these activities are not often available.
Even the community group buying platforms of Internet giants must use”subsidies” as their daily maintenance Common incentives for order volume, but now, with the tightening of supervision, low-price dumping, high-price subsidies, and various promotional advertisements that exist in community group buying competition have been stopped one after another. An employee of the Shihui Mission who has been fined several times by the administration told AI Finance and Economics that the market promotion of the platform is still continuing. However,”After the policy comes out, we will no longer advertise at low prices.” He said that unlike e-commerce platforms, community group buying is actually an integration of production, supply, and sales. Therefore, every time Price fluctuations all need to bear corresponding responsibilities and consequences.
However, on many platforms, there are still”low-priced” products. Industry insiders Wang Ke, who is engaged in community group buying, told AI Finance and Economics Agency that “low-price dumping” is not allowed in order to comply The policy stipulates that some platforms have also adjusted the pricing of goods and carried out cost splitting. This has little effect on the standard products. The most important impact is the fresh food category. The so-called cost splitting means that the supply price of tomatoes on the platform is 2 yuan, and the platform artificially splits the 2 yuan into 1.5 yuan for raw materials, 0.2 yuan for packaging materials, 0.2 yuan for labor, and 0.1 yuan for freight. In this way,”the platform can externally set the sales price based on the cost of raw materials, such as the price of the product at 1.59 yuan”, which not only meets the requirements of the policy, but also maintains a positive gross profit. But in fact, the remaining packaging materials, labor costs, shipping, etc., the platform is actually All are losing“.
For the delegation leaders, the reduced subsidies and the”low-priced” products that still exist are actually affecting their income.
There is more than one community group buying team leader, and they operate a number of community group buying platforms at the same time, but they contact AI Finance The agency stated that under the premise that the platform continues to reduce commissions and subsidies, it will not be so easy for group leaders to make money.
In Zhang Zhi’s view, the team leader put too much energy, not only to help the platform handle the tasks such as receiving goods, sorting, but also to connect with consumers and deal with after-sales issues; most of his energy It was used to process orders on the platform, but the original business in the store became more and more deserted. Moreover, he found that his original store operation was threatened:”The things you have on the platform are also cheaper than you; the things you don’t have, There are also platforms.”Therefore, after discovering that his commission income has decreased, his feelings of grievances and dissatisfaction have accumulated more and more.”I hold the money for selling vegetables, and what I am worried about. ”
After serving as the head of the delegation for 4 months, Zhang Zhi finally decided to quit and concentrate on his management. My own convenience store.
But contrary to Zhang Zhi, Chen Chen, who is also the leader, said , He doesn’t care about the level of the commission, and insists on continuing to serve as the team leader.
Chen Chen cares Yes, it’s the profit brought by the”renewal”. The leader of the group continues to renew the new and increase consumers For the repurchase rate, the platform will have corresponding rewards. This is the rule used by Chen Chen. “The first order is 10 yuan, the second one is 14 yuan, and the third one is 18 yuan; in addition, I’m pulling a new group. Long can get 350 yuan.”He said.
As for the consumer repurchase rate, Chen Chen is not worried. He told AI Finance and Economics, when recruiting new users, he will personally pay to invite them to place an order of less than 10 yuan for the first time, so that the new user does not spend a penny to get the goods. And he will get the platform cash back, and then privately. Advance money to users and invite them to place the second and third orders, and the purchased goods belong to him.”In other words, consumers do not spend money, but can obtain goods; while I get cash back, I don’t spend one. I got the goods again for cents.”Then he split the goods into retail.
“Platform wool” became these The reason why the group leader stays on the community group buying platform.
The phenomenon of rebate after using the order is just a community The tip of the iceberg of the”moisture” of group buying data. Some group leaders even cross the platform and purchase goods directly from suppliers. The same is true for Chen Chen. After gaining traffic, he himself is also contacting suppliers in reverse to get goods.
Wang Ke revealed that a group leader he knew once ran an express station and joined the community group buying Later, as the team leader, he also joined the platform’s panic buying activities. After buying a large number of event goods, he opened them and sold them at a slightly higher price than the platform.”Although he has not purchased the goods, his room is full of Goods on all platforms. ”
The former group leaders have become the platform’s”Competitors”
Some former heads, but now they have become”Competitors.”
In a community in Chaoyang District, Beijing, the Xiao Yangs run A mom-and-pop shop of about 50 square meters. They can also be regarded as the”veteran” leader of community group buying. When the community group buying just took shape in 2017, they had already joined the community group buying platform”Downstairs”.
By 2019, they have cooperated with two community group buying platforms. Now, due to limited energy and platform With the reduction in commissions, they chose to withdraw from major platforms, developed a small program to start their own community group buying service, and radiated 3 communities around the store.”From 2017 to now, we have long been a community nearby. Online celebrity shop. We also continue to operate the customer WeChat groups that we have left on other platform services to maintain good relationships with customers. ”
What’s more, the experience accumulated over the past few years has already made Xiao Yang and his wife known clearly. Community group buying platforms can contact the sources of goods. They can also contact the suppliers themselves, and even earn more than the commissions earned on the platform. Xiao Yang said, “The category of a large platform is at least about 30,000, and our small store’s There are at most more than 2,000 categories.” Like Zhang Zhi, he thinks that his own shop is too disadvantaged, so it is better to start independently.
The owner of another convenience store Wang also said that although the platforms have come to seek cooperation repeatedly, but he also refused. He is worried that joining will also encounter platform traffic Backlash caused my store traffic to drop.”What’s more, the commissions given by the big platforms can’t make up for my manpower, rent and other costs.”He also developed a small program on his own to sell some store specials or temporary food.
“I will post some new products to the Mini Program every day, and promise to deliver them on the same day. We are responsible for the operation, and customers can choose to take it themselves or let us deliver it to their door.”He said.
In the community, group buyers are still “grabbing” the leader’s At that time, these potential heads of the group have invisibly become competitors of various large platforms, defending their”territories” and preventing platforms from getting involved. After reaching the daily order volume of 20 million, the major platforms gradually want to change from To get out of the quagmire of losses, you must profit from it. And the leaders of the high commissions discussed earlier are also beginning to be dissatisfied.
After reducing commissions, reducing subsidies, and no longer dumping at low prices, the major community group buying platforms have to find a balance in the context of policies and maintaining orders and revenue.
In this case, the relationship between platforms and upstream suppliers has also changed.
In June of this year, in the Jiujiang Central Warehouse of a certain head community group buying platform, the suppliers “turned their faces”. Grain and oil distributors pulled up banners, which read”eliminate low-price dumping on platforms, and provide basic benefits to suppliers”.
Because of the rise of community group buying, Li Li once established a supplier alliance organization to maintain The procurement relationship between suppliers and merchants is also in order to assist traditional suppliers and improve their risk resistance class="candidate-entity-word" data-gid="3548562" qid="6580603481135011075"> span>.
Community group buying platforms and suppliers have had a”honeymoon period”. Li Li told AI Finance and Economics that in the second half of 2020, community group buying is in the process of soliciting a large number of sources. For this reason, suppliers have the initiative to negotiate prices, and their profit points can generally reach 20%.
But less than a year has passed, the relationship between the two parties has been turned upside down change. In the first half of 2021, community group buying has gradually cooled down, but suppliers have flooded in. Platform buyers in turn have more room for bargaining, and suppliers’ profit margins have been greatly reduced.
Li Li said that since May this year, whether it’s Meituan’s best choice or buy more vegetables , The platforms are committed to increasing gross profit and reducing losses. Therefore, the profit point of suppliers is only 10%.
Suppliers on the community group buying platform are the first The intensified competition in China has led to suppliers, who are already based on the bidding mechanism, have no right to decide in front of the platform, and they have become very passive.
Further At times, there is also a great risk of uncertainty. For example, the platform requires them to bear the damage of the goods themselves, and other bidding suppliers may”replace” their positions at any time, which puts suppliers in an”extremely insecure competitive atmosphere”.
He revealed that when the supplier’s profit margin is compressed, the goods provided are also” 70%to 80%of the quality is in the middle and lower reaches.”
Take the team leaders back
When the new Internet tentacles intervened, the traditional offline”grocery shopping” method has been subverted. But this is an industry that has not yet formed a complete business model. Both the platform and the heads of the industry are”crossing the river by feeling the stones” in the industry.
An employee of the Shihui Mission told AI Finance and Economics that they are currently working hard to improveProduct quality and after-sales service. In the community group buying industry, group leaders still play an important role. They are the link between the platform and consumers. Therefore, an important task for them now is to maintain a good relationship with the team leader, to”actively attack and seize back” themselves and the team leader lost on other platforms.”Users believe that the team leader himself and the team leader established. Trust relationship.”
But for saying goodbye on the bright sidePrice war platforms, they need to consider this business not only from the flow of thinking, but from the supply chain, diligently practicing”internal skills” , Think hard about how to do this new business of community group buying.
(At the request of the interviewee, Wang Ke, Zhang Zhi, Li Li, Chen Chen are all (Alias)
Originally produced by its account AI Finance and Economics, please do not reprint it on any channel or platform without permission. Offenders must be investigated.