After two years of growth, the foreign trade bonus of export e-commerce spawned by the epidemic has peaked and is now entering a trough. Just like the stock market, if there is a bull market, there will be a bear market. At present, the cross-border logistics industry is moving from a bull market in the past two years to a bear market. So in the bear market stage, how should companies of different types and sizes respond?
E-commerce trade in the new era of China's foreign trade
Continuously driving growth, cross-border exports performed brilliantly
China's foreign trade has entered a "new normal", from the past period of rapid growth and adjustment to the transition period of new and old kinetic energy: e-commerce trade continues to become an important force driving the growth of foreign trade, and has become a new bright spot different from traditional offline trade.
The development of China's foreign trade has gone through a period of double-digit rapid growth (2007 and before), a period of global value chain adjustment (2008-2017), and is currently entering a period of transition from old to new growth drivers (2018 and beyond). During the transformation of old and new kinetic energy, trade protectionism in developed countries represented by the United States has recently risen.China's traditional foreign trade dividends have been steadily released in the past, and the new crown epidemic has severely hit the global epidemic.Under the influence of many unfavorable factors, China's traditional trade has fallen into a slow growth. Under the catalysis of the epidemic, thanks to many factors such as policy support, capital blessing, continuous improvement of global logistics infrastructure, and active entry of various players, B2C cross-border e-commerce has accelerated its rise and become a new growth engine for foreign trade development. It is estimated that within five years, the proportion of China's cross-border e-commerce trade in the overall foreign trade will further increase by about 15 percentage points.
01/ China's foreign trade has entered a "new normal"
02/ In 2020, China's cross-border e-commerce export growth performance is outstanding
Driven by the construction of China's dual cycle and the impact of the epidemic in 2020, China's cross-border e-commerce will maintain rapid growth in 2020, and the performance of cross-border exports is particularly impressive
1) The epidemic has driven the penetration rate of online retail in overseas markets to continue to rise: the epidemic has directly impacted the offline consumer industry, and a large number of overseas retail stores have been closed; Online transformation. In 2020, the global e-commerce penetration rate will increase significantly, reaching 18%, an increase of 4.4 percentage points over the previous year.From the perspective of the consumer side, factors such as the increase in new registered users, the increase in the frequency of online shopping consumption, and the formation of cross-border shopping habits by consumers have promoted the transformation of the consumer side:Due to the limited offline consumption scenarios during the epidemic, a large number of new users who were not covered by e-commerce before the epidemic began to try online channels. As of April 2020, the number of global e-commerce users has grown to 3.4 billion, an increase of about 10 percentage points compared to 3.1 billion in 2019. In addition, due to the lack of offline consumption during the epidemic, the frequency of consumers buying daily necessities and other consumer goods through online channels has increased. Taking the Asia-Pacific region as an example, the proportion of high-frequency consumers who consume more than 4 times a week and 1-3 times a week has increased significantly after the epidemic, an increase of 6 percentage points and 7 percentage points respectively compared with before the epidemic. The increase in new registered users of global e-commerce and the increase in the frequency of online shopping consumption by consumers have contributed to the formation of cross-border shopping habits of consumers, laying the foundation for the rapid growth of cross-border shopping.
From the perspective of the supply side, sellers on top e-commerce platforms continue to increase. At the same time, traditional retailers are accelerating their online transformation, driving the number of merchants on the supply side to rise:As offline production and consumption have not fully recovered, a large number of sellers have turned to online, and the number of top e-commerce sellers such as Amadeyi-zon continues to increase. Taking the U.S. market as an example, about 14% of Amazon’s U.S. e-commerce sales in 2020 are provided by new sellers who have settled in after 2020. At the same time, due to the impact of the epidemic, the offline income of traditional retailers such as Home Depot and Best Buy, which mainly sell home and garden related products, has been impacted, and there is an urgent need for online transformation to drive performance. Take Target, a large traditional offline retailer in the United States as an example. As of January 2021, its revenue ranking has risen to No. 7, an increase of 5 places from April 2020.
03/ The epidemic promotes the continuous growth of online retail penetration in overseas markets
04/ The rapid development of China's cross-border export e-commerce is highly consistent with macro policy trends such as "dual circulation"
2) It is highly compatible with China's "dual cycle" and other macro policies, and many policies help the industry continue to develop:
The development direction proposed by the "dual cycle" policy, with the domestic cycle as the main body and the domestic and international dual cycles promoting each other, is highly consistent with the development trend of China's cross-border e-commerce. The development of cross-border e-commerce in China has risen to the height of the national strategy. The country has introduced a series of policies to increase support for the cross-border e-commerce industry and help small and medium-sized enterprises enter the fast lane of development. Specific favorable policies include introducing preferential tax policies to support the sustainable development of cross-border e-commerce; promoting infrastructure construction, building a number of overseas warehouses to expand cross-border e-commerce retail import pilots; strengthening international cooperation, and promoting the transaction cost of cross-border e-commerce products. the rate of decline; the foreign exchange settlement model is optimized, the scope of account receipts and payments is expanded, and the efficiency of cross-border settlement is improved; customs clearance is facilitated, and on the basis of cross-border e-commerce B2C exports,Further promote the integration of national customs clearance for cross-border e-commerce B2B export goods;All regions continue to introduce incentive and subsidy policies for cross-border e-commerce to support the development of cross-border e-commerce companies.
The era of strict management is coming, the original "barbaric growth" model is unsustainable, and the era of "compliant operation and steady growth" is coming
With the support of national policies and the industry dividends brought about by the epidemic, China's cross-border e-commerce industry has maintained rapid development. Behind the rapid development of the industry lies the "rough" operation and the logic of "barbaric growth" of cross-border e-commerce companies. Since May this year, the Amazon platform has banned more than 50,000 Chinese sellers suspected of forging product reviews to obtain commercial benefits. The stores and brands have been blocked, and the funds and goods of the accounts have also been frozen. According to statistics from the Shenzhen Cross-Border E-Commerce Association, in the past two months, the "banning storm" has caused an estimated industry loss of over 100 billion yuan. Among them, it has a greater impact on some top sellers of cross-border e-commerce in China. As this "banning turmoil" continues to ferment, more small and medium-sized sellers may be affected in the future. From a short-term perspective, the "banning storm" will have a certain impact on the sales revenue of Chinese cross-border e-commerce companies. In the long run, the "Timing Wave" has sounded the alarm for the "barbaric development" of domestic cross-border e-commerce companies. How to protect their legitimate rights and interests will become a new topic for Chinese sellers. The growth model during the period of "barbaric development" such as swiping orders and praises, imitation and plagiarism, etc. cannot be sustained. Taking consumers as the starting point, improving product quality, and relying on product design, quality and service to accumulate word-of-mouth and praise from overseas consumers is legal and compliant. Operation is the way for the long-term development of cross-border e-commerce enterprises. As an important supporting and downstream industry for cross-border e-commerce, the cross-border logistics industry is expected to have a certain business impact in the short term, but in the long run,The compliant operation of cross-border e-commerce is conducive to the long-term and stable development of the cross-border logistics industry in the future.
Seize the opportunity of cross-border export logistics
Category changes, direction changes, brand rise, and channel diversification
After the epidemic, cross-border B2C exports have shown new features in terms of categories, directions, brands, channels, etc., which put forward higher requirements for cross-border export logistics, but at the same time bring new market opportunities:
(1) Category changes:Under the epidemic situation, consumers pay more attention to the improvement of the quality of life at home and the cleanliness of the home environment, which drives the rapid growth of epidemic prevention products, "stay-at-home economy" categories (mainly home furnishing, home appliances, and furniture), and household categories; correspondingly, there are different In the past, the cross-border e-commerce category was dominated by small bags, but now the demand for large items, special-shaped furniture, and home appliances has also increased significantly. With the entry of large-scale, special-shaped, and long-tail home furnishing categories, the demand for local logistics value-added services such as large-scale cross-border logistics, installation, and reverse has arisen.
（2) Change of direction:Europe and the United States are still the core markets for cross-border e-commerce exports, accounting for a relatively high proportion, but emerging markets such as Southeast Asia and the Middle East are growing rapidly. Due to the large differences in consumption and payment habits in different regions, as well as existing tariff policies and logistics foundations in local markets, cross-border logistics companies are required to flexibly respond to the differentiated characteristics of different markets and provide professional services. Take the European market, where cross-border e-commerce companies conduct more business, as an example. Although the currency is unified, the languages are diverse and the countries are scattered, making terminal logistics operations difficult. Enterprises need to bear high labor costs and deal with stricter tax regulations. For cross-border e-commerce companies oriented to the European market, they must not only respond to market regulation, adjust strategies in real time, but also grasp consumer demand to achieve sustainable growth, which puts forward higher requirements for the professional service capabilities of enterprises.
（3) The rise of the brand:The branding trend of Chinese overseas cross-border sellers is obvious, and they are completing the transition from exporting "Made in China competitive advantage" to exporting "Chinese brand competitive advantage". In the past 2-3 years, the number of Chinese sellers who have completed brand registration on Amazon has increased by 10 times, and the proportion of Chinese sellers among Amazon’s top sellers (Best sellers) has increased by 26 percentage points. There are also some of the top 100 Chinese export cross-border brands. A brand owner transformed from a manufacturer and trader. Correspondingly, the branding of cross-border e-commerce drives supply-side logistics providers to provide more stable and high-quality cross-border logistics services.
(4) Multiple channels:On the basis of the original platform sellers, cross-border merchants gradually build overseas independent self-built sites based on their own branding development needs, and generally operate multiple sites. Independent station input. Currently, cross-border e-commerce sellers have an average of 3.56 sites, and 82% of sellers are willing to increase the number of sites they operate. Among Chinese cross-border e-commerce companies, 50% of merchants have opened or are preparing to prepare independent websites. Multi-platform operation and independent station development will further bring more opportunities for cross-border e-commerce logistics and supply chain service companies. Take many European markets as an example. Although the currency is unified, the languages are diverse and the countries are scattered, which makes terminal logistics operations difficult. Enterprises need to bear high labor costs and deal with stricter tax regulations. For cross-border e-commerce oriented to the European market For enterprises, they must not only respond to market regulation and adjust strategies in real time, but also grasp consumer demand and achieve continuous growth, which puts forward higher requirements for the professional service capabilities of enterprises.
Breakthrough in cross-border export logistics challenges business
Dedicated line and overseas warehouse model have the most potential
Compared with the domestic e-commerce market, cross-border e-commerce has long links and many links, and has extremely high requirements for cross-border supply chain management and integration. At present, there is still a certain gap between the timeliness of cross-border logistics delivery and the national planning target
Compared with the traditional domestic e-commerce logistics model, cross-border e-commerce has added links such as import and export declarations and customs clearance, resulting in longer links; at the same time, infrastructure resources are scattered, and there are problems such as scattered trunk transportation resources and weak terminal delivery capabilities in various countries; In the future, to achieve the logistics timeliness goal of the national policy plan, higher requirements will be put forward for the supply chain management and integration of cross-border e-commerce. In February 2021, the State Council issued the "National Comprehensive Three-dimensional Transportation Network Planning Outline", announcing the latest top-level logistics planning at the national level, and proposed the goal of building two aging circles, including the "National 123 Travel Traffic Circle" (1-hour commute in urban areas , 2-hour access to urban agglomerations, 3-hour coverage to major cities across the country) and "Global 123 Express Logistics Circle" (1-day domestic delivery, 2-day delivery to neighboring countries, 3-day delivery to major cities around the world). At present, the timeliness of cross-border logistics is average. Taking the United States, Germany, Indonesia, and Thailand as examples, after local consumers place an order for a product from a Chinese seller, the average timeliness of delivery by the Chinese seller’s direct delivery model is close to 15 days, which is 3 days away from the national 2035 plan. There is still a huge gap between the goal of daily delivery.
06/ Comparison of logistics timeliness of China's cross-border e-commerce export direct delivery model
Cross-border export B2C includes direct shipping, overseas warehouses and other logistics models, among which the commercial line direct shipping and overseas warehouses have the most potential
(1) Overseas warehouses—the proportion continues to increase, and excellent operations will win in the future: Compared with the direct mail model, overseas warehouses have great advantages in shortening logistics timeliness, improving logistics stability, and providing convenient return and reverse services. Match the needs of cross-border e-commerce localization and quality operation, and have better delivery timeliness and logistics service experience. Therefore, the proportion of overseas warehouses has continued to grow in the past few years, and there is room for further improvement. According to the number of China's overseas warehouses disclosed by the General Administration of Customs, the number of overseas warehouses after the epidemic has reached 1,800, which is 1.8 times higher than the number of overseas warehouses before the epidemic, and the willingness of cross-border merchants to build or expand overseas warehouses continues to increase. But at present, Chinese sellers still have many concerns about the operation and in-warehouse service capabilities of the existing three-party overseas warehouses. For example, there are shortcomings in the professional ability of overseas warehouses to provide storage efficiency, specialized operations, and special operations. First, the supply of overseas warehouses is basically in short supply. The problem of insufficient warehouse space caused by excessive demand has always existed, and the problems of scattered end-delivery service providers in different regions and unstable service quality have led to prominent end-haul efficiency problems; Second, at the operational level, there are problems such as wrong and missed delivery, insufficient system capabilities, and lack of professional services; third, service demands such as reverse logistics and local installation caused by the improvement of cross-border e-commerce localization operations have not yet been met. On the whole, the demand for overseas warehouses continues to be booming, but many pain points need to be resolved urgently. The operational capabilities of overseas warehouses will become the key to the success of cross-border logistics companies in the future.
(2) Cross-border direct delivery—the structure of player types is loose, and business lines have opportunities: cross-border direct delivery players mainly include three types of players: commercial lines, postal services, and commercial express delivery. At present, the post still occupies the main share of cross-border direct delivery, but with the withdrawal of the United States from the UPU, the terminal rate has increased, and the postal system itself has significant shortcomings in timeliness and service. At the same time, the transportation price and timeliness of commercial companies are both moderate. With the opening of the supply chain and the improvement of efficiency of the leading line companies in key key routes, a certain degree of "standardized timeliness guarantee" logistics products will gradually be formed. vast opportunity.
07/ After the epidemic, cross-border export B2C presents new features in terms of categories, directions, channels, brands, etc.
08/ Chinese sellers still have many pain points for the operation of the existing three-party overseas warehouses and in-warehouse service capabilities
Four winning elements for supply chain integrators and comprehensive logistics service providers to meet challenges
Digitization, integration, customization, stability
Judging from the classic model of the "value triangle" of players in the logistics industry proposed by Roland Berger, the cross-border export value chain is long but leads to the same goal, showing the return of core values, including integrated logistics providers, capacity and infrastructure providers, and supply chain integrators. Four types of players.
(1) Supply chain integrators:Supply chain service companies with certain self-owned business flow capabilities can meet customers' various supply chain service demands in e-commerce and traditional foreign trade from the perspective of overall supply chain optimization. They are supply chain planners and integrators, aiming at Improve the overall synergy and scale effect of the supply chain.
(2) Capacity provider:The services provided mainly include pick-up, trunk line, delivery, etc.; the mode of transportation can be subdivided into highway, aviation, railway, etc., aiming to achieve stable service quality, delivery timeliness and optimal cost.
(3) Infrastructure provider:It mainly includes logistics real estate and logistics technology companies. Logistics real estate companies provide products and services such as warehousing facilities and cargo station resources. Logistics technology companies provide products and services such as logistics hardware equipment and smart software services, aiming to improve the operational efficiency of each node in the supply chain. .
(4) Integrated logistics provider:Comprehensive logistics providers who provide more than two basic logistics service links at the same time provide customized or standardized cross-border logistics service products through the integration of logistics services, such as cross-border express delivery, dedicated line services, overseas warehouse distribution services, etc.; generally there will be directions , regional or industry-focused, aiming to provide integrated logistics solutions centered on customers.
From the perspective of supply chain integrators and comprehensive logistics providers, Roland Berger believes that there are four key factors for success in the future
(1) Digitization:Cross-border e-commerce involves many countries and logistics links. Through the development of digital technology, it helps merchants to provide customers with real-time and visualized logistics tracks, which helps to improve customer trust and stickiness; at the same time, the digital transformation of the whole link has It helps to improve the operational efficiency of various links, such as digitization of customs affairs and digitization of overseas warehouses, thereby improving the timeliness and stability of logistics.
(2) Integration:To meet the one-stop needs of customers including overseas warehouses, direct shipping and other logistics modes. Some leading logistics companies have actively deployed and integrated various resources including overseas warehouses, customs clearance, trunk lines, and dispatching to build integrated service capabilities, reduce the waiting time for each link, reduce order response time, and ensure better logistics timeliness .
(3) Customization:To meet customers' more professional and personalized customized logistics needs, such as providing customized value-added services in the warehouse (return and exchange, local labeling, local replacement packaging and other services), and even deeply coupled with the brand's upstream supply chain model, providing Recommendations for optimization at the supply chain level. By actively communicating real-time needs with customers, using abundant logistics resources (such as trunk line resources, terminal distribution resources in various countries, etc.) and strong digital capabilities, we can tailor time-effective and high-quality logistics solutions for customers.
(4) Stability:Especially after the epidemic, the instability of logistics supply such as aviation and sea transportation has become more serious. Strengthening the ability to obtain stable resources on the main line will also become one of the important capabilities. Through mergers and acquisitions, alliances, self-construction, etc., obtain cross-border logistics trunk resources including aviation trunk lines and sea freight trunk lines, build a global, collaborative and efficient international trunk line network, and do a good job of connecting and coordinating with terminal distribution to ensure logistics transportation Stability, providing customers with stable logistics delivery, will become the foundation of cross-border supply chain integrators and comprehensive logistics providers.
09/ Roland Berger once proposed the classic logistics industry player "value triangle"
After two years of growth, the foreign trade bonus of export e-commerce spawned by the epidemic has peaked and is now entering a trough. Just like the stock market, if there is a bull market, there will be a bear market.
At present, the cross-border logistics industry is moving from a bull market in the past two years to a bear market. So in the bear market stage, how should companies of different types and sizes respond?