In recent years , the rise of various office models such as the trend of home office and mobile office has stimulated the rapid growth of overseas office supplies demand. The data shows that the value of the global office supplies market in 2021 will reach an astonishing US$252.6 billion . Sustained rapid growth of $6-7 billion per year. *
Big industry + big market, office supplies are undoubtedly a very attractive super blue ocean!
This time, the editor conducted an in-depth interview with three Chinese sellers who have gained a lot in the field of office supplies.
Some of them are already well-known domestic brands, and they have opened a global layout by going overseas through Amazon.
After some were launched on Amazon, they sold their products to major institutions such as the German government and NASA in the United States.
Some have more than ten years of traditional foreign trade experience, and now they are facing overseas consumers and building their own global brands.
The three sellers took the opportunity to go overseas decisively . Although the scales of the companies were different and the styles of play were different, they all obtained transcripts that exceeded expectations. Their stories and experiences may inspire you to find your own way to break the cross-border situation. Let's take a look!
1. Difficult and pain points, each defeat, different play styles, the same results
Sihoo Furniture: A big player in a big industry, a small target of 10 billion in five years
• In 2019, the Amazon US site was opened, and multiple Amazon sites around the world have been opened to achieve a leap in brand globalization
• In 2021, Amazon's sales will reach 300 million yuan , and the brand's sales in the United States will rank in the top ten, and the industry leader in many European sites
Sihoo is the leading brand of ergonomic office chairs in China. Although it has stood at the top, the domestic competition is fierce, and Sihoo is also facing the challenge of finding new growth points.
Luo Huiping, Chairman of Xihao Company : "We found that many domestic furniture peers have achieved very good results overseas, so we also want to explore this direction. As a brand new to the local market, in order to break the solid sales barriers, it is necessary to Relying on the mature local sales system. For this reason, we also personally went to more than ten countries, participated in exhibitions, and found suitable local distributors to help us open up sales, but the results were very limited.”
The turnaround occurred in 2019, when Sihoo launched Amazon's US station. "With the assistance of Amazon's account manager, we opened Amazon's business purchase , which can sell products to individuals and businesses on Amazon at the same time. The feedback we received was better than that in China, and all were sold out in less than half a month. The United States Well-known Fortune 100 companies also purchase our products through Amazon Business Shopping, which is highly efficient and direct that was previously unattainable through traditional channels."
After solving the biggest difficulty in entering overseas – sales channel barriers, with years of rich operational experience, Sihoo brought the domestic e-commerce DNA to overseas, with strong supply chain advantages and excellent product design Global sites are blooming all over the world, and it has won the Best Seller in the German site, etc. , and the sales in the European site are unrivaled , achieving a breakthrough in the double performance of products and brands worldwide.
" Amazon helps new brands go overseas more easily and directly , it can bypass barriers and bring our brands, products directly to consumers overseas. "
Like Sihoo, there are also a scanner gun seller Min and a stationery seller Tom who have won big overseas . They also saw the dividends of cross-border e-commerce, identified the hot track of office supplies, and gained impressive transcripts.
A scanner gun seller Min: A young team born in the 1990s sold the product to NASA in the United States
• Launched on Amazon in 2019, and opened Amazon's corporate purchase, winning many high-end direct purchase orders from the government and large institutions
• In 2021, Amazon's overseas sales will increase rapidly by 200% , of which sales from Amazon's individual consumers ( C-end) and corporate institutional buyers (B-end) will each account for 50%.
Scanner gun seller Min started with a small team of 2 people and developed rapidly within 3 years. At present, it has developed into a capable team of 20 people, and most of the members are post-90s. The company focuses on office supplies represented by scanner guns. After launching on Amazon, it continuously digs into buyers' needs. With high quality, innovative design and extreme experience, the company has sold products to German government departments, NASA, and the United States through Amazon Enterprise Purchase. State government education department, Rakuten and other government agencies and large enterprises.
Min, CEO and founder of a scanner gun seller : "Not long after we launched on Amazon, we found that 10%-20% of the orders came from corporate purchases. We didn't expect that there were so many corporate orders on Amazon.
Therefore, in addition to conventional advertising and promotion tools, we also set corporate price and quantity discounts for products . After a period of operation, coupled with the relatively high repurchase rate of these enterprise customers, the sales from the enterprise side has increased to 50% of our overall Amazon sales. In 2021, our market share will continue to expand, sales will increase by 200%, and we will enter a state of rapid development. "
An office stationery seller Tom: Traditional foreign trade is light, and he sells more than 3 million markers a year!
• Launched on Amazon in 2018, a traditional foreign trade player who has been deeply involved in the US station. 3 post-90s employees formed a group to go into battle , and successfully transformed
• In 2021, sales will reach $ 3 million
TOM's company was established in 2008 and started with traditional foreign trade. Its main customers are large supermarkets in the United States. After contacting Amazon 5 years ago, he recruited 3 young post-90s e-commerce operators, launched the US site, and began to build his own brand.
Tom, founder of an office stationery seller : "Traditional foreign trade is a hard work with heavy investment, but we can't control the control. It is much easier to do Amazon. It will help you simplify a lot of operations, pay taxes, Channels, logistics and other links are all handled well, as long as you do a good job of product and supply , it is completely light. ”
At first, Tom had no confidence in selling stationery on Amazon. He felt that the unit price of office products was too low, "Our supply price for a marker pen to the supermarket was only 2-30 cents, and the supermarket sold it for $1. Going online, even if we sell directly to consumers for 1 dollar, the profit margin is very limited, because the shipping cost will be 3-4 dollars, unless there is a large amount of commercial purchase orders , which can dilute the shipping cost and gain more profits. "
To Tom's surprise, when he started selling on Amazon, he quickly became profitable, attracting not only overseas individual consumers, but also a large number of corporate purchase orders. Tom analyzed the reasons. More than ten years of traditional foreign trade experience has provided a good foundation for their cross-border e-commerce business, including a stable supply chain and an understanding of local user preferences. Not only that, but also the direct purchase of Amazon's corporate purchases, which can connect with overseas high-quality corporate customers . With the cost-effective route and multi-functional scene selection, it naturally stands out and has an advantage.
In 2021, despite the continuous decline in traditional foreign trade sales, Tom sold more than 3 million markers a year on Amazon's US station, and sales continued to grow, of which sales from corporate customers accounted for 40%.
2. Taking advantage of Dongfeng skillfully, branding first, and developing the market have a set
Choosing the right track is only the first step. If you want to gain more bargaining power and market share overseas, it depends on the strength of the brand. When Sihoo and Min talked about how to break through the number one order and the secret of winning the top sales on multiple sites, they both mentioned the importance of brand building .
Luo Huiping, Chairman of Sihoo Company: "Our target audience in China is the middle class, and the product price is around 1,000-2,000 yuan. When we go overseas, we will further amplify Sihoo's advantages in product design and operation, instead of taking the cost-effective route. , to be a mid-to-high-end brand . Therefore, we have not made products below $100 since the launch, but directly chose Amazon’s relatively blank price band of $200.”
Xihao has already created a national-level explosive product with sales of 2 million pieces in China , setting a myth of single product sales in the ergonomic furniture industry. When entering overseas, it is not the quality and innovation of the products that test them, but how to make users perceive the ingenuity of their product design when the appearance of office chair products is similar, so as to gain brand recognition in the mid-to-high-end market. .
Strong exposure + experience is king + compliance standards are an excellent combination for them to win big orders and build brand impressions in the early stage.
1 ►Strong exposure, a head start
When Sihoo entered overseas sites, the brand almost had to start from scratch. They carried out a full set of store decoration and production of promotional materials based on the usage scenarios of mid-to-high-end users . Let more target audiences have access to their brand information in the first time.
2 ►Experience is king, word of mouth grows
Through Amazon's trial channel, the site collects user trial experience. Outside the site, different KOLs are invited to conduct grass-planting evaluations, forming a word-of-mouth effect. In this process, according to the feedback of users' height, body shape, usage scenarios, usage time, comfort and durability requirements at different sites, a product improvement database is formed to create ergonomic comfortable seats that are more suitable for the needs of overseas users.
3►Compliant operation, winning large institutional orders
In 2019, Sihoo entered the European site for the first time, and the site was selected in Germany , a highland of industrial design with more stringent and rigorous requirements for brand and craftsmanship . Amazon has strict requirements on the compliance of sellers on each site. Through its consistent compliance operations, Sihoo has emerged among many foreign merchants, and has been recognized by local consumers and institutions for its high-quality quality and compliance operations. It has won the large institutional order that other brands dream of.
" We have enjoyed the benefits brought by Amazon's mature site and standardized operations, and rushed into the European site in one fell swoop, ranking first in sales in both the UK and Germany sites. The successful experience, on the one hand, is accurate positioning and identifying categories. The functional design of our products is exactly in line with the rigorous style of German users who respect science. On the other hand, we must take the right path, be compliant, and follow Amazon's compliance requirements, so that we can be recognized more quickly in European sites with high standards and strict requirements. . ”
The United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Sweden, the Netherlands, India, Japan … Now Sihoo's Amazon sites have spread all over the world, and they have set two small goals:
The annual sales volume of high-end products has exceeded 2 million ;
In the process of global layout, it will achieve 10 billion sales in 5 years.
This daring not only stems from optimism about the office supplies market, but also SIHO's confidence in its own products and brand strength.
3. User needs guide product innovation and make products the "spokesperson" of the brand
Also positioned in the mid-to-high end, and conquering consumers through product innovation, and constantly improving brand recognition is also the scanner gun seller Min. When overseas consumers came into contact with Min, they chose to " let the product speak ". In order to be able to produce the products that customers really need, in 2020, Min visited nearly 100 scanning gun factories in China, and selected three excellent factories with similar corporate values and product concepts for in-depth cooperation. In the dilemma between low cost and high quality, Min resolutely chose high-quality products to pursue the ultimate customer experience .
Min, CEO and founder of a scanner gun seller: "We just entered cross-border e-commerce with the goal of becoming the best seller. Now with our development, the success of only one product can no longer satisfy us. Our goal is to become the best seller across the board. products , and hopefully we can grab a bigger share globally. ”
Amazon Global Selling: How to achieve the above goals?
Min, CEO and founder of a scanner gun seller: The core is to continuously optimize products and differentiate themselves by listening to user feedback, so that consumers can feel the brand concept not only from product functions, but also from service and experience, and improve Brand identity.
Amazon Global Selling: How to Insight into User Needs and Guide Product Innovation?
Min, CEO and founder of a scanner gun seller: On the one hand, it is the flexible use of Amazon's tools. Through the Amazon brand analysis tool, we can understand user preferences, user portraits, repurchase situations, buyers' search keywords, etc., and analyze relevant data. Simulate the user's usage scenarios, and start from the user's real demand experience to carry out product innovation.
On the other hand, it also attaches great importance to communication with customers. All emails, comments and feedbacks from buyers will be actively responded to and followed up, so as to answer all questions and requests, and form a positive interaction with users.
The following examples demonstrate Min's capabilities in user insight and product innovation.
One data line, get the top 500 customers in the United States
There was once an American Fortune 500 customer who asked Min to improve the data cable accessories of the product. One end of the previous data line is a USB interface, and the other end is a mesh interface. Once this kind of data cable is damaged, it has to be re-purchased and replaced, and it has to wait for delivery, which is not very convenient. The customer hopes that Min can make both ends into USB ports, so that even if it is damaged, a replacement data cable can be purchased locally for continued use .
After receiving the customer's feedback, Min analyzes the needs and responds quickly , and promptly contacts the factory to formulate product improvement plans for customization. In the end, a very stable overseas customer was obtained, and the sales volume also took this opportunity to continue to rise.
Differentiated innovation according to the preferences of customers on different sites
Through data analysis, Min found that German customers prefer mid-to-high-end products and have higher requirements for product design, function, and acuity, while customers from other sites prefer mid-end products , focusing on adaptability and durability.
Through research on the preferences of customers on different sites, Min found that the choice of colors varies from country to country . German customers like green, American customers like orange. As a result, customized models of different colors are launched, and hot-selling products corresponding to the site are created.
Optimize service experience for different usage scenarios
In the process of using the scanner gun, industrial buyers may easily cause the scanner gun to be stained due to dust, oil stains, etc. generated in the working environment, resulting in reduced sensitivity.
In response to such situations, Min decided to develop a series of product lines for industrial use scenarios to improve product anti-pollution and sensitivity, solve the pain points of scanner gun users in such scenarios, and win good user feedback.
" Excellent product quality /appearance + high-quality customer service = good buyer experience . Through the user's keyword search and other data, we conduct research on users in different industries, and optimize product design according to factors such as different working environments and usage scenarios. At the same time, the promotional materials are also closer to the user scene, so as to form a brand effect. ”
4. Be your own brand in a familiar field
Compared with Sihao and Min, who are positioned at the mid-to-high end, Tom, who chose the people-friendly route, expressed his determination to build his own brand through Amazon .
Tom, founder of an office stationery seller: "In traditional foreign trade, the initiative is in the hands of others. When consumers buy markers from supermarkets, they may not look at the brand at all, but only look at the price. On Amazon, we have the opportunity to directly communicate with each other. Consumers meet face-to-face , adjust flexibly according to user data feedback, take the initiative in their own hands, and slowly build their own brands. ”
15 years of traditional foreign trade experience, on the one hand, allows Tom to master a stronger supply chain , can better control prices, and can provide American consumers with more cost-effective products than 1 yuan stores. In the price comparison of competing products , has a stronger advantage. On the other hand, it also allows Tom to have more in-depth user insights into the US site , helping them to more accurately grasp user needs in product selection and promotion, and create explosive models.
In the early stage of brand building, Tom did not spend the cost on packaging, but paid attention to product quality and practical functions , and provided richer products for various scenarios such as education and training, event parties, children's paintings, professional art creation, and the use of company stationery. Select products, continue to consolidate and build a brand image of "cheap, easy to use, and many choices", which quickly won a good user response and achieved an easy transformation.
" Originally, we settled in Amazon because we wanted to seek long-term development , and we didn't care about short-term profits. The surprise for me in stationery was that basically every product I invested in was making money . So we still need to work in a field that we are familiar with and leverage on the accumulation of traditional foreign trade. The experience in product selection and the advantages of supply chain resources. Moreover, it can be said that only Amazon can give us traditional sellers the opportunity to build their own brands. "
5. Sharing experience with heart, there is a long way to go and move forward firmly
On the way to sea, it is not always smooth sailing. Behind the beautiful transcripts, the three sellers also shared their lessons and experiences, let's take a look!
Luo Huiping: Don't blindly follow the trend when choosing products , and don't go wherever you make money. It is also not recommended to do multiple categories at the same time, one by one, to build your own core competitiveness. At the same time, it is also necessary to manage expectations. Many people see that others are doing very well in Amazon, so their expectations are very high, but the matching of resources and capabilities cannot keep up, so they find it difficult to persist and give up easily. Finally, to operate in compliance with regulations, customer trust is the long-term solution for operation.
Min: The competition in the cost-effective route is fierce, but we should do a good job in product quality and function research and development. Buyers of office supplies pay more attention to the quality of products. They do not need to be able to obtain sales at a low price. They should make more innovations in the use of functions.
Tom: Traditional foreign traders must not waste their accumulated experience, but start with familiar categories . Before making stationery, we tried to make furniture and other popular categories, but due to the weak supply chain and lack of understanding of the market, it was not successful. Instead, he returned to the field of stationery he was most familiar with, gave full play to his strongest advantages, and quickly got on the right track. After coming back to life, let us be more firm in choosing the track of office supplies. Only by deeply cultivating the categories you know best can you avoid detours, and everyone can learn from it.
In recent years, the traditional foreign trade has been hit unprecedentedly. If you want to transform but don't know how to start, the experience of these three sellers has given a good inspiration.
☑ On the one hand, it is recommended that new sellers enter the market to lock in the evergreen category , not only for individual buyers, but also for corporate and institutional users with high repeat purchases and large orders.
☑ On the other hand, shape core competitiveness , listen to user needs, continuously innovate products, and build brands.
If the cross-border e-commerce dividend is the right time, then it is the geographical advantage to quickly break the traditional sales barriers through Amazon, and the online discovery of retailers and the bilateral business is a matter of harmony. Time? I wish every seller can find their own blue ocean in the vast world!
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