Chinese supply chain, how much foreign fast fashion?

In 2008, a financial crisis shattered the jobs of many people, and Xu Yangtian’s life as a migrant worker came to an end. An online wedding dress shopping platform for overseas consumers was launched. Today, more than 10 years later, SHEIN accounts for 1/4 of the market share of fast fashion in the United States, which puts H&M on the back and Inditex (the parent company of ZARA) is on pins and needles. SHEIN is not the creator of the fast fashion industry, but SHEIN is the “first person in ultra-fast fashion” in this era. As early as 1984, ZARA introduced a computerized management system to facilitate it to grasp the sales situation of each store and each SKU in the world, and to provide decision support for the follow-up process. SHEIN, which has up to 6,000 new SKUs every day, introduces the product of human wisdom in the 21st century. Artificial intelligence is used for SKU automation management and task allocation among manufacturers, and production, delivery, and replenishment are completed in one go. The victory of the supply chain makes SHEIN come out on top at the juncture where major shopping platforms are frequently out of stock during the epidemic. In fact, as early as 2017, SHEIN was listed on the “Top 50 Chinese Overseas Brands” list released by Google and the global communication giant WPP. How many foreign fast fashions have SHEIN “sucked to death” in the Chinese supply chain? (The change in the sales share of SHEIN in the US fast fashion market, the dark data bar represents January 2021, and the light data bar represents June 2021; source: Earnest Research) According to the data released by the analysis company Earnest Research, the global sales of SHEIN 2021 have already surpassed H&M and Zara, and it may only be a matter of time before they become the fast fashion giants. As one of the few famous Chinese brands in the European and American markets, George Chiao, head of SHEIN’s US business, said that SHEIN’s journey to the United States is also the epitome of the transformation of Chinese manufacturing from a world factory to a brand going overseas. The era of bulls and horses in which Chinese factories are purely taking orders is coming to an end. On the one hand, solid supply chain integration and methodical new product development have stabilized the rear. The next step for SHEIN is to understand consumer demand. In March 2020, the new crown pneumonia epidemic that has been raging in the country “Darkness Chencang” to the American continent, going around. The former U.S. president, who likes to “rule the country on Twitter”, finally let go of calling on the public to wear masks and reduce outdoor travel a few months after the epidemic detonated the United States. The plummeting employment rate and closed school gates have made men, women and children in the United States flock to the virtual world of “goodness and beauty”. TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram were buzzing for a while. SHEIN, who has been out of the circle with the help of social media for a long time, took advantage of this momentum to play marketing to a new height again, successfully harvesting the favor of Generation Z in Europe and the United States, especially young people who like to jump on social media. Before TikTok became a phenomenon, most apparel retailers would choose to publish materials on Instagram, but perhaps due to the influence of domestic Xiaohongshu and Douyin, SHEIN has always been the first in marketing channels, and it is the same as Douyin. ByteDance Its TikTok has long become the main position of SHEIN social media marketing. The hashtag topic “SHEIN HAULS” can be seen everywhere on TikTok and YouTube. Appsflyer released data that in 2021, the installed base of global shopping apps will increase by nearly 50%, and consumer spending will increase by nearly 55%. The surge in the use of mobile shopping and some hunger marketing routines, such as limited-time discounts and playing mini games to win discount coupons, have driven the sales of SHEIN APP to greatly exceed that of PC. Before settlement, SHEIN will continue to remind consumers how much they can purchase to reach the consumption threshold. Although this practice is not uncommon in the fast fashion industry, Rouge (brand research) found that SHEIN’s strength to encourage consumers to spend money and open up personal data permissions is unparalleled among major shopping platforms. Dimitrios Tsivrikos, a consumer psychologist at the University of London, said that SHEIN has “sublimated” shopping into a form of entertainment. Of course, social media has always been an effective promotion channel, even more so after the rise of TikTok. According to statistics, the average price of about 600,000 SHEIN products is only $7.9. Analysts at Morgan Stanley found that only Primark and Forever 21’s off-season products (jeans, T-shirts, dresses, etc.) can compete with the low-price attraction. The epidemic has caused bad consequences for the rising cost of labor, raw materials and freight, but SHEIN seems to be “unmoved”.

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