"Blind box economy", to be innovative and more standardized

  In recent years, blind boxes have been enthusiastically sought after by young people.

On the Internet platform, as long as you search for blind boxes, it is not difficult to find that there are many sellers and high sales.

According to data from a logistics platform, the pre-sale stock volume of the “June 18” blind box figure surged by 1000% year-on-year. According to reports, among the “post-95s” hobbies, the blind box figure ranked No. 1. "Post-95" has become an important consumer group in the blind box hand-made market, accounting for nearly 40%.

  Favored by young people

  "Ding Dong." Siyu clicked on the phone and found that it was a link sent by a small partner in the WeChat group. A certain brand series of blind boxes were new, and they could be "picked" online in the mini program.

  In less than 10 minutes, the friends sent screenshots of the "box drawing" one after another. Some people were annoyed that they didn't get the style they wanted, and some asked in the group if they could exchange the new products they got.

“The blind boxes drawn online are easy to exchange, which is equivalent to storing your own blind boxes at the merchant, and finally determining who wants it, just fill in the address in the mini program and mail it to them.” Siyu said.

  In recent years, the new consumption trend driven by the "blind box economy" has taken shape, attracting many consumers to chase and buy.

  The "2020 Blind Box Economic Insight Report" of the Mob Research Institute shows that in 2020, the market size of China's blind box industry will reach 10.1 billion yuan, and it will continue to grow rapidly in the next few years.

  The "Development Status and Market Research Analysis Report of China's Trendy Play Industry in the First Quarter of 2021" released by iiMedia Consulting pointed out that over 60% of trendy play consumer groups prefer blind boxes, and over 70% of Chinese blind box users are more likely to buy blind boxes. Use satisfaction to give a positive evaluation.

  Surprising consumer experience

  Why can blind boxes be sought after by consumers?

The answer may lie in using the "surprise effect" brought about by uncertainty.

  Lu Jingyi, associate professor of the School of Psychology and Cognitive Science at East China Normal University, believes that products sold in blind boxes give people a sense of uncertainty. Consumers do not know what the products in blind boxes are, so they will be curious and have expectations.

At the moment when the blind box is opened, the sense of uncertainty is eliminated, and the brain area responsible for the reward process is activated, so that consumers can have a hedonic experience.

  "In fact, this kind of marketing strategy is very common in life." Lu Jingyi said, "For example, chapter style novels, advertisements before key plots of TV dramas, and new products that remain mysterious before the release, businesses always create suspense and then solve the suspense. Bring joy to consumers and stimulate consumption."

  Under this trend, the form of blind boxes has gradually changed from the trendy play market, and small blind boxes have quickly swept all walks of life.

Click on any e-commerce platform to have all kinds of blind box products.

On social networking platforms, videos about the experience of blind box opening, evaluation, and "boxing" continue to be popular, and the blind box social circle is being established.

  Consumers should not blindly follow suit

  The "blind box wind" has begun to blow in all walks of life. Books blind boxes, archaeological blind boxes, and snack blind boxes and fresh blind boxes in the food field have also followed up, promoting the boom of the blind box economy.

  This year, the tourism industry has tried water blind box gameplay, and many online travel platforms have launched "ticket blind box".

After purchasing, consumers will get a domestic one-way ticket with a designated departure place, a random destination, and a random date.

Due to the unpredictability of its gameplay, many netizens associate the "blind ticket box" with "coming for a walk-and-go trip".

"This is an innovative product that should be encouraged." Bai Kai, director of the Tourism Department of Shaanxi Normal University, believes that behind the explosion of the "blind ticket box", it has met the emotional appeal of contemporary young people for travel.

The new type of cooperation between airlines and travel platforms provides an innovative marketing idea that can stimulate potential travel consumer markets.

  With the rapid development of the blind box economy, some of the problems that accompany it cannot be ignored.

The China Consumers Association pointed out that the current blind box market has the following problems: merchants are over-marketing and consumers tend to be "addicted." Products appear from time to time; consumer disputes are difficult to resolve, and after-sales service needs to be improved urgently.

  Peng Yanjun, a lawyer from Beijing Changhong Law Firm, said in an interview with our reporter: “If a merchant clears goods in the name of a blind box, it is fraudulent if it is shoddy or fake. Some merchants say that blind box sales are non-refundable. The rules of exchange, which are not refundable when sold, belong to the Overlord Clause, which violates the fair trade rights of consumers."

  "For blind box products, corresponding product specifications should be issued to clarify the scope of blind box products and the degree of'blindness'." Peng Yanjun pointed out, "Some products are not suitable for uncertain sales in the form of blind boxes, and sales should be clearly prohibited. At the same time, the “blindness” of blind box sales should usually be expressed as the uncertainty of the product category in the box, that is, the specific category is known at the moment when the blind box is opened, rather than avoiding or just talking about key information. Not to mention, especially the key information such as use, performance, and specifications must be disclosed."

  "Operators should regulate the sales of blind boxes, and consumers should not buy blind boxes blindly." The China Consumers Association stated that the basic attribute of blind boxes is commodities, and operators must bear the statutory quality guarantee responsibility to ensure that the product quality information is true and not excessive. Use consumers' curiosity to mislead people to impulse consumption.

  Lu Jingyi reminded that a considerable part of the audience of the blind box are minors with relatively weak economic foundation and relatively weak self-control ability. The consequences of their blind follow-up may be more serious.

Under the continuously emerging blind box economy, it is necessary to promote rational consumption and restraint in consumption, and avoid blindly following the trend and buying addiction.

Yuan Zihan

Yuan Zihan