"The start of this year is different, it feels like spring is here."

  On the afternoon of February 2, Gong Hongying, the person in charge of Yiwu Jianjian Ribbon Co., Ltd., took a thick stack of order forms and told China Business News that on the opening day, the store's shipments had at least doubled compared with the same period last year.

Originally, the staff who had filled every store were overwhelmed, so she also went off in person to help match the goods and deliver the goods.

  On February 2, Yiwu International Trade City, the "capital of small commodities in the world", officially ushered in the opening day of the Year of the Rabbit.

Different from last year's situation, this year's first market opening day after the "Class B and B Pipeline", not only the passenger flow increased significantly, but also most of the shops in the mall opened as scheduled, and they became busy early.

  The traffic jam that occurred early in the morning became a "happiness trouble" for Yiwu merchants.

In addition to the few remaining parking spaces, the packed logistics cartons piled up outside the mall have also become a long-lost sight.

The "World Small Commodity Capital", which has been severely impacted by the epidemic, is visibly rejuvenating.

the market comes alive

  Lively and busy is the common feeling of most Yiwu merchants on the first day of the market opening.

The Prophet of Spring River Plumbing Duck, this change also increased their confidence.

  "The opening of the market this year is more popular than the previous two years, and the overall market will definitely be better than during the epidemic. This is absolute." Xu Xiaobao, head of Yiwu Yongyin Yinhao, which focuses on domestic sales, told Yicai.com. On the same day, old customers placed more than 20 orders. During the epidemic, the orders on the first day of the market were only in single digits, which was equivalent to several times. "Few customers are in such a hurry to replenish as this year. In this way, when it is open, it will come alive.”

  "It seems to be very lively today, and some stores are said to have been emptied of bulk goods." Zhang Zhimin, the person in charge of Yiwu Hengxin Toys, said to China Business News that there are currently enough orders in hand. Do it, and we will be bolder in recruiting workers.”

She expects double-digit growth in orders this year.

  Xu Xiaobao said that some stores may not have sufficient inventory of certain categories, and they did not expect such a large traffic volume today, so they may indeed be short-sold.

For them, due to sufficient stock, there is no situation of selling out.

However, according to the current momentum, this year's overall performance growth of about 20% should be no problem.

  Since many customers were rushing to deliver goods a few days before the market opened, Xu Xiaobao started delivering goods from the eighth day of the first lunar month, and Gong Hongying and the others rushed into the warehouse from the seventh day of the first lunar month.

  Gong Hongying, whose performance was basically flat during the epidemic, said that growth this year is certain, and it is expected to return to the growth rate of about 20% in the years before the epidemic.

  "Several customers are already applying for visas and preparing to come in." Liu Junming, general manager of Zhejiang Yiwu Yilingnuo Sanitary Ware Co., Ltd., told China Business News that more than 20 customers have made inquiries in recent days, and many customers have placed orders. Orders have been placed, and the number of inquiries and orders has exceeded last year.

According to preliminary estimates, the growth rate in 2023 can reach about 36%.

  In terms of market development this year, Liu Junming said that they will adopt a multi-pronged approach. On the one hand, they invite a group of customers to come in, on the other hand, they also take the initiative to visit customers abroad, and continue to encourage local agents to participate in international exhibitions.

  Zhang Zhimin also said that during the Spring Festival, many foreign customers have made it clear in their greetings that they will come to China soon.

  In fact, many foreign businessmen who are resident in Yiwu or who will fly to Yiwu from abroad in 2022 on Yiwu government business charter flights have already started large-scale purchases on the first day of the market opening.

  Statistics show that the number of permanent foreign businessmen in Yiwu has reached more than 10,000, and the number is still increasing.

As a foreign businessman picked up by the Yiwu charter flight group last year, Indian businessman Deepak has finalized an order of 2 million yuan for boat socks with his old supplier, which has also become the "opening business" of the Year of the Rabbit for both parties.

  The Indian businessman RAJA returned to Yiwu on January 20 this year, and the first thing he did was market research.

In his opinion, the market prospect in the new year is optimistic, which prompted him to decide to add a new company, and plans to purchase more than 400 cabinets made in Yiwu this year.

  Yiwu Foreign Trade, which launched the country's first foreign charter flight this year, has shown resilience under the epidemic.

Official data show that under the impact of multiple unexpected factors, the total import and export value of Yiwu City in 2022 will reach 478.8 billion yuan, an increase of 22.7% over the previous year; of which exports will be 431.64 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 18%; imports will be 47.16 billion yuan , an increase of 93.5% year-on-year, and the growth rates were 9.6, 4.0 and 82.8 percentage points higher than that of the whole province respectively. 0.5 and 1.6 percentage points.

Supply chain efforts

  In Liu Junming's view, if we want to attract customers, we must continue to make efforts on the supply side. "The main thing is to practice internal skills, so that the products will be transformed in the direction of specialization and newness, and the services will be more systematic."

  During the epidemic, Liu Junming and his team's continuous investment in material innovation is expected to usher in more returns this year.

This kind of innovation, which does not seem to be "efficient", has reduced the original copper-based cost for them, and while maintaining profits, it has also attracted more customers with more competitive new products.

  For Gong Hongying, the frequency of developing new products in the new year will be higher. "Last year, one or two new products were released a week, and this year four or five will definitely be needed."

On the first day of the market opening on the 2nd, they launched more than a dozen new products at one time, and they also ushered in a customer flow that exceeded expectations.

  In fact, during the epidemic, in order to maintain their performance, they did not stop developing new products. "If you don't develop new products, your business will only get worse."

Affected by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, their orders from Russia were cut in half, and they made up for the vacancy through the growth of domestic sales.

Gong Hongying, who insists on guarding the store in person, believes that the proprietress must come to the market to be truly grounded, and to see market trends and obtain first-hand information from various customers at the first time.

  Of course, while being grounded in the market, channels need to keep pace with the times. "The era of waiting for customers to come to your door in the market is over." Therefore, whether it is Xiaohongshu or Douyin, whether it is short video or live broadcast, Gong Hongying, who walks on two legs in domestic sales and foreign trade, is also actively trying and making arrangements.

  Zhang Zhimin said that sea freight will stabilize in 2022, which will improve toy exports, which have been deeply affected by the skyrocketing sea freight, and insisting on developing new products has become the key to stabilizing their orders.

This year, they will continue to increase the research and development of new products. "There are already several sets of new molds opened this year, and a series of new products will be launched."

  Xu Xiaobao believes that if customers have a greater desire to buy goods, the supply side will naturally be more motivated to develop new products.

  With the restart of the Yiwu market after the festival, factories, e-commerce, logistics and other related businesses are recovering in an all-round way. However, it will take time for the overall market and supply chain to return to the state before the epidemic.

  For enterprises, the trend of recovery is certain, but there are still uncertainties under the general trend, and the degree of recovery is also unknown.

  Xu Xiaobao pointed out that, unlike during the epidemic period, sales were mainly through cooperation with anchors, this year's live broadcast mode is expected to stabilize, and offline consumption will speed up the recovery.

It will take some time for the physical shopping malls that have to be closed or changed jobs due to the impact of the epidemic to reopen. As the supply side of the market recovers, it is necessary to increase investment and return to the state before the epidemic. It may also go through a period of observation and lag .

  He believes that it may be difficult for this year's business to return to the scale before the epidemic in 2019.

However, the bustling opening of the market has released a positive signal, and it has also given them greater confidence and expectations for this year.