Every year "June 6", home appliance promotions have become hot spots. In order to attract customer flow and offline stores, online platforms and offline stores threw out price surprises one after another, and Beijing Business Daily reporters visited many stores and learned that the transaction volume of home appliances was indeed better than usual.

However, from the upstream point of view, behind the rise in trading volume, the pressure on manufacturers and dealers is not small. Some dealers told the Beijing Business Daily reporter that whether online or offline, the cost of sales is getting higher and higher. Offline is concentrated in the storage cost of the leased warehouse, while online is in the drainage cost. The chips in the hands of distributors "secret war" come from brand subsidies. Some manufacturers told reporters that focusing on online or offline mainly depends on their own strategies, but the problem of "fighting" in different channels is inevitable, so they are afraid that consumers will compare prices between the same products. For brands, the elements of user reach, sales and network traffic are both interrelated and potentially contradictory.

Optimal choice

Ms. Yang, who is decorating her new home, took a fancy to a Fangtai range hood, the original price was about 5500,6 yuan, "18·4000" discount plus the store coupon was less than <>,<> yuan after the full reduction, at that time I had planned to buy, the deposit had been paid online, I thought about going to the offline store to take a look and measure the size, but when I arrived at the Fangtai counter in the Suning store near my home, I was told by the staff that the product was only sold online, and there was no same offline.

The phenomenon of selling different products through different channels has been around for a long time, but in the eyes of the industry, this may be the best choice for home appliance companies at present.

Dealer Mr. Huang has been in the industry for many years, acting as an agent of Deepe, Fangtai and many other brands, he told the Beijing Business Daily reporter that if the online and offline market products overlap, then consumers will definitely compare prices, the result is that different channels of the same brand "fight" with each other, especially in "6·18" and "Double 11" such promotional nodes, if the product lines can not be distinguished, then the price reduction strategy is also difficult to formulate.

For example, he said that a brand's traditional channel sales account for 90%, e-commerce channels account for 10%, then enterprises can increase preferential treatment in e-commerce channels and expand customer sources, and traditional channels can be relatively conservative to maintain profits, otherwise, consumers are bound to shop around in various channels and choose the lowest price, which not only invalidates the original pricing strategy, but also compresses the profit margins of enterprises or agents.

In response to the concerns of some online sales products "reduced allocation" and "disassembly model", Mr. Huang believes that whether the product has quality defects has little to do with the channel, more depends on the brand, some white-label, miscellaneous home appliances will indeed have the above problems, but the supply management of well-known brands is quite strict, and there is a high probability that there will be no problem of shoddy online products, which is more of a sales technique.

The Beijing Business Daily reporter saw in the actual visit that it is more common for brands to distinguish products in different channels, but the performance of products at the same price will not be much different. In this regard, senior industry observer Liang Zhenpeng believes that separating product lines is the only way for enterprises in the e-commerce era, often the more mature the brand product differentiation, but it is undeniable that on this road, home appliance companies are still in the exploration and testing stage, plus many consumers are not sensitive to channel differences, will feel that under the same brand, online product quality is not as good as offline, the final harm is still brand image, in different channels "according to local conditions", enterprises still have a lot of room for improvement.

Optional actions

Some leading home appliance companies also began to try innovation before "June 6". In addition to working hard to enter the live broadcast room of the head anchor and participate in the unified theme promotion activities of JD.com and Tmall, manufacturers are also actively planning festivals for themselves.

Brand days, fan festivals, in-app purchase meetings, and anniversary celebrations at the enterprise level are all representatives, and through these means, dealers and operators in various channels are involved to grab the user traffic of the "June 6" promotion. For the old well-known home appliance companies, they especially hope to have greater gains online, and the promotion time such as "18·6" is particularly important.

The relevant person in charge of Changhong Meiling told the Beijing Business Daily reporter that the company has comprehensively laid out traditional e-commerce Tmall, Jingdong, Pinduoduo and other platform e-commerce platforms online, and at the same time based on the four emerging e-commerce platforms of Douyin, Xiaohongshu, Kuaishou and Youtube, with the goal of creating explosive single products, concentrating resources on key products in categories, on the one hand, through extensive grass cultivation to achieve brand awareness improvement, on the other hand, shaping brand stories to consolidate the dominant position of Meiling brand in the industry.

In addition to the old brands wanting to tell new stories, it is not difficult to find that the "genes" of products largely affect the channel strategy of enterprises. Industry observer Hong Shibin believes that for emerging home appliance categories and small appliances that improve the quality of life and comfort, online is the main battlefield, and companies will also put most of their energy into e-commerce platform operations.

Since its birth, such home appliances have personalized and diversified "genes", and they are not necessary "big items" for families, but target the segmented needs of some groups. Therefore, reaching users and building brand awareness has become the key to marketing, and the network plays this role.

The essence of "6·18" is low-price promotion, and manufacturers are desperately trying to reduce costs, fees, and configurations. For example, Gree's Yuntian, Yunjin II., Yunhai X and other air conditioning products, the new model reduces the external condenser from 2 to 1.6 rows, which is basically the same price as the old model, but the configuration is lower. In addition, in order to reduce production costs, home appliance companies have come up with some low-end product models and looked for OEM production in external small factories with lower costs, which has almost become a common feature in the industry.

Revaluation offline

In recent years, with the increase and dispersion of retail channels of home appliance companies, it is also doomed that any home appliance company cannot use only 1 or 2 channels to complete large-scale shipments.

In the past few years when offline channels have been affected, major brands have increasingly invested online, and competition between industries has basically occurred online. Traditional home appliance manufacturers such as Gree, Midea, and Haier, in addition to executives and founders participating in bringing goods, will even cooperate with each different e-commerce platform to launch exclusive products, exclusive series, and exclusive prices.

This year's "6·18" has become the first large-scale home appliance promotion day to return to offline, many brands will participate in it, in addition to the offline stores of e-commerce platforms such as Jingdong and Suning will simultaneously carry out the "6·18" promotion, the offline channels of traditional home appliance brands such as Gree and Haier are also actively preparing. This will concentrate the long-accumulated shipment pressure and disperse online customers.

Industry views point out that the company's channel strategy is not static, but with the change of business focus and brand positioning, for example, Xiaomi relied more on e-commerce at the beginning, but now Xiaomi continues to expand in the field of smart home appliances and AIoT, which also makes it further cultivate offline channels, after all, the sales of smart home appliances rely more on consumers' real experience.

The relevant person in charge of Xiaomi told the Beijing Business Daily reporter, "In 2022, it will mainly improve the operational efficiency of the offline channel business, and by the end of 2022, the number of offline retail stores in the Chinese mainland will remain above 2022,27." Xiaomi is also constantly upgrading and optimizing the product structure and display layout of offline stores, strengthening the joint sales of AloT products, and in <>, the GMV of AIoT products in offline stores increased by more than <>% year-on-year."

Experts point out that although the current home wire market is expanding day by day, the experience of offline stores is still irreplaceable, and in the future, attracting traffic from offline to online may become an important strategy for corporate marketing.

Beijing Business Daily reporter Tao Feng Wang Zhuli