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Who Needs Amazon or Wal-Mart? China Cuts Out the Middleman

当中国电商跨出国门,谁还需要沃尔玛?

E-Commerce Goes Global—Buying a $52 Jacket From a Shanghai Factory, Direct to My Door

电子商务全球化,直接从上海工厂开始的购物体验

By DENNIS K. BERMAN Dec. 18, 2014 7:51 p.m. ET

原文地址:http://www.wsj.com/articles/who-needs-amazon-or-wal-mart-china-cuts-out-the-middleman-1418950309?mod=LS1


这件衣服12月11日下午3:36在兰亭集势下单,苏州发货。12月15日上午11:40到达纽约 PARKER ESHELMAN/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Wal-Mart and Amazon have become America's main conduits for cheap, mass-producedgoods from China's factory floors. But who needs them anymore? I amholding in my hands a men's down jacket with fur trim, sent four days agodirect from a warehouse 67 miles west of Shanghai.

在美国,沃尔玛跟亚马孙已经成为销售中国各种廉价商品的主要渠道。但是,我们真的需要他们么?我手头这件带有皮毛领子的男士羽绒夹克,是从一个上海西边67英里远的仓库直接购买的,从下单到收货仅仅花了四天时间。
The$52.19 jacket won't be confused for Prada. The fur appears to be "fur." It cameout of the box smelling like plastic and solvent.
这件价值52.19美元的夹克并不会跟普拉达混淆。皮草领子看起来像是"皮草",虽然开箱的时候有一股塑料溶剂的味道。
Whatthe jacket represents is far more interesting: It's the final and direct linkbetween China's manufacturers and the global consumer. In the same way Chinesecompanies took over the production of goods, they are now increasingly capableof merchandizing those goods, using the Web and modern freight transport.Bentonville, you are being outsourced to China, too.

这件夹克揭示了一件非常值得注意的事情:中国的生产商们已经开始直接接触全球的消费者。中国曾经被称为世界工厂,如今,他们已经开始利用网络跟现代物流系统提升自己在销售渠道的占有率。本顿维尔【阿肯色州的城市,沃尔玛总部所在地,作者意指美国的零售行业】,你也已经被中国人外包了。
This is in part why China's Alibaba has a $268 billion marketcapitalization. And it's why United Parcel Service Inc. recently bought a companycalled i-parcel, to help U.S. suppliers penetrate the thickets of customs,fraud and language that still exist.
阿里巴巴在美国市值2,680亿美元的原因之一,就是零售业的全球化趋势。这个原因也导致即便存在语言与欺诈问题,UPS仍然收购了电商物流企业i-parcel,来帮助美国供应商更好的接触他们的用户。
TodayUPS estimates that e-commerce is an $850 billion global business, withcross-border representing about $70 billion of that. It expects the segment togrow at seven times the rate of global GDP. "What you see is the tip of theiceberg," said Steve Brill, UPS's vice president for business-to-consumerstrategy. Smartphones and rising incomes mean "people have visibility ofproducts from around the world."
如今,UPS估计全球电商产业大约价值8,500亿美元,而其中的海淘市场价值700亿美元。UPS预计海淘市场的增长率是全球GDP增长率的7倍以上。"你现在看到的只是冰山一角",UPS公司副总裁-史蒂夫·布里尔指出。随着智能手机保有量与收入水平的提高,"人们可以从全世界购买他们看得到的商品。"
"More retailers will have to recognize that ifthey stay only within their country boundaries, other merchants will competefrom outside their country boundaries," Mr. Brill said.
布里尔先生说道:"越来越多的零售商意识到,如果他们仍然将自己局限于本国市场,那么将面临更多来自国外销售商的竞争。"
The jacket came via LightInTheBox ,a Beijing company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Run by Chinese withdeep experience in America, the site can shape shift into 27 differentlanguages, from Arabic to Bahasa to Swedish, and ship goods piecemeal all overthe world. For the 12 months ending in September, LightInTheBox sold $349million of merchandise, a 25% increase from the year earlier. It is still farfrom profitable, posting significant operating and net losses. Its stock hasfallen 23% this year.
(我的那件)夹克是通过兰亭集势(一间在纽交所上市的北京公司)购买的。这间公司的运营者对美洲市场非常了解,他们的主页支持27种不同的语言,可以针对全世界进行零售。兰亭集势今年的销售额达到3.49亿美元,比去年同期上涨了25%。虽然销售业绩喜人,但是兰亭集势仍然处于亏损。今年以来,它的股价已经下跌了23%。
LightInTheBoxgot its start selling wedding dresses, and it's now selling about 800 differentdesigns for under $200. It sells 400,000 a year. For wedding dresses, "themanufacture price in China is less than $100, but the store price in the U.S.or Europe was thousands of dollars," company co-founder and CEO Quji "Alan" Guosaid in an interview. "That was a category where there should have been betteravailability, but it was not there."
兰亭集势公司的业务从婚纱销售开始,他们现在每年销售大约40万件不同风格的婚纱。该公司提供超过800种不同的婚纱设计,且每件售价不高于200美元。兰亭集势公司联合创始人、CEO郭去疾先生在一次会面中提到:"一件婚纱在中国的出厂价不超过100美元,但是美国或者欧洲的店铺零售价则为上千美元。这是一个很有前景的市场种类。"
The1,800-person company has since moved from dresses to other categories, ones inwhich it can sell what Mr. Guo described as differentiated goods. Think Target,he said, more than Wal-Mart. That means things like my jacket, sold under thebizarre brand name Hanbeidi. It means faucets with LED lights, as well asmakeup brushes, wigs, iPhone chargers and crocheted table linens. In essence,it's the full run of China's factory floor, some 700,000 separate items in all.
这间拥有1,800名雇员的公司开始将业务由礼服向其他品类扩张。公司CEO郭先生描述他们采取差异化的产品销售策略。"我们的目标是塔吉特而非沃尔玛。"郭先生说。就像我这件Hanbeidi牌的夹克一样,你还可以买到带有LED灯装饰的水龙头、化妆工具、假发、iPhone充电器、亚麻针织桌布等。本质上说,它代表整个中国的工厂,可以生产产超过70万种不同的商品。【塔吉特(Target)公司的经营策略是"高品质但是低价格",提供比沃尔玛这类商超更高品质的商品,但是价格低于传统商场。作者意指:中国的网络卖家,例如兰亭集势,可以使用不知名的品牌销售高品质,最起码看起来是高品质的商品】
Much ofthis stuff is available from dozens of sites around the Web. What makes thissignificant is that the Chinese are selling it directly to consumers now—noWestern middleman required.
网络上现在有很多类似的网站,这意味着中国人开始逐步绕过西方中间人【意指从进出口商贸公司、报关公司、美国零售企业在内的分销渠道】,直接向终端顾客销售产品。
Todayabout 60% of LightInTheBox revenue comes from Europe, much of it from countriesin bad economic straits. An additional 20% comes from North America. The marketwith the highest conversion rate? Greenland.
如今,兰亭集势公司大约60%的销售额来自于欧洲那些备受经济危机影响的地。区。北美市场贡献了20%的销售额。猜猜那个市场转化率最高?格陵兰
"Idon't need to know anything about the market, but I can serve that market andconsumers because we are using a lot of data. We are trying to use data topredict product trends and channel it back to the supply chain," Mr. Guo said.
"我不需要对一个(陌生)市场做任何调研,就可以很好的为那里的用户服务,因为我们使用大数据分析。我们使用数据分析工具来预测产品趋势,然后(反向)适配我们的供应链(来满足这些用户的需求)。"郭先生说。
Forinstance, its closeness to suppliers enables it to keep inventory relativelylow, taking only the most popular products onto its books. It can get many ofits less-popular products from suppliers within 48 hours.
举例来说:兰亭集势发出的订单仅局限在最流行的商品品类,同时他们只选择最靠近他们的供应商来保持相对较低的库存量。该公司可以在48小时内对大多数短缺商品完成补货。
Thereal change in world markets is how technology is connecting China directly toconsumers. The company employs customer representatives in each of the 27languages. There aren't a lot of Danish speakers in China, of course. Soinstead it employs part-time workers from all over the world, training themover the Web, and then getting them to use the Web to make calls and do email.
最大的改变是如何使用技术手段从中国直接对接终端客户。兰亭集势的客户们使用多达27种语言,但你很难在中国找到足够的相应语言使用者(为这些客户服务),例如:荷兰语。为了解决这个问题,兰亭集势在世界范围内招募很多兼职雇员,通过互联网完成入职培训,然后让这些员工(使用母语)为顾客服务。
Soit was after 9 p.m. when I got a call from a Chinese LightInTheBox sales repnamed Sasha direct to my cellphone from a California area code. She wanted toknow if I was satisfied with my order. It was the kind of thing J. Crew wouldnever do, and it felt creepy, and perhaps a breach of U.S. do-not-call laws.Mr. Guo said later that he would study the appropriateness of the calls.
晚上九点之后,兰亭集势的销售代表萨沙使用加利福尼亚的号码致电我。她希望知道我对此次交易是否满意。这种让人感觉怪怪的事情J. Crew【美国潮牌】永远不会做,而且可能已经违反了do-not-calllaws【美国针对电话营销的反骚扰法】。郭先生答复:他稍后会研究怎样更适当地跟客户联系。
Still,there was something out-of-body about the whole thing—dealing directly with acompany in China, so long just an anonymous supplier. "I would guess 10 yearsfrom now, buying from anywhere in the world will be a very natural thing. Therewill be a generation of consumers that won't feel the boundaries of shopping atall," Mr. Guo said.
目前我仅仅介绍了与中国公司直接交易这块市场的一部分,相当长时间内,这些供应商都是陌生的。但是郭先生相信:"10年内,海淘会变成非常普通的事情,新一代的消费者在买东西的时候将不会有边界的存在。"
Whoknows whether LightInTheBox will be a lasting competitor. It doesn't matter.Looking at my coat, bedecked in Chinese labels, we do know the future ofretail: It will be a global war of all against all.
兰亭集势公司会不会成为一个强有力的竞争对手?没人知道。但无所谓,看看我这件漂亮的中国品牌夹克,我们已经看到了零售行业的未来:这将是一场全球化的战争。
Write toDennisK. Berman at dennis.berman@wsj.com