In the era of "community group buying 2.0", the giants are entering the market again, and there is not much time left for the head of the team

"After June 1st, the group buying group in our building suddenly went silent. Someone sent a link, but no one replied." "I hope the seafood group in the community is still there, the price is very beautiful, and the seafood is also very fresh.

During the Dragon Boat Festival holiday, the flow of offline supermarkets resumed as usual, but many group buying groups went out almost overnight. The community group buying "saving Shanghai people from fire and water" came to the crossroads:In just two years, community group buying is like a roller coaster, from "the next ten billion trend" to dying, this year ushered in the highlight of the explosion again.

The history of 2020 seems to be repeating itself again. Is community group buying real fire or virtual fire?

new student

Community group buying started in the lower-tier market and became popular in epidemic control.

From the early stage of the epidemic outbreak in 2020, the "old three groups" represented by the ten Hui groups, the same journey life, and the prosperity preference ushered in explosive growth. At that time, various sealing and control policies were introduced in various places, citizens did not go out at home, and daily consumption, especially fresh demand, flooded online, becoming the "sweet cake" of the financing market. Qichacha data shows that the financing amount of community group buying in 2020 exceeded 10 billion yuan, an increase of 356.3% year-on-year. There are also data showing that the size of the community group buying market in 2020 is estimated to reach 89 billion yuan, an increase of 78% year-on-year.

The trend is coming, and the giants have also entered the market.

Didi’s "Orange Heart Preferred", Meituan’s "Meituan Preferred", Pinduoduo’s "Buy More Vegetables", Ali’s "Amoy Vegetables",’s "Jingxi Pitch"… In the struggle between the "old three groups" and "new forces", Pinduoduo’s group buying tool "Kuaituan" did not cause much waves at the time, but it laid the groundwork for this year’s "dark horse".

However, capital that is good at creating publicity is not omnipotent. Internet platforms "bring capital into the group" and embark on the old road of low-price subsidy enclosures, which intensifies the internal competition of community group buying. The money-burning war of "killing one thousand enemies and losing eight hundred" is unsustainable, and the community group buying business is seriously damaged. It should have been the golden development period of community group buying in 2021, but it has become the "Waterloo" of multiple community group buying platforms. According to the financial reports of major platforms, the loss of new business forms such as community group buying in 2021 exceeded 10 billion yuan. According to bank research data, community group buying burned 100 billion yuan in 2021.

More importantly, this "battle of the gods" has also hurt the interests of small and medium-sized vegetable vendors and commercial entities.After the timely follow-up of market supervision, in the second half of last year, there was almost no large-scale financing for community group buying, and the industry entered a "cold winter period".

However, less than half a year later, community group buying ushered in a new life during the epidemic, especially in Shanghai, where the saying "my life is given by group buying/the head of the group" is everywhere on the Internet. But it is not accurate to say that it is "making a comeback". After all, the community group buying platform that was in the limelight in 2020 is now almost all absent. Some people say that "community group buying has ushered in the 2.0 era". With the blessing of tools such as "Kuaituantuan", the head of the group has replaced the platform and become a new core force.

How many community group buying groups did Shanghai have during the epidemic? There is no official disclosure yet, but according to ShanghaiWOW’s "Shanghai Head of State White Paper", it is speculated that there are about 130,000 guaranteed supply heads (vegetables, fruits, meat and eggs, rice noodles, grains and oils) in Shanghai, and more than 650,000 improvement heads. Most of the heads of state use the "Kuaituan" and "Group Solitaire" Mini Programs to start the group. The National Financial Securities report also shows that,The year-on-year growth rate of DAU (average daily active users) for the two Mini Programs of Kuaituan and Group Solitaire rose significantly in March and April.

During the epidemic,, Ali, Pinduoduo and other Internet platforms re-entered the community group buying business and increased the efforts to ensure supply and help.

Ali’s, Hema, Cainiao, etc. have added a total of 3,000 anti-epidemic guarantee "brothers", logistics recruited and mobilized 3246 express brothers and other first-line guarantee personnel; Hema and Ding Dong also launched "vegetable bags", "meat and egg milk bags", "convenience food bags" and other group buying packages, and Pinduoduo launched "48-hour guarantee packages", each including 6 to 60 people. Package materials.

This time, the market supervision department praised it: community group buying played a positive role in helping citizens to ensure their living materials and solve the "last 100 meters" of guaranteed supply.


Received a large amount of traffic and orders, accumulated reputation, and more importantly, for the first time, it really took root in first-tier cities such as Shanghai and Beijing, getting rid of labels such as "low price and low quality" and "consumption downgrade"…Why is "community group buying 2.0" working again?"Quick Tuan Tuan" may hide the answer.

Different from WeChat group solitaire, sharing documents and other "wild road" group buying methods, Kuaituan Tuan was born for group buying, with functions such as publishing group buying, following group buying and counting orders, which not only solved the problem of information efficiency, but also Pinduoduo’s professional technical and resource support, which solved the pain points in early group buying. More importantly, Kuaituan Tuan has cultivated a group of professional heads and solved the problem of "where the goods come from".

Mei Li, the professional head of the Shanghai market, has a team of more than 10 people. Usually, the samples she receives are piled up, and the team has to vote to decide which groups to open every day, and then collect orders through Kuaituantuan, and then send them by the brand. But after the outbreak of the Shanghai epidemic, the trunk logistics card, in and out of the express service was suspended, and this model was completely suspended.

At the same time,Many people are experiencing their first "hunger hour" in life.In the various group members, there were voices asking for supplies one after another. At this time, Mei Li decided to stand up and do something for the city. Therefore, many professional leaders like Mei Li became the bridge between the community leader and the suppliers.

It is not easy to be a good "bridge". During the static management of Shanghai, the pass became the "hard currency" of the material defense war. However, there are limited vehicles with both human and vehicle certificates, and different checkpoints require different qualification documents. If you cannot provide them, you will be persuaded to return. Delivery drivers need to pass all the way, and it is often difficult to guarantee the timeliness of performance.On one side was the head of the community who was looking for "dishes" to wear, and on the other side, the delivery drivers were driving around the clock, and exhaustion and concentration determined that they could not synchronize their positions at any time. In the middle, the professional heads were under great pressure.Mei Li recalled that many times, it was already late at night when the supplies arrived at the destination, and the driver could not contact the recipient. Therefore, she had to be online on her mobile phone 24 hours a day, often assisting the driver in unloading and recording videos remotely in the early morning. She would then contact the head of the team at the designated place for acceptance at dawn.

The toughest days are over. Now that there is no shortage of vegetables, residents are starting to consider how to buy Internet celebrity toys "Koda Duck" through group buying. On the eve of the Dragon Boat Festival, Mei Li received a lot of samples of zongzi from the brand. Mei Li said: "Looking at these packages, I feel very happy."

Now,The head of the team does not plan to leave, and the e-commerce platforms that have tasted the sweetness also plan to pursue the victory.After Shanghai announced the full restoration of normal life order, Hou Yi, president of Hema, also announced the retention of the community group buying model business.

When Hou Yi summed up the epidemic supply situation, he specifically mentioned "mobile supermarkets": collective purchasing based on the community is equivalent to combining all individual orders in the community into one large order. Hema will let the community neighborhood committee and head of the group screen the goods after receiving the demand, and screen out dozens of goods with high demand. This will not only facilitate the improvement of distribution efficiency, but also reduce the probability of close connection. With digitalization, the space limit of traditional supermarkets will be broken. Therefore, under the consideration of safety, the "mobile supermarket" model will be retained.

(Source: Hema Intelligence Bureau)

At the same time, for more than two months, the public’s consumption habits and needs are also changing. "First, after experiencing this epidemic, Shanghai people pay more attention to safety, whether it is their own health or food safety; secondly, many people hope that their homes can stock up on more supplies, especially large-packaged goods, for emergencies; thirdly, consumers are more and more sensitive to the price of goods." To this end, Hou Yi said that Hema will add two services specifically for the community: community group buying and storage, and community Ole store. Among them, the community group buying and storage service is based on the Hema X member store as a guide, and opens a group buying of large-packaged goods to the community once a week, focusing on cost performance. In addition, Hema will also cover more community Ole stores. On the premise of ensuring the shelf life and quality of the products, the price of many products is half to one-third that of Hema stores.

low tide

Community group buying is not an overnight pattern, and naturally it will not disappear overnight.But with the city unsealed and life as usual, how long can the "highlight moment" of community group buying last?

The industry generally believes that the community group buying early excessive valuation will be rational return, early market is generally expected to be a trillion-level market, with the development of business, some institutions to reduce its size, is expected to be around 300 billion – 500 billion. An industry report by China Sea Securities also shows that the number of community group buying SKUs (stock units) is only 1/16 of the traditional supermarket, and consumers’ choices are greatly limited, which will also become the ceiling for the development of community group buying business.

This round of Shanghai epidemic is a good example. Community group buying seems to be in full swing, but in fact consumers can only place orders according to the limited "menu" of the head of the group. Even the guaranteed group buying of the e-commerce platform can only provide 1/10 of the daily SKU, especially the few categories of vegetable and fruit packages, which cannot meet the daily needs of citizens.

Who hasn’t vomited from eating carrots?

Liu Kai, vice chairperson of Ten Hui Group, even pessimistically believes that the epidemic has a great negative impact on community group buying, breaking the image of community group buying cheap and fast, which will lead to consumers may not consider community group buying in the future.

Of course, there are also many optimistic views. The "White Paper of the Shanghai Head of Mission" believes that the sustainable development of the community group buying model in Shanghai may become one of the consumption habits of Shanghai people in the future. In particular, group buying activities have become formalized and systematized. Shop around before opening a group, and find cost-effective goods has gradually become the norm. At the same time, some part-time head of mission will also consider continuing to be the head of mission. The ability to choose products, price advantages and the character of the head of mission will determine whether the head of mission is competitive. "I now have a group of 500 people, and each time I open a group, I basically start with 200 copies. Even if half of the people can be left after the epidemic, it should not be a problem to open a group."

(Source: ShanghaiWOW)

"In fact, many temporary leaders smell business opportunities. The group buying WeChat established during the epidemic is a valuable asset, so they don’t plan to leave." Mei Li said,In the post-epidemic era, Kuaituantuan may return to its original positioning – a micro-business tool.

According to Rong Ying, a professor at the Antai School of Economics and Management at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, community group buying can turn uncertain market demand into predictable directional supply, but be wary of the intervention of Internet Tech Giants. "Internet companies want to seize the market at a low price, and use the land to cut leeks to recreate the’war ‘of the year, which will undoubtedly hurt the interests of the real economy and small and medium vegetable vendors. In the end, it is still consumers who suffer." Rong Ying believes,The future of community group buying should be a combination of online platforms + offline entities, and can benefit the business model of entities. Existing individual industrial and commercial households or community stores, while sticking to their own "one mu and three points of land", spare part of their energy to serve as the "head of the team". The business integration of "physical business + community group buying" is more likely to be successful, "Community group buying can increase the flow of people to the store, which can not only divert traffic but also enhance user stickiness, but also promote the growth of the real economy."

Li Haigang, an associate professor at the Antai School of Economics and Management of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, also emphasized the importance of community to brand development in the article "The Impact of the New Consumer Goods Industry under the Epidemic and Suggestions for Resumption of Work and Production". Before the epidemic, China’s consumer goods industry presented a pattern of "online-based, offline-supplemented". The logistics interruption and community isolation caused by the epidemic have brought the originally fast-moving goods and services to a standstill. Brands should recognize the important role of various offline factors such as social scheduling ability, social control attitude, social attributes and humanistic attributes of the community.In the path from the warehouse to the consumer, the brand should make more efforts to achieve communication with the community and smooth logistics links.

After the tide receded, we knew who was swimming naked. Say goodbye to community group buying under epidemic control, and wait until the "ebb tide" moment.