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疫情中,二手電商面臨新難題:供大于求

疫情中,二手電商面臨新難題:供大于求

王波非(Phil Wahba) 2020年04月07日
一場原本看似遙不可及的疫情,真的殺到家門口了,瞬間冷卻了人們購買必需品以外所有東西的熱情。

3月11日,二手電商業務在美國的迅猛增長戛然而止。這一天,世界衛生組織宣布,新型冠狀病毒為全球大流行病。

對許多美國人來說,那一刻,一場爆發于中國、原本看似遙不可及的疫情,真的殺到家門口了。它的來襲,瞬間冷卻了人們購買必需品以外所有東西的熱情。一夜之間,衛生紙變得比百貨商店廉價出售的羊毛衫還要搶手。

“當人們開始反應過來后,零售經濟一下子就受到巨大的沖擊,消費支出急劇減少。”平價二手服裝網站ThredUp首席執行官詹姆斯·萊因哈特向《財富》雜志表示。

“人們不知道是該買東西,還是賣東西”

一開始,人們擔心的是很現實的問題:飽受驚嚇的消費者想知道,取包裹是不是都有安全隱患?病毒會不會殘留在包裹和商品上?賣家也同樣擔心這一點。(世界衛生組織和多家美國政府機構已澄清,處理網購包裹是安全的。)

“人們都有點困惑,都不知道是該在Poshmark上買東西還是賣東西。”二手服裝交易平臺Poshmark首席執行官馬尼什·錢德拉說。

Poshmark和ThredUp都是私有企業,它們不愿透露過去兩周業務具體下滑情況,但二手電商就跟其他非必需品零售一樣,明顯正在遭受重創。

由于新冠病毒疫情給經營帶來不確定性,銷售二手高端奢侈品的上市公司The RealReal上周撤銷了2020年的業績預測,他們還被迫關閉了加州的一個電子商務中心,并取消了旗下寄售店的預約。奢侈品零售,哪怕是低價奢侈品,往往在經濟危機中受打擊最嚴重,尤其是股市大跌時,人們理財觀發生變化,變得節約起來。法國奢侈品集團路易威登近期宣布,受疫情影響,其第一季度銷售額可能將下跌20%。

不過,隨著恐慌逐漸減弱,人們被迫坐在家里的電腦前辦公或消遣,使得二手電商正在緩慢復蘇。

“人們正慢慢地消化疫情消息,一種新常態正在出現,盡管沒之前那么理想,但我們預計業務會有所反彈。”萊因哈特說。

錢德拉也表示,Poshmark在售商品呈現激增,過去一周的訂單比前一周增長了20%。在他看來,在售商品之所以大增,部分因為很多人失業,或被迫休無薪假,他們正在尋找新的收入來源。(美國勞工部上周四稱,最新的失業救濟申請人數達到創紀錄的330萬。)

零售業中,二手電商最有前景

這給二手電商帶來另一個問題:供大與求。結果,主要二手電商網站上的商品價格下滑,給很多賣家潑了盆冷水。不過,ThredUp和Poshmark都稱,各自平臺的供需平衡正在開始恢復。

談到二手電商的長期前景時,萊因哈特說:“我不知道到底要幾周還是要幾個月才能恢復過來,但完全沒人買東西的那種恐慌已經過去了。”

正是這種趨勢,讓二手電商在困難重重的零售業中,成為最有前景的一個領域。市場研究公司GlobalData在2019年發布的報告估計,到2023年,美國二手電商銷售額將從去年的70億美元增長至230億美元,刺激其需求增長的原因包括環保意識、復古產品暢銷等等。

不過,二手電商行業首先得跨過當前的危機。至于疫情到底什么時候會好轉,這個行業沒法預測也無能為力,但一些大型二手電商企業正在做出一些調整,以幫助對他們至關重要的賣家。比如,eBay表示,某些條件下可以延長賣家的付費時限,同時也放寬了商品發貨時間。RealReal公司也在幫助賣家設置在線預約。

市場營銷方面,各家公司也在隨機應變。Poshmark原本計劃在多家星巴克門店舉辦聯名活動,召集賣家分享經營心得,相互結識交流,而現在,400人的聚集活動將改為通過視頻會議程序Zoom舉行。錢德拉說,這是為了讓平臺賣家們繼續保持溝通,共同渡過當下的動蕩時期,這樣,未來恢復到正常運營的過程就會容易一些,不管那個時刻什么時候到來。

服裝類消費需求減少

Poshmark、ThredUp和RealReal主要買賣的都是服裝類商品,但現在消費者基本只買生活必需品,服裝銷售額已經直線下降。一些報告稱,3月份一些市場的服裝銷售額將下降80%。商品種類較多元的網站受影響可能沒那么大。eBay發言人向《財富》雜志透露,家居裝飾品和電游等娛樂商品銷售增長。同樣的銷售增長情況也出現在賣一手產品的電子城或家居市場里。

理論上,現在一些大型服裝連鎖店,以及主賣衣服的百貨商城紛紛關店,停止運營,二手商務似乎可以乘機去擴大市場份額,但實際上,并沒那么簡單。那些連鎖店和服裝零售商最終會降價出售商品,沖擊整個服裝市場。

“服裝商品可能會大幅折價,服裝零售商短期內很可能庫存過剩。”Gartner資深總監兼分析師托馬斯·奧康納說。

那些庫存有很大一部分最終可能會落到服裝折扣店里,比如,連鎖折扣店T.J. Maxx里有C.K.,耐克等各種從百貨商店退回的品牌,高端百貨公司特德斯特龍也有自己的折扣店Nordstrom Rack。那些商店里的衣服不僅價格低廉,而且也同樣像二手電商平臺里那樣可以讓人“淘寶”。

此外,許多大城市都處于半封城狀態,人們無法去餐館、劇院、酒吧,連辦公室都不用去,因此,長時間下來,二手商品網站恐怕還是會有經營壓力。“消費者不會像之前那樣經常出門了,因此不怎么需要買衣服了。”奧康納稱。

奧康納和其他分析人士認為,二手電商終將興起,這一點不容置疑。唯一的問題是,當前經營被干擾的局面到底要持續多長。“它不會消失的,這是肯定的,”奧康納說,“但到底會在什么時候復蘇,重新加速發展呢?”

在中國國內,二手電商也因疫情經歷了一番洗劫。比如曾吸引各類資本進場“燒錢”的二手車電商平臺,如優信、瓜子等,也頻頻傳出降薪、裁員的消息。

目前,閑魚、轉轉等綜合性二手交易平臺并沒有通報自身受疫情的負面影響,反而據媒體報道,2月,閑魚轉轉新用戶大增,很多被困家中的普通人都開始轉售閑置品作為副業賺錢,此外,中國互聯網經濟研究院的數據顯示,到2020年,二手交易市場規模預計達到1萬億。

但和其他國家一樣,中國經濟也遭受了嚴重的沖擊,屆時,到底人們對二手買賣的需求到底有多大,這些都可以讓時間來告訴我們。(財富中文網)

譯者:萬志文

責編:雨晨

3月11日,二手電商業務在美國的迅猛增長戛然而止。這一天,世界衛生組織宣布,新型冠狀病毒為全球大流行病。

對許多美國人來說,那一刻,一場爆發于中國、原本看似遙不可及的疫情,真的殺到家門口了。它的來襲,瞬間冷卻了人們購買必需品以外所有東西的熱情。一夜之間,衛生紙變得比百貨商店廉價出售的羊毛衫還要搶手。

“當人們開始反應過來后,零售經濟一下子就受到巨大的沖擊,消費支出急劇減少。”平價二手服裝網站ThredUp首席執行官詹姆斯·萊因哈特向《財富》雜志表示。

“人們不知道是該買東西,還是賣東西”

一開始,人們擔心的是很現實的問題:飽受驚嚇的消費者想知道,取包裹是不是都有安全隱患?病毒會不會殘留在包裹和商品上?賣家也同樣擔心這一點。(世界衛生組織和多家美國政府機構已澄清,處理網購包裹是安全的。)

“人們都有點困惑,都不知道是該在Poshmark上買東西還是賣東西。”二手服裝交易平臺Poshmark首席執行官馬尼什·錢德拉說。

Poshmark和ThredUp都是私有企業,它們不愿透露過去兩周業務具體下滑情況,但二手電商就跟其他非必需品零售一樣,明顯正在遭受重創。

由于新冠病毒疫情給經營帶來不確定性,銷售二手高端奢侈品的上市公司The RealReal上周撤銷了2020年的業績預測,他們還被迫關閉了加州的一個電子商務中心,并取消了旗下寄售店的預約。奢侈品零售,哪怕是低價奢侈品,往往在經濟危機中受打擊最嚴重,尤其是股市大跌時,人們理財觀發生變化,變得節約起來。法國奢侈品集團路易威登近期宣布,受疫情影響,其第一季度銷售額可能將下跌20%。

不過,隨著恐慌逐漸減弱,人們被迫坐在家里的電腦前辦公或消遣,使得二手電商正在緩慢復蘇。

“人們正慢慢地消化疫情消息,一種新常態正在出現,盡管沒之前那么理想,但我們預計業務會有所反彈。”萊因哈特說。

錢德拉也表示,Poshmark在售商品呈現激增,過去一周的訂單比前一周增長了20%。在他看來,在售商品之所以大增,部分因為很多人失業,或被迫休無薪假,他們正在尋找新的收入來源。(美國勞工部上周四稱,最新的失業救濟申請人數達到創紀錄的330萬。)

零售業中,二手電商最有前景

這給二手電商帶來另一個問題:供大與求。結果,主要二手電商網站上的商品價格下滑,給很多賣家潑了盆冷水。不過,ThredUp和Poshmark都稱,各自平臺的供需平衡正在開始恢復。

談到二手電商的長期前景時,萊因哈特說:“我不知道到底要幾周還是要幾個月才能恢復過來,但完全沒人買東西的那種恐慌已經過去了。”

正是這種趨勢,讓二手電商在困難重重的零售業中,成為最有前景的一個領域。市場研究公司GlobalData在2019年發布的報告估計,到2023年,美國二手電商銷售額將從去年的70億美元增長至230億美元,刺激其需求增長的原因包括環保意識、復古產品暢銷等等。

不過,二手電商行業首先得跨過當前的危機。至于疫情到底什么時候會好轉,這個行業沒法預測也無能為力,但一些大型二手電商企業正在做出一些調整,以幫助對他們至關重要的賣家。比如,eBay表示,某些條件下可以延長賣家的付費時限,同時也放寬了商品發貨時間。RealReal公司也在幫助賣家設置在線預約。

市場營銷方面,各家公司也在隨機應變。Poshmark原本計劃在多家星巴克門店舉辦聯名活動,召集賣家分享經營心得,相互結識交流,而現在,400人的聚集活動將改為通過視頻會議程序Zoom舉行。錢德拉說,這是為了讓平臺賣家們繼續保持溝通,共同渡過當下的動蕩時期,這樣,未來恢復到正常運營的過程就會容易一些,不管那個時刻什么時候到來。

服裝類消費需求減少

Poshmark、ThredUp和RealReal主要買賣的都是服裝類商品,但現在消費者基本只買生活必需品,服裝銷售額已經直線下降。一些報告稱,3月份一些市場的服裝銷售額將下降80%。商品種類較多元的網站受影響可能沒那么大。eBay發言人向《財富》雜志透露,家居裝飾品和電游等娛樂商品銷售增長。同樣的銷售增長情況也出現在賣一手產品的電子城或家居市場里。

理論上,現在一些大型服裝連鎖店,以及主賣衣服的百貨商城紛紛關店,停止運營,二手商務似乎可以乘機去擴大市場份額,但實際上,并沒那么簡單。那些連鎖店和服裝零售商最終會降價出售商品,沖擊整個服裝市場。

“服裝商品可能會大幅折價,服裝零售商短期內很可能庫存過剩。”Gartner資深總監兼分析師托馬斯·奧康納說。

那些庫存有很大一部分最終可能會落到服裝折扣店里,比如,連鎖折扣店T.J. Maxx里有C.K.,耐克等各種從百貨商店退回的品牌,高端百貨公司特德斯特龍也有自己的折扣店Nordstrom Rack。那些商店里的衣服不僅價格低廉,而且也同樣像二手電商平臺里那樣可以讓人“淘寶”。

此外,許多大城市都處于半封城狀態,人們無法去餐館、劇院、酒吧,連辦公室都不用去,因此,長時間下來,二手商品網站恐怕還是會有經營壓力。“消費者不會像之前那樣經常出門了,因此不怎么需要買衣服了。”奧康納稱。

奧康納和其他分析人士認為,二手電商終將興起,這一點不容置疑。唯一的問題是,當前經營被干擾的局面到底要持續多長。“它不會消失的,這是肯定的,”奧康納說,“但到底會在什么時候復蘇,重新加速發展呢?”

在中國國內,二手電商也因疫情經歷了一番洗劫。比如曾吸引各類資本進場“燒錢”的二手車電商平臺,如優信、瓜子等,也頻頻傳出降薪、裁員的消息。

目前,閑魚、轉轉等綜合性二手交易平臺并沒有通報自身受疫情的負面影響,反而據媒體報道,2月,閑魚轉轉新用戶大增,很多被困家中的普通人都開始轉售閑置品作為副業賺錢,此外,中國互聯網經濟研究院的數據顯示,到2020年,二手交易市場規模預計達到1萬億。

但和其他國家一樣,中國經濟也遭受了嚴重的沖擊,屆時,到底人們對二手買賣的需求到底有多大,這些都可以讓時間來告訴我們。(財富中文網)

譯者:萬志文

責編:雨晨

The fast growth of re-commerce—the online marketplaces for secondhand goods and one of retail's hottest areas—came to a screeching halt on March 11. That was the day the World Health Organization declared that COVID-19 had become a pandemic.

For many Americans, it was the moment that an outbreak that had started in China and previously seemed remote really hit home. It instantly cooled any enthusiasm for shopping for anything other than bare necessities. Toilet paper suddenly became more desirable than that vintage Barneys New York cashmere sweater being resold for a song.

"When it really started to sink in for people, there was a huge shock to the system, and there was a real pullback in spending," James Reinhart, cofounder and chief executive of ThredUp, tells Fortune.

Initially, the concerns were very practical too: Shell-shocked buyers wondered whether it was even safe to order things and receive packages, fretting whether the virus could still be on the items. Sellers wondered the same. (The World Health Organization and U.S. government agencies have said handling packages is safe.)

"There was a bit of confusion across the community of whether we should buy on Poshmark, or be selling on Poshmark," says Poshmark CEO Manish Chandra.

Both Poshmark and ThredUp are privately held and wouldn't quantify the drop in business in the past two weeks, but it is clear re-commerce, just like the rest of nonessential retail right now, is taking a big hit.

The RealReal, which is publicly traded and sells secondhand high-luxury products, pulled its 2020 financial forecasts last week because of coronavirus-related uncertainty. It has also had to close an e-commerce center in California and cancel appointments at its consignment stores. Luxury, even at lower prices, is typically the hardest hit part of retail during a crisis, especially when a big stock market swoon hits people's perception of their own wealth. French luxury conglomerate LVMH said on Friday first-quarter sales could fall as much as 20% because of the virus crisis.

Yet slowly but surely, the re-commerce market is reawakening, as panic recedes and tens of millions of Americans find themselves stuck at home in front of computers.

"As people have digested the news, what we’ve seen is the new normal—not as good as it was before, but we expect to see business rebound," says Reinhart.

Chandra, who said orders last week rose 20% over the week before, noted that Poshmark has seen a surge in items listed for sale. He ascribes some of that to the fact that many Americans, facing furloughs or job losses, are looking for a new source of income. (On Thursday, the Department of Labor said a record 3.3 million had filed for unemployment benefits.)

That has created another problem for re-commerce: Supply and demand are out of sync, pressuring prices on the main re-commerce sites, to the frustration of many sellers. Still, the companies say, balance is beginning to return.

"What I can’t tell you is whether that will take a few weeks or a few months. We’re over the panic of nobody is shopping at all," says Reinhart, predicting re-commerce's long-term prospects hold.

And that trajectory has made re-commerce one of the most promising areas in the beleaguered retail industry. A 2019 report by research firm GlobalData estimated sales of secondhand items excluding Goodwill and thrift shops in the U.S. would rise from $7 billion last year to $23 billion in 2023, with demand stoked by factors such as concerns for the environment and interest in vintage products.

But first the industry has to get past the current crisis. While the sector can't predict or influence how quickly the coronavirus will be contained, the big re-commerce players are making some changes for the sellers on whom they rely to have a functioning marketplace. EBay for one says it is giving sellers more time to pay fees under some circumstances, and more time to ship items. The RealReal is helping sellers facilitate virtual appointments.

On the marketing side, there are also adjustments to everyone's new reality. Poshmark had planned to hold so-called Posh N Coffee events, gatherings that bring together sellers (called "Poshers" by the company) to share tips and network, at many Starbucks stores across the country this weekend. Instead, 400 get-togethers will be held virtually via Zoom. The point, Chandra says, is to keep its marketplace participants in contact with each other through the current turmoil to ease the return to normal—whenever that might happen.

Apparel pullback

Poshmark, ThredUp, and the RealReal are all heavily focused on apparel, an industry that has seen sales plummet as shoppers focus on essentials. Some reports have suggested an 80% drop in clothing sales in some markets this month. (The impact may be less severe on sites that host a wider variety of products; an eBay spokesperson told Fortune that items for home-improvement projects and entertainment like video games were up, echoing comments by retailers like Best Buy and Lowe's that sell such products new.)

In theory, the fact that big apparel chains like Gap Inc. and department stores like Kohl's and Macy's are enduring lengthy store closings should offer re-commerce a market share opportunity. But it's not that simple.Those chains and clothing retailers will eventually cut prices on unsold merchandise, slamming the whole apparel market.

"There’s likely to be significant discounting of apparel. Apparel retailers are likely to be overinventoried in the near term," says Thomas O'Connor, a senior director and analyst at Gartner.

Much of that inventory is likely to end up at "off-price" stores like T.J. Maxx, which sells a lot of merchandise returned to vendors like Calvin Klein or Under Armour by department stores, or at discounters associated with the large chains, such as Nordstrom Rack. Those stores offer not only low prices but also some of the treasure hunt aspect shoppers find appealing about re-commerce.

What's more, there is likely to be pressure on the resale sites from people's inability to go to restaurants, the theater, bars—or even the office—for an extended period while countless major cities are under at least partial lockdowns. "Consumers are not going out nearly as much, therefore don't need clothes to go out as much," he said.

Yet O'Connor and other analysts see re-commerce's ultimate ascent as incontrovertible. The only question is how long the current disruption lasts."It’s not going to go away, of course," he says, of the industry. "But what’s the timeline for re-commerce to recover and reaccelerate?"

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