If the industrial boundaries were clear in the past, the roles were clearly divided, and the industry did its own thing, as long as the industry focused on its own one-acre three-quarter land, it could sit back and relax. Now the industry has not only blurred boundaries, but also the vigorous development of new economies and new formats. The industry can’t tell the enemy from ourselves and can’t find the road signs.
Even as a top brand, when a certain category gradually matures, it needs to get rid of the limitation of stock and create new incremental opportunities, such as adding SKUs, innovative products, extending scenarios, expanding cultural connotations, etc., and these are all for broadening boundary.
Borderless melee is going on in all walks of life. No one knows where the next “killer” is. The boundaries of new consumption are undergoing unprecedented shifts, divisions, and infiltrations. All experience and accumulation may be subverted and cleared at any time. In the future, deformation and elasticity are the key words for enterprise development.
2021, break the boundary and explore the increment.
When 4iNLOOK offline stores cover a large area across the country, many people feel that another online celebrity brand has emerged. In the past two years, consumers’ senses have been constantly impacted by the emergence of new consumer product brands, and they have silently accepted the derivative logic of new brands. But in fact, 4iNLOOK is a company that has been established for more than 10 years and started online.
Today, when all brands are focusing on online, 4iNLOOK has opened stores across the country on a large scale, and the number of stores has exceeded 300. Such an unconventional style of play shows that 4iNLOOK is breaking through industry boundaries.
Is consumer education worth doing?
4iNLOOK started from the era of vertical e-commerce, and started to be a vertical e-commerce website for frame glasses in 2009, and then entered the contact lens and cosmetic contact lens market, and finally completed the transformation from a vertical e-commerce and channel brand to a complete ecological closed-loop cosmetic contact company. .
4iNLOOK, which entered the market very early, has fully participated in the growth of China’s cosmetic contact lenses industry and has witnessed the changes in the market and consumers.
Chen Yu, the founder of 4iNLOOK, believes that in terms of consumer groups, the penetration rate of the category is gradually increasing. In the past, cosmetic contact lenses were a symbol of high-end fashion products, which belonged exclusively to individual and trendy people, representing alternative and avant-garde; now, cosmetic contact lenses are more widely accepted among consumer groups.
Consumer behavior is also changing. In the past, consumers of cosmetic contact lenses pursued nature and liked the “worn and unworn” nude makeup, and paid more attention to the functional beauty of enlargement and brightening; now, consumers are more seeking makeup. In the past, cosmetic contact lenses tend to be introverted; now, cosmetic contact lenses have gradually transformed into a behavior habit that is willing to share with people around them and wants to show aesthetics and personality.
From the perspective of consumption concepts, consumers used to pay more attention to product cost-effectiveness, with a higher percentage of annual and semi-annual purchases; now consumers are more health-conscious and willing to choose daily.
4iNLOOK, which started from a vertical e-commerce company, has accumulated a lot of user resources and formed an innate advantage in consumer insight, which has also strengthened its industry analysis capabilities. Consumer education is not blind, it needs a certain amount of foundation and a sense of atmosphere. This is also the basis for 4iNLOOK’s willingness to invest in consumer education on the basis of tuyere, and at the same time, when many brands are hovering online, they will invest in high costs to enter offline.
Opening offline stores is an important step in consumer education. In 2015, the 0-degree user penetration rate of Meitong was only 5%. In 2012, the daily sales in first-tier cities accounted for only 10%. For 0-degree users, wearing contact lenses is a skill. The first learning can only rely on the words and deeds of people online or around them, and offline shop shopping guides are important guides for novices to break the ice.
Some people joked that 4iNLOOK is the Whampoa Military Academy in the cosmetic contact industry because there was no recruitment and training standards for the cosmetic contact industry staff. Contact lenses belong to the third category of medical devices, but they also pay attention to aesthetics. Chen Yu innovatively absorbs practitioners in the beauty industry and trains them on ophthalmological knowledge, achieving the goal of providing consumers with health knowledge and matching solutions.
Beginning in 2018, 4iNLOOK began to cooperate with a large number of beauty bloggers to provide consumers with cosmetic contact lenses and matching makeup solutions through the video and text teaching of beauty bloggers to conduct consumer education. At the same time, it took advantage of offline stores to reach consumers directly, and sent out a large number of new product lucky bags to new users.
Consumer education is imperceptible, and the cultivator may not be able to fully harvest, but it must be a good harvest. Chen Yu said that the current product repurchase rate in the cosmetic contact industry is 30%, but the repurchase rate of 4iNLOOK has reached 57.8%. In addition, the average number of repurchases of 4iNLOOK can reach 8.5, and the customer unit price exceeds 300 yuan.
Can the SKU of cosmetic contact lenses fill the entire store?
On July 18, 2015, 4iNLOOK opened its first physical store in the Longemont Shopping Center in Zhongshan Park, Shanghai, and became the first brand in China to develop physical contact lenses.
”Can the SKU of cosmetic contact lenses fill the entire store?”
During the preparatory stage, Chen Yu was questioned by the merchants from the supermarkets. Of course, this question is not without reason. The weather vane of cosmetic contact lenses was first in Japan, because the Japanese market is very mature and the product display is very rich, but almost all of them are in the form of a collection of multiple brands, which shows that it is indeed difficult for a single brand to open cosmetic contact stores. Moreover, compared to the Japanese market with a mature supply chain, the challenges and difficulties faced by Chinese brands in the Chinese market have greatly increased.
4iNLOOK’s response plan is to “fast fashion” the beauty contact lenses. Cosmetic contact lenses have entered the Chinese market for more than ten years, but they have been tepid. One of the important factors is the lack of product richness, which prevents consumers from having a great impact and perception in the category.
Choosing to open a store in a fast fashion style determines that a single store’s products cannot be less than 300, and a certain update frequency needs to be maintained. This is a test of research and development capabilities. Cosmetic contact lenses themselves are products with diversified attributes, which can be roughly summarized into two aspects: “health” and “beauty”. From the “health” point of view, most companies still process through more mature foundries in South Korea or Taiwan of my country, which can ensure stable quality; from the “beauty” point of view, each company has its own positioning, which is also a fast The test of fashion.
Fast fashion means update frequency, and update frequency means elimination ratio. The most common and rude method of elimination rules is to carry out the final elimination system based on dynamic sales data. Although it saves worry and effort, it may reduce consumer stickiness and brand trust.
In fact, cosmetic contact lenses have beauty attributes. If consumers use a certain product to their liking, they will buy this product for five or six consecutive years as a personal basic product, and try new products of this brand at the same time. So in addition to looking at the overall sales value, 4iNLOOK will take the accumulated user value of the product as an important reference indicator. If the repurchase rate of accumulated users can reach the brand’s lowest order production, this product can smoothly enter the second year of survival aisle.
Chen Yu believes that the current market growth rate of US contact lenses in China is much faster than that of most countries. Both the design capability and the frequency of new product updates have been greatly improved. We have already passed the stage where we were amazed when we saw products in foreign markets.
Can it change from an accessory product to a rigid demand product?
The development of the cosmetic contact lenses industry will be affected by the rise and fall of the surrounding industries, such as the cosmetics industry, which may also be a boosting environment for cosmetic contact lenses to gradually change from fashion accessories to just-needed products.
In 2020, 4iNLOOK cooperated with the makeup brand Judo to launch a joint product, matching the cosmetic contact lenses with the same series of makeup, and outputting a complete solution for consumers. At the same time, 4iNLOOK is still discussing the possibility of some cross-industry cooperation with offline cosmetics stores, allowing cosmetic contact products to enter the cosmetics store to enhance the one-stop shopping experience.
In addition, 4iNLOOK and the beauty brand VENUS MARBLE jointly launched the eye shadow and cosmetic contact box gift box, co-branded with the V&A Museum and the Winter Museum, and maintained a certain brand cooperation frequency.
Chen Yu divides the logic of cooperation into two dimensions: rationality and sensibility. The rational dimension refers to the use of Tmall data to select brands with high user overlap when selecting partners. Of course, brands that already cover this group of people will be selected based on crowd orientation, such as cooperation with animation mobile games. The perceptual dimension refers to finding suitable partners in the creation of topicality and brand cultural atmosphere, such as museum joint series.
In addition to brand-level expansion, product content is the key. In 2019, 4iNLOOK set up studios in Japan and South Korea. Take South Korea as an example. There are two types of designers: full-time and part-time. Part-time designers are designers or artists working in various industries, such as beauty, clothing, or photography.
The design of cosmetic contact lenses does not have a complete training system. It is impossible for designers to learn a complete design plan. They need to extract cross-border experience and inspiration from their respective jobs and industries and integrate them into the design of cosmetic contact lenses. This design makes the cross-border beauty contact lenses richer and more integrated. It is also because the designer’s aesthetic and aura attracts people in the same aura from different industries and different hobbies, so that the diffusion of cosmetic contact lenses from KOL to the circle is a process of changing from a niche to the masses.
Whenever certain brands become dark horses on the track, some common rules can be found in their growth trajectory. For example, Zhong Xuegao broke the consumption habit of buying ice cream in a single piece, and used the cultivating family storage-style consumption habits to break out of the circle; Yuanqi Forest made its mark in the brand-intensive beverage industry with 0 sugar, 0 fat, and 0 card. These common rules can be summed up as follows: Breakers need to break boundaries.