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$50 Million in 3 Days: Pioneer of Baby Product E-commerce Websites

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From March 16th to March 18th, a special festival was held on miyabaobei.com, a Chinese e-commerce website. Its sales model is very similar to Zulily,which focuses on baby products flash sales, but the merchandise of Miyabaobei are mainly from overseas. A new born company and a vertical e-commerce website, this young Imported Diapers Shopping Festival helped Miyabaobei to prove its success by the $50 million GMV(gross merchandise volume) in three days.

The huge potential in Chinese E-commerce market has already been seen through the $9.3 billion GMV during the 11.11 Shopping Festival (The Single’s Day Festival) held by the Alibaba Group on Nov 11, 2014. This tremendous number helped to set a Guinness World Record  as the “highest online sales revenue generated by a single company in 24 hours”.

Whereas the 11.11 Shopping Festival was mostly related to the enthusiasm of Chinese e-shoppers, the success of the Imported Diapers Shopping Festival was more like a demonstration of the caution and caring of the Chinese parents toward the younger generation.

By optimizing the supply chain of diapers in its cross-border e-commerce model, Miyabaobei is able to offer a competitive price for authentic baby products when compared to the traditional sales model.

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Picture edited by Shibei Ding, Information retrieved from Miyabaobei’s official website

For instance, a diaper with the wholesale price of 70 yuan (approximately 11.5 dollars) needs to go through the Japanese merchant, Chinese merchant, wholesalers, district wholesalers and eventually get to the consumer at the price of 115-130 yuan (approximately 20 dollars). However, with the optimized supply chain and under the duty-free policy, the price that Miyabaobei offers is 99 yuan (approximately 16.5 dollars). As a product with high re-purchase rate and low urgency, this difference in price leads Miyabaobei to the most selected baby products e-commerce website regardless of the comparatively slow shipping time, which is about 20 days.

Vertical Business to Consumer(B2C) targeted at the baby products is not the invention of Miyabaobei’s founder, Nan Liu. This type of business in China started from Redbaby, founded in 2004 and launched their own website two years later.

In a considerable amount of time, Redbaby remained the most clicked baby product e-commerce website according to Alexa. However, the sales volume of Redbaby dropped dramatically from 2009 to 2010, accompanied by the company’s strategy to expand their business to a wide range of products whereas putting less effort into the baby products that brought them to success three years ago. Losing their earned advantage at this critical point when moms are transferring from the catalog purchase to e-commerce, Redbaby did not manage to get back on track.

Redbaby was acquired by Suning Appliance Co. Ltd., a privately owned retail company and one of the three top B2C companies in China, in 2012.

Nan Liu’s Miyabaobei(meaning sweet sprout baby in Chinese) was previously a successful online retail store that has both high reputation and sales volume on Taobao Marketplace, one of the world’s top ten most visited websites according to Alexa. At the time of starting this online store she was both a full-time mom and the opinion leader on the online forum of pregnant moms. She did a lot of research on the Merries diapers from Japan and decided to do something with this information.

After two years of smooth operation, the annual sale of this online retail store has reached 5 million dollars. She was then offered a chance to sell this online retail store, which has led her to her alumni, Xiaoping Xu, a respectful investor, in Peking University for advice. He turned out to be the first investor of Miyabaobei, bringing 200,000 dollars cash to the new born company in 2014. As of May 2015, Miyabaobei has attracted over $80 million investments and its monthly revenue reached 20 million dollars.

The success of Miyabaobei, or the failure of the previous baby product e-commerce websites, is one of the important footnotes in the age of vertical e-commerce. They remind the e-tailers the significance of focusing on their niche market, being aware of their strong points and enhancing it.

In the case of Miyabaobei, the company is still trying to improve its brand by bringing in new functions such as social function and tagging function on the photos uploaded by users that lead to product sales. It also recognizes the crucial role of mobile purchase, especially for new mothers who will definitely find the buy diapers on the phone (maybe at the same time singing lullaby for her baby) a lot easier than sitting in front of the computer to make a purchase. According to the report by iResearch, over 75% of orders on Miyabaobei were done on mobile devices.

 

 

 

 

Callum Connects

Agnes Yee, Legal & Compliance Recruiter of Space Executive

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Agnes Yee started Space Executive in Singapore, which is a hub for businesses in some of the world’s fastest growing economies.

What’s your story?
After graduation, I joined a design media company as a Business Development Executive, during the era when ‘reading a magazine online’ was unheard of. I believe that laid the foundation for being unfazed by rejections.

I fell into recruitment pre-GFC and rode the highs and lows in the early years. A decade later, I decided to set up my own recruitment company, partly because I could. I’m acutely aware of the face that being an Asian female in Singapore is sometimes a privilege, and that many women in the world are living a very different existence.
Thereafter, we joined Space Executive as part of a merger. I am currently the Partner of Space Executive, a recruitment company focused specialist disciplines, including Legal, Finance, Digital, Sales and Marketing and Change. We also run Space Ventures, a venture capital business, which invests in seed and pre-series A businesses.

What excites you most about your industry?
On a daily basis, we’re influencing how one spends a third of their day. It is interesting how the Internet has transformed the industry, and I’m excited to see how we can harness technology to bring us to the next phase of this business.

The VC is an extension of applying our skills and experience in reading people. We very much invest in the people as much as the idea. Being a native Singaporean, it’s been exhilarating watching Southeast Asia becoming a hotbed of ideas; and young entrepreneurs simply daring to dream.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I’m a born and bred Singaporean. I love that I speak both English and Mandarin, grew up playing with Indian friends and eating Malay food.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore for the low barriers of entry to set up a business, but has to be China (and Hong Kong) for their hunger and constant innovation.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
青春不要留白 which translates to ‘Don’t waste your youth.’

Who inspires you?
Anyone who has gone against the grain.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
It wasn’t recent but reading the article on https://waitbutwhy.com/2015/12/the-tail-end.html never fails to blow my mind how little time we have left. Charting our lives in weeks, and realising I only have enough time left to enjoy 60 Christmas turkeys, read 300 books (all if I’m lucky); and mostly, I’m left with the last 5% of the time that I spend in-person with my parents.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I’m cognisant that every decision I made in life has brought me to where I am today, and I wouldn’t change one thing. But I’d really like to have had more time to travel.

How do you unwind?
Exercise and wine.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Trekking any mountain in Asia. It brings us back to the most basic. To overcome elements of nature and our own mind.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Start with Why, Simon Sinek

Shameless plug for your business:
Space Executive started in Singapore, a hub for businesses in some of the world’s fastest growing economies. We assist organisations in accessing a targeted and specialised, and often times transient talent pool.

Out of Singapore, we have recruited across 14 countries; and have embarked on our global expansion plans with offices in Hong Kong and London this year, and US, Japan and Europe in the following years.

Space Ventures provides funding, management and financial guidance to young businesses with original ideas. We have invested in peer to peer lending platforms, credit scoring, social media education, and other start-ups spanning diverse industries. We are always interested in hearing more about new ideas.

How can people connect with you?
https://www.linkedin.com/in/agnesyee/

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

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Callum Connects

Chrystie Dao-Szabo, Founder of iPayMy

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Chrystie Dao-Szabo founded iPaymy for Business – a secure and easy to use
platform enabling SMEs to pay rent, salaries, invoices, and even corporate tax using the credit cards they already have in their wallet today.

What’s your story?
I’m Chrystie Dao-Szabo, and I’ve worked as an international banker for over 22 years. During that time, I travelled through Asia, Australia and Europe, and everywhere I saw how my clients struggled with managing their finances and keeping cash around.

I wanted to use my experience to help them, but I also knew the solution they needed didn’t exist yet. This pushed me to give up on my secure career, and instead look into the innovative world of FinTech for an answer.

This is how I founded iPaymy – at its launch, a platform to help consumers pay their monthly expenses using their credit cards. We’ve grown a lot since, and today, iPaymy for Business is a platform that allows business owners to use their credit cards to pay for rent, salaries, invoices and taxes, freeing up their cash for business-critical operations.

What excites you most about your industry?
What excites me most about FinTech is it’s culture of constant disruption, thanks to cool and innovative products and services coming out every day.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born in Vietnam, grew up in Australia and worked in Asia, Europe and Australia. Being raised by traditional Vietnamese parents meant that deep down I was still an Asian at heart, so I have a strong connection with the region.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore of course. It’s easy to do business, English is the main language, and the infrastructures like public transportation are great. Also, the government supports local innovation in multiple ways, like giving grants for SMEs and FinTechs.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Keep giving, and one day you will receive.

Who inspires you?
My parents. My father had a successful business in Vietnam just before the fall of Saigon in 1975. After the war, my father was sent to a re-education camp for three years, which meant my mum had to bring up two young kids – a 3-year-old, me and my 4-year old brother on her own.

In 1980, we all fled Vietnam on a boat and arrived in Sydney, Australia via refugee camps in Indonesia and Singapore. There, my parents had to start over with nothing to their names and only AUD 50 given to them by the Australian government.
They went on to build several businesses in Australia!

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
The number of young and smart people who have carved out successful careers by founding their own startups (or joining really cool ones). When I was starting out my career, doing any of these was not a viable option; it was either working for an accounting firm, an insurance company or a bank.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
If I were starting out my career now, I would choose the path of joining a startup as you get to learn so much about running a business and how to assemble a winning team.

How do you unwind?
I like travelling to a beach or a resort destination and just relaxing by the pool or beach. I also like to unwind after work with a glass of champagne or wine, and a bowl of truffle fries.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Thailand. I love the people and the spicy Thai food.

Everyone in business should read this book:
The E-Myth. It’s a book series that dismantles common myths about entrepreneurship in different industries.

Shameless plug for your business:
With iPaymy for Business, SMEs can pay rent, salaries, invoices, and even corporate tax using the credit cards they already have in their wallet today. SMEs love iPaymy because it works like a credit card, but pays like cash.

iPaymy’s secure and easy to use platform reliably delivers payments to vendors while freeing up cash and providing access to interest free credit. Forget the delays and aggravations that come with traditional SME financing options. Schedule recurring payments, manage invoices, set payment reminders, and monitor payment status all from one dashboard.

It’s never been easier for SMEs to meet monthly payment obligations while keeping cash available to fuel growth, bridge receivable gaps, and make immediate investment in the supplies, services, and expertise needed to drive a growing business forward.

How can people connect with you?
You can find me on LinkedIn or contact me by email.
My LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrystiedaoszabo/
My email: [email protected]

Twitter handle?
https://twitter.com/ceedeees

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

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