CBME China 2024

17-19 July 2024 | National Exhibition and Convention Center (NECC), Shanghai, China

| EN

Gong Kangkang: COVID-19 Promotes Digitalization Upgrading of the Maternity and Baby Industry

by CBME Weibao

Gong Kangkang: Managing Director of Informa Markets (China)

 

In late January, a fierce “Fight against COVID-19” was triggered throughout the country. This was another nationwide epidemic invasion in China since 17 years ago. Compared with the SARS in 2003, COVID-19 is more widespread and infects more people. Undoubtedly, we currently have a more complete anti-epidemic system, richer experience and better conditions for scientific and technical innovation and medical treatment when compared with that 17 years ago.

The moods of most people fluctuated within these two months from the outbreak to its effective control and from being astonished and panic in the beginning, being steady and touched to currently uncertain and worried about the development of their enterprises, economy and industries after the life is getting normal.

According to the rough estimation through the input-output table by Liang Zhonghua’s Team of Zhongtai Securities, the tourist income in Q1 decreased by RMB 1.2 trillion; the catering and retail revenue decreased by RMB 960 billion, the transportation revenue decreased by RMB 140 billion; the movie revenue decreased by RMB 10 billion; the GDP in Q1 decreased by RMB 1.8 trillion as the consumption declined.

Jia Guolong, Chairman of Xibei Catering, stated in an interview that the company could only continue the operation for three months under the support of the current book cash and loans. This situation was worried by many other companies. In this epidemic, many micro, small and medium-sized enterprises are facing small or big operation pressure. However, some experts and scholars estimate that this impact is temporary and the consumption market will witness a retaliatory growth after the epidemic based on a reference to the economy trends in the previous emergency issues such as SARS and Wenchuan Earthquake.

How great is the impact of COVID-19 on the children, baby and maternity industry? According to the investigation by Children-Baby-Maternity in mid-February, 55.6% of the interviewed enterprises (including brand owners and retailers) were affected by the epidemic and their performance declined, but they were still able to cope with it; 19.69% of the enterprises believed that the current epidemic had little impact on their development, and their performance was on par with the same period last year; 13.90% of the enterprises improved the market demands and sales of their products during the epidemic; around 10% of the enterprises said they could not support their operation. We are pleased to see from the feedback that no matter how great the impact is, the majority of enterprises have strength and confidence to ride out the crisis and even find some new development opportunities.

Being confidence is neither an empty phrase from the enterprises nor just standing still to wait for a retaliatory growth after the epidemic. From the moment when the epidemic broke out, the enterprises have been seeking solutions and adjusting their operation strategies.

Some manufacturers had made anticipation and deployment before Spring Festival, during which there was no holiday in the factories. In early February, most manufacturers tried hard to meet the requirements for work resumption proposed by the governments and arrange their employees go back to work. Meanwhile, they have been working out solutions to the problems in raw materials and logistics…so as to guarantee the prompt product delivery to the retail terminal.

Therefore, we could see the goods delivery by various transportation vehicles in the provincial and municipal boundaries. In the retail terminal, how to cope with the problem that some stores were not allowed to open the door and customers could not enter them for shopping? On the one hand, the retailers actively coordinated the opening of stores as early as possible under the condition of working hard to take personal protective measures for the employees and creating a safe store environment. One the other hand, quite a few stores provided 24-hour emergent delivery services for maternity and baby products, organized all staff to carry out community linkage, online marketing, community marketing, live sales, membership marketing and management. We could also see that a lot of store owners fought against the epidemic and made the distribution and delivery for customers with their staff.

It seems that for most of the children, baby and maternity enterprises, this is a huge crisis they have never met. They were so unprepared for that moment. However, the epidemic forced the enterprises and especially traditional maternity and baby stores to accelerate the pace of digitalization, explore membership marketing and online sales and meet the demand of consumers. Even if there is no epidemic, the current new generation of consumers would be willing to pay for the efficient and convenient services when they consume. From a positive perspective, the epidemic has accelerated our provision of more convenient services to better meet consumers’ demands.

With the strong measures by the government and united efforts by the people, the epidemic will come to an end very soon. We optimistically believe that the impact of the epidemic on the industry is temporary and it will accelerate a new round of reshuffling of the industry.

Opportunities are always for those who are well-prepared. After the epidemic, those enterprises with stronger strength and execution will obtain better opportunities in the market; those who focus on consumers’ demands and pay attention to all-channel development will have greater development. In fact, the epidemic brings not only setbacks and obstacles but also a chance for the enterprises to develop and grow. Those who survive in the crisis will have a stronger life.

 

About CBME

 

CBME is an established one-stop trade fair with nearly 20 years' experience of bringing together the movers and shakers in child, baby and maternity industry. Uniting top buyers, manufacturers, distributors, suppliers and sellers together under one roof in Shanghai, China annually. CBME hosts hundreds of quality industrial events, training events, private match making meetings. Awards and industry reports release all year around. As a gateway to key sourcing hubs for child, baby and maternity products and services, CBME now covers the most potential markets in the world and is regarded as a MUST-ATTEND show in the world where the key persons to share knowledge and create business opportunities.