Is there a cure for e-commerce traffic anxiety?

Source: Bento Finance

The strongest traffic leverage is already in the account.

Written by | Tan Xiaohan

Editor | Wang Jing

Source | Bento Finance (ID: daxiongfan)

Since 2016, the successive practice of the e-commerce industry has continuously proved one thing: just as it is difficult to do well in social networking, it is also difficult for e-commerce platforms to do well in content. In other words, the traffic anxiety of e-commerce platforms is destined to not be resolved through content and social media. No matter how much a tiger envies an eagle, it cannot grow two wings.

However, another judgment is becoming more and more clear: not doing well in content and social networking does not mean that the traffic pool of e-commerce platforms will dry up.

The genes of e-commerce platforms are transactions. Like content, transactions can also create traffic. Trading platforms do not lack sharp, direct, and efficient traffic leverage.

Making festivals is one of them—big promotions such as 618 and Double 11 can often generate hundreds of millions of traffic in a short period of time, and the efficiency of traffic conversion is far from content or social. Today, when GMV worship gradually cools down, the digital competition may no longer be fierce, but the carnival atmosphere and marketing effect of 618 and Double 11 will not disappear. On the contrary, they have become an indispensable part of consumer culture, a kind of Tradition. This traffic lever has been fixed in a certain position in people’s minds. Just like the Spring Festival, no matter how many choices people have, they will turn on the TV to watch the Spring Festival Gala on New Year’s Eve.

In contrast to this instantaneous leverage, the e-commerce platform also has a leverage that can leverage a small group of people to repurchase for a long time, that is, the paid membership system.

The latest financial reports released by and Ali show that as of July, the number of PLUS members exceeded 30 million, and the consumption amount and consumption frequency of new members in the past year increased by more than 150% and 120% respectively year-on-year; as of the second quarter of this year At the end of the year, Tmall 88 had a total of 25 million VIP members.

In recent quarters, the outside world has paid more attention to the Internet industry on how the platform and the brands residing on the platform can grow when the traffic dividend is almost at its peak. The answer is simple and clear – activate stock users.

An excellent tool that can leverage existing users is the paid membership system that some platforms have deployed for many years. The Internet industry has been criticized for lack of innovation in recent years. The fact is that the platform has prepared a toolkit to tap potential traffic early, and the strongest traffic leverage is already in the account. .

How Paid Membership Becomes Traffic Leverage

The paid membership service of domestic trading platforms is the PLUS membership launched by JD.

The services provided by early paid members are still quite simple. Most of them are basic services such as free shipping coupons and membership prices. The membership scale is not large, but now, the efforts of the platform in those years were not in vain.

Obviously, the Internet industry and retail industry have collectively encountered the ceiling of user scale growth, but within the platform, there is another rich mine waiting to be tapped, that is, the annual consumption amount of the platform’s existing users.

How to obtain the value of this part of the user, each choice is different, but it is certain that in the era of refined operation, paid membership is definitely one of the best potential tools.

The essence of retail is to provide consumers with lower prices, better quality goods, and better services, and the services provided by paying members today obviously have these characteristics.

On the whole, the rights and interests of paid members of the platform are divided into three categories. The first category is basic membership functions, such as free shipping coupons issued every month, exclusive discounts for members, category coupons, and 24-hour exclusive customer service for members; the first category is The right to in-depth cooperation with external ecosystems, such as cooperates with well-known brands in different fields such as iQiyi, Tencent Video, QQ Music, Bilibili, Hainan Airlines, Huazhu Hotel, Wanda Movies, McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King, COSTA, etc. , launched “co-branded cards”, “life privileges” and other types of preferential rights; the other is to integrate various rights and interests within the group, such as Tmall 88VIP will give members members, JD PLUS members and Qixian members are connected , and jointly launched category privilege cards and other rights and interests in medicine, luxury goods, home, pets, automobiles and other categories.

When it comes to paid memberships, the first two types of benefits we can think of are often affordable joint memberships and cross-border cooperation life service benefits, which can often lead to the expansion of paid memberships, and membership-specific discounts, free shipping coupons, etc. can directly Increase user repurchase rate.

Another value of paid membership has been ignored, that is, it distributes the traffic it leverages to other businesses within the group, driving users to cross-category consumption. From the perspective of the group, this is also an increase in repurchase, and from the perspective of other businesses, it has acquired a group of new customers with high spending power.

This is the reason why JD PLUS members have been focusing on launching the “PLUS+” model for various categories of the group in the past year, that is, to open up the rights and interests of various internal business lines in the rights and interests of paid members.

In the early stage of designing member rights and interests, the platform will definitely give priority to choosing stable and wide-ranging rights and interests, such as’s shipping coupons, and 10 times the return of Jingdou for shopping. It’s important,” Gao Qihang, head of membership and rights and interests of JD PLUS members, told Ben Luan Finance.

At the same time, various categories within the group are also facing the industry reality of peak traffic, and the attributes of high spending power and high trust in the platform possessed by paid members are naturally compatible with the customer acquisition and retention needs of various categories within the group.

The platform’s traffic leverage – the role of the paid membership system can be understood in this way. It stably leverages the paid members accumulated by the platform for many years, as well as the transaction traffic of high-viscosity users who have the potential to become paid members, and conducts the traffic twice. Distribution to benefit external partners and internal business.

“PLUS+” model drives cross-category consumption

“Compared with acquiring customers from outside, the value of’s various business lines to acquire new customers through PLUS members will be much higher.” Gao Qihang explained, first, because PLUS members themselves have relatively higher user value, the quality of customers acquired from outside the site is uneven. ; Second, PLUS members have a higher sense of trust in the platform.

Liu Ruiqi, the former Xibei member and head of digitalization, said in an interview with the truth that membership is a transaction of trust, “The brand and the customer were originally 20 to 30 yuan friendship, but suddenly they want to pay 200 yuan for membership, and this intermediate enterprise needs to A lot of effort goes into building bigger endorsements and attractive enough membership benefits.”

When users are willing to hand over real money for platform services, it means that a relatively stable trust relationship has been established between the two.

The driving effect of JD PLUS members on other categories lies in the long-term repurchase ability. In June this year, JD PLUS cooperated with the group’s fashion home business and launched the first online membership home privilege card in the home industry. Delivery service, etc.

Gao Qihang found that after the launch of the privilege card, it brought not only new customers to the home business, but also long-term repurchase. ARPU can be increased by more than 1 times. “We pay more attention to long-term consumption value.”

Users with higher retention rate and repurchase rate can be found in the home category from PLUS members, which is also related to the attributes of the PLUS member user group.

According to data previously disclosed by, the number of PLUS members has exceeded 30 million, of which 80% are household users. Tencent Video and iQiyi have about 100 million paid members. If you simply compare the scale of paid users of trading platforms and long video platforms, it is obvious that the former will be slightly inferior, but behind the 30 million paid members of, there are hundreds of millions of household consumer users.

In addition, the platform can also carry out targeted category marketing according to the characteristics of user groups, and the cooperation with the home category is one of them. Among the PLUS Home Privilege Card users, more than 70% are home users, and most of the top categories purchased are concentrated in home improvement building materials.

With the expansion of user scale, paid membership rights will also experience a round of category expansion. Internally, the cooperation between JD PLUS and JD Health started earlier. Since 2020, JD Health has provided PLUS members with 12 fast-track consultations throughout the year, buy-one-get-one-free check-ups and other rights. At the end of last year, the two parties jointly launched the PLUS medical privilege card. ; In January this year, JD PLUS launched Qixian privileges, PLUS members can directly become a paid member of Qixian for free, and enjoy membership discounts and double points for shopping.

Which internal business cooperation PLUS member business department chooses to cooperate with is obviously not random. “We will look for categories and commodity cooperation that meet the tonality of PLUS member users.” Members are users who understand consumption very well, and they have their own high cost-effective standards.

The challenge brought by the expansion of the scale of paid members to member operations is that user needs will become more dispersed and diversified. When designing rights and interests, the business must not only ensure the input-output ratio of members’ rights and interests, but also meet the needs of members as much as possible.

The increase of vertical rights and offline rights is the product of this background. For example, the increase of Qixian privileges complements the offline rights and interests. Providing richer rights and interests for paying members is obviously helpful to the increase in the scale of long-term members and the renewal rate, and the high retention rate of members will feed back to the growth of various business lines within the group.

The long-term value of paid memberships to brands

The person in charge of Ali’s 88VIP business once clearly stated, “88VIP is a project that will not be profitable. Basically, companies that are members have to subsidize a lot of money.”

“From the perspective of the amount of membership fees and the amount of discounts that members get, we must lose money in membership business, otherwise users will not buy membership services or renew,” Gao Qihang explained.

But in the long run, users will generate more consumption on the platform, and these consumption will increase the profit of the platform; the larger consumption scale can reverse the improvement of the upstream supply chain efficiency; the platform can also provide users with lower-priced products, more Good service, thus forming a positive cycle.

Because of this, in the latest earnings conference calls of Alibaba and, executives mentioned high spending power groups. Zhang Yong, chairman of Alibaba’s board of directors, pointed out that the operation of existing users’ hierarchical classification should be done well, and the level of users at each level should be improved. Wallet share is the current focus.

Xu Lei, CEO of Jingdong Group, directly mentioned the PLUS membership business, “JD PLUS’s membership system is completely different from various paid membership systems at home and abroad. The development in recent years has achieved our original intention and revealed greater value. In the future The business will do more innovation.”

Xu Lei, CEO of Jingdong Group

The most direct value of paid membership is naturally to increase the income of membership payment for the enterprise. Calculated on the basis of’s 30 million paid members and an average membership fee of about 99 yuan, this business contributes 3 billion in revenue to the group every year. However, as mentioned above, considering the membership fee alone, the company will inevitably lose money, and the value of paid membership is more in the long-term business value.

JD PLUS members serve the retail business, which not only includes bringing more new customers and repurchases to categories such as fashion home and fresh food, but also increasing the sales and long-term value of cooperative brands through exclusive member discounts such as 5% discount.

Taking the cooperation between PLUS members and P&G as an example, the two parties have cooperated from the initial marketing level to a deeper level of refined user operation cooperation. To match different rights and product recommendations, improve the long-term business value of users. For example, the business will determine operational goals according to the brand’s tone and growth stage, and recommend appropriate equity customer acquisition tools to help brands find effective growth ideas.

Specifically, in the decentralized traffic field, such as the search end, there will be cooperation with brands on exclusive prices or exclusive coupons; the centralized traffic field is the PLUS membership channel, and at the promotion node, will cooperate with brands Do joint promotions, such as brand membership days, etc.

The emergence of this type of cooperation will obviously increase the interaction between users and the brand and the platform, bringing more high-value people and more repurchases to the brand, and the increase in sales will in turn enhance their ability to provide better services to members. power.

As a result, the trust between users and platforms and brands continues to be strengthened in the increase and realization of rights and interests, and the long-term value of users can be leveraged.

“We are still trying in different formats to see if we can tap the higher value of paid membership users,” said Gao Qihang. If there is a better format, we will continue to expand the rights of PLUS members, bring freshness to users and increase their interest in the platform. trust; provide more value to other businesses of the group and drive high-quality growth of retail business.

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