Two years ago, Wang Sicong, a big V who was jokingly called the “Discipline Commission of the entertainment industry” by netizens, fiercely scolded the shared charging treasure, and he said that “if the shared charging treasure can become my food, the post will be proof.” Two years later, the development of the shared charging treasure may have made Wang Sicong a little worried about whether he would fulfill this promise with a bit of taste.

Two years later, behind the small charging treasure, a big river and lake has now formed, and it has become more and more lively. “Soon we will change a shared charging treasure brand in our store.” On October 8, in a commercial building next to the subway on Dawang Road in Beijing, the owner of a beverage shop told reporters about the small business on the charging treasure. “When the contract with the caller expires, we will switch to street electricity, because street electricity can help us do promotion, such as adding advertisements for our store on the power bank.”

The charging treasure that is taken away by scanning the code at any time, according to the charging time, will be with people for at least two hours, and this boss sees this excellent advertising time. Sharing charging treasures and offline merchants, both sides return the favor and form an exclusive alliance. In the two years of the emergence of shared charging treasure brands, it is very important to bundle offline channels. In addition to resource replacement, the merchants settled in the charging treasure also need to “willing” the benefits.

At present, most of the charging treasure companies have given the condition of half the income. Such high earnings are quite attractive to many people. Just near the above-mentioned beverage store, another beverage store placed three different brands of shared charging treasure cabinets in front of the cash register, cloud charging bar, street electricity, and monster, “We didn’t choose a specific brand, and the table space was enough, so we put three,” the staff member said. The beverage shop opened in October last year, and then the staff of Yunchong Bar, Street Electric, and Monster quickly came to the door and opened the same conditions.

Two years ago, it was rare for several charging treasure brands to appear in such a business. Now such three or four charging treasures are not not unjust families do not gather, but the rivers and lakes that share charging treasures have entered the era of pulling knives and meeting each other. “Two years ago, there were a lot of blank spots in the market, and there was not much chance for everyone to face the competition. But with the increase in the number of equipment and laying density of each one in the core city, everyone will meet sooner or later, and now in the same scenario, there are two, three or even more brands of shared charging treasures. Call CMO Ren Mu said.

Ren Mu said that the snatching of the desktops and cash registers of merchants, including the above-mentioned beverage stores, is becoming a new battlefield for shared charging treasure players in the stage of “relatively stable and drastic changes” in 2019. Some key merchants have become the “fragrant food” that brand manufacturers compete for, and it has also spawned a new cooperation model between them and merchants. In fact, what has changed in the past two years is not only the number and brand of these shared charging treasures at the front desk of the store and in front of the cash register.

In addition to the secret battle of shops at key points, the head players announced that they had basically achieved breakeven or even profit, the product collective ushered in a tide of price increases, and the Internet giant Meituan announced the restart of the shared charging treasure business for the third time, adding a fire to the controversy of the shared charging treasure. “With the advent of the 5G era, the power bottleneck of mobile phones will be further aggravated, and the demand for emergency charging will be strong.” Monster officials told reporters about future prospects.

Riding the hitchhiker of the shared bicycle boom, the shared charging treasure born in 2015 will usher in its own fate when the shared bicycle has experienced ups and downs? Is the sharing economy a pseudo-concept?

Quietly raised the price

Because the price of charging treasure is low, many people may not notice that the cost has increased. “In June and July this year, a shared charging treasure was placed here, and the price was 12 yuan / hour at that time, but soon after the price was reduced to 6 yuan / hour,” a studio staff in Sanlitun told reporters to speculate on the reason for this price adjustment. “This is an extreme case, in most other places, the cost of using the charging treasure has changed from 1 yuan / hour at the beginning to 2 yuan / hour.

Ren Mu said that the reason behind this is that on the one hand, the core points of the core cities are very profitable, and each one will keep a close eye on it. “Beautiful girls, they all want to marry, and naturally the bride price money is getting higher and higher. In this case, there may be a situation where due to soaring channel costs, enterprises cannot calculate their debts and are forced to increase prices. ”

The above-mentioned beverage shop staff told reporters, “Now the cooperation with the equipment side is divided into five or five, the equipment party is responsible for paying the electricity bill, and each machine brings tens of yuan of income to the beverage store every month.” Another practitioner said, “The industry also has signed exclusive cooperation in all scenarios, which means that only one shared charging treasure brand can be used.” “As the competition of channels becomes more and more fierce, it used to be more of a sharing model, but now it will develop into an advantage point with an entry fee.

A sales person of Street Electric told reporters, “If the merchant’s store is well located, and it is agreed to only cooperate with us with a shared charging treasure, and no longer use other brands, we will give another part of the exclusive fee, the general price is hundreds to thousands of yuan, and the merchant’s share can reach up to 60%. A practitioner told reporters that the high premium scenarios of the general sharing of charging treasures are in high-consumption, entertainment venues, these places are very demanding, and users do not care much about the price when the mobile phone urgently needs to be charged.

A number of industry insiders said that there is another reason for the price increase, for many merchants, the merchants themselves have relatively large pricing authority. If the brand manufacturer and the merchant cooperate, and the merchant negotiates an agreement, in addition to the five-five share, the merchant will also propose that two yuan / hour is a bit cheap, can it be adjusted to four yuan / hour, if the manufacturer considers that this will affect the user experience and refuse, the merchant will give up cooperation with this manufacturer and go to other manufacturers.

Ren Mu believes that the so-called price increase of some points, the factors behind are very different, both the corporate active behavior of sharing charging treasures, and the passive obedience of shared charging treasures, such as for channel competition, for revenue considerations, or the cost at this point is too high, so that if he does not raise the price, he will lose money.

Survived, quite moisturizing

“In 2017, shared charging treasure companies such as callers, street electricity, and small electricity announced large-scale financing, and the industry was controversial at that time, which felt like a baby born with a golden key suddenly appeared in front of the public, giving everyone a feeling of ‘unreliable’, and even unable to get rid of the fate of comparing with shared bicycles.” Ren Mu told reporters.

Ren Mu joined the call in the first half of 2017 when the industry was at its hottest, and saw the “caller brother” for the first time (Yuan Bingsong, founder and CEO of the shared charging treasure), Ren Mu himself also has many questions, especially can the account of the shared charging treasure be calculated? At a beef noodle shop at Beijing South Railway Station, Yuan Bingsong spent half an hour convincing Ren Mu that the whole process was calculating. How much is a power bank, how much is a device to how much orders a power bank can contribute in a day, etc.

Ren Mu said that in the first half of 2017, the vast majority of shared charging treasures told particularly surreal stories.

In the first half of 2017, Jumei acquired 60% of the shares of “Street Electricity” for 300 million yuan, and in the eyes of the outside world, the shared charging treasure project at that time had problems such as heavy assets and unclear models. At this time, Wang Sicong expressed his disapproval of this model, and then Yu Minhong, chairman of New Oriental Education Group, also said bluntly in public, “I don’t think I can do it with a shared charging treasure, although I know the boss of the shared charging treasure, but I can’t do it.” ”

But the shared charging treasure appeared much earlier than when the outside world recognized it. At the end of 2013, the caller’s team began to discuss the rental service, software and hardware interaction logic of the charging treasure, and then in October 2014, the caller made the first shared charging treasure, and after half a year, the caller put the first Internet-sharing device on the market. By 2016, there were actually three main players in this industry: incoming calls, street electricity, and cloud charging bars.

A person from Monster Charging recalled to reporters that the industry was in an exploratory period from the end of 2015 to 2016, which was a testing period for user habit cultivation and market models, and the feasibility of the shared charging model was verified. From 2017 to 2018, it was in a period of rapid development, the shared charging mode was basically established, the industry developed rapidly, and the reshuffle intensified. At this stage, the industry presents a Matthew effect, resources gather to head players, industry competition barriers are gradually established, and it is difficult for new players to enter. Since 2019, the pattern of the industry has entered a period of relatively stable and fierce changes, and the competition between top players has become increasingly fierce.

“After 2017, the industry became more lively.” Ren Mu said. “At first, the call came out to finance, even the capital was not optimistic, saying that this is not the time-sharing lease of the charging treasure, what is the imagination, but with the rapid development of shared bicycles, under the concept of sharing, there is a mentality that can invest in the charging treasure.” At that time, capital was investing in the track of sharing charging treasures, which was chasing the market. “At that time, a lot of capital was entered in a short period of time, and there may be some players who had already received money before even making a large hardware sample.”

Surprisingly, the shared charging treasure, which the outside world thought was nothing special, is now basically profitable. Ren Mu revealed that the call had achieved a breakeven in July and August 2016. “There is nothing special, it is the collection of money for one dollar.”

According to the Economic Observer reporter, in addition to the call, several other leading companies have also announced that they have achieved breakeven or profit, but no specific profit amount has been officially disclosed.

The sharing economy is not dead

2019 is considered by the industry to be a key year for the development of shared charging treasures. According to iMedia consulting data, the number of users of China’s shared charging treasure will reach 305 million in 2019, and the user scale will increase to 408 million in 2020.

“When everyone talks about the core competitiveness of the shared charging treasure, many people say that the competitiveness of the shared charging treasure is the mobilization of resources, including financing, and many people say that the key to victory is the laying of channels, the ground push, the operation of channels, and the acquisition of scenarios.” In Ren Mu’s view, the core competitiveness at the bottom of this industry is actually innovation and software and hardware iteration, and supply chain support. “To put it bluntly, this industry is an industry that puts hardware offline, the hardware is 1, and all the other capabilities that are left are 0 behind.”

But consumer experience is also influencing the development of the industry. The rented charging treasure had been replaced back into the cabinet, but the next day it was found that there was a continuous charge; The charging treasure can not be returned to the cabinet, call customer service to ask to explain that the cabinet induction is poor due to the problem of data cable damage… As of 4 pm on October 11, the number of user complaints of street electricity was as many as 2,000, followed by monsters, small electricity, cloud charging bar, and incoming calls, with 1424, 1228, 541, and 493 complaints respectively. Most of the complaints are also overcharged, customer service is not in place, etc.

In the initial stage of the development of the shared charging treasure industry, there are two most prominent problems: the problem of bad storage of charging treasure and short-circuit response technology.

The bad warehouse is mainly reflected in the fact that the machine is not recognized when the user returns the charging treasure, which is also the main problem that the industry is currently complained about. After the industry enters a mature period, with the large-scale laying of equipment, these two types of problems are also geometrically amplified, which will become a major challenge for the industry in the coming period.

“Hardware iteration is actually relatively slow compared to software, and software develops a new version and then upgrades it directly. However, for hardware, to experience new technical solutions, new function development, etc., it will involve from the functional machine, to trial production, trial production, and then to large-scale mass production, and then to the market, its entire cycle and process is actually relatively long. Ren Mu said. In this case, the hardware does have lag.

Ren Mu said that similar to shared bicycles, as the equipment on the market slowly ages, there will be more problems in the future, “need to make up for it after the fact or call it after-the-fact service to do stricter self-requirements, but these things are not the symptoms, from the root is a hardware problem, it is necessary to consider it from the hardware.” ”

Although it is still too early to prove the feasibility of the model for shared charging, the declarations of several leading companies to achieve profitability seem to confirm that this “sharing economy” has a business model that can be explored. Previously, from the difficult situation of ofo to Mobike’s selling Meituan, these “pioneers” in the sharing economy seem to have reached a dead end. Even if there are only a few shared bikes left in the market, how to make a profit is still an ultimate problem. But the development of shared charging treasures seems to show this commercial possibility from the opposite side.

In fact, after the discussion caused by Ofo and Mobike that the sharing economy is dead, Meituan, Tencent, Ali, etc. are still continuing to invest in shared bicycles, and behind this completely different direction, its business logic and the desktop war of charging treasures also have a similar logic.

(Source: Economic Observer)