Sweet7 and community shopping
Sweet7 practiced an effective business model for community shopping.

Fresh fruit milk tea brand, Sweet7, was established in 2015 in Jiangsu province of South China and entered Shanghai in 2017 with daily sales exceeding 20,000 yuan (~USD 3,000). By December 2020, the brand has opened 200 stores in Shanghai.  

Over the past two months, due to the lockdown restrictions in Shanghai, community shopping has become the only way for local consumers to get access to daily food; therefore F&B brands also made efforts to tap into communities and even formed an effective business model for community shopping. Among them is Sweet7, which has sold accumulative 200,000 cups of milk teas over the past two months. The brand revealed that more than 10,000 cups of drinks were sold every day within a few seconds. Apparently, Shanghai consumers are going crazy for milk tea! 

Sweet7 even published several strategies for building an effective supply chain for community shopping. Let’s take a look! 

According to an internal source, Sweet7 pre-tested the business model in Suzhou before running community shopping in Shanghai. The brand got a good understanding of consumers’ needs and developed detailed procedures through those pretests. Undoubtedly, preparation and planning are a must for any success; Sweet7 recruited 600 community managers in Shanghai through community WeChat groups, friend circles, and other channels; the next steps were to calculate the total productivity and train the community managers about the whole process from publishing advance notice to the consumers, sending purchasing links, aggregating the total needs, and placing an order, and deliver the products within 72 hours. 

Sweet7 didn’t raise the price despite the high cost of logistics under uncertain circumstances; The brand asked its employees to follow pandemic prevention and control requirements and a standardized delivery process. Room temperature delivery is available in Shanghai; it is cheap and convenient. But to preserve the cooling taste of the drinks, Sweet7 adopted cold chain transportation instead. 

Three days after launching the community shopping, Sweet7 initiated an after-sale system to get feedback from consumers. The after-sale process was time-consuming but it allowed the brand to gain unexpected insights, which helped optimize the process; Sweet7 kept in line with the people-centered principle and took good care of its employees. To express appreciation, the brand provided an incentive policy of basic pay + bonus. In addition, the company also provided pre-heated food for its employees, such as a cup of mixed rice and a cup of hot pot.  

Over the past two months, Sweet7’s total sales reached 5 million yuan (~USD 750,000). Though it is not a big number compared to normal times, it meant a lot to the brand during such difficult times. The effective model for community shopping of Sweet7 is worth learning and following.  

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