Sep 27, 2020|

Yihaodian Buyers: What happened Before products reach customers


by Rachel Liu

JD upgraded the B2C e-commerce platform Yihaodian (No.1 Store) to be the first online membership-only retail platform in China last month, providing a premium shopping experience for middle-class customers with higher income.

One way to ensure a top-shelf shopping experience is through the store’s team of professional buyers, with an understanding that product quality is the foundation of any shopping experience. Yihaodian’s buyers all have years of experience in the industry, and aren’t afraid to personally visit manufacturers to test products and inspect processes to ensure the highest quality.

Weihao Zhang is a fresh food buyer who is responsible for meat, eggs and seafood sold on Yihaodian. With seven years of experience, he is able to select high-quality products by looking at their appearance. For example, he can judge how fresh an egg is by looking at the color.

Earlier this month, Zhang worked with his team to form a partnership with DQY, the leading egg producer in China, to provide customized, high-end eggs to Yihaodian customers. Before choosing DQY as the partner, Zhang visited hundreds of henneries to inspect the quality of eggs. During this process he also lived in various henneries for months to ensure that every process of the production was of a high standard.

“Eggs are a daily necessity for all of our customers, and are also the product that sees the highest amount of sales on Yihaodian,” Zhang said. “This is why we chose eggs to be the first customized product. Our customers are mostly middle and high-end customers. As a buyer, we don’t just provide them with high-quality products, but also a unique and customized experience.”

Huihui Wang, one of Yihaodian’s cleansing product buyers, is a veteran with over six years of experience. To select the most suitable washing liquid for Yihaodian customers, she once tried over 30 kinds of washing liquids in just one week, which made her family members think that she had become a neat freak.

“Most of the laundry products on the market contain surfactants extracted from petroleum, which is harmful to both the clothes and the environment,” Wang said. “On Yihaodian, we hope to provide customers with environmental-friendly and organic products. Through comparison and personal try-outs, we finally selected several washing liquids with plant-based surfactants, which is good for the clothes and the environment.”

Shuangshuang Zhang is a buyer responsible for personal care and beauty products. Sometimes her hands-on approach trying products at home has gotten her in trouble with her husband, she said with a laugh.

For example, anti-hair loss shampoos have become very popular in China, because people with stress and work-pressure related hair loss have increased. Although Zhang doesn’t struggle with hair loss, her husband does.

“As Yihaodian buyers, we need to personally try all the products before launching, so when I was working on finding the best anti-hair loss shampoo, I made my husband try many different products,” Zhang said. ‘He was quite supportive at the beginning, but after a while, he started to get impatient and said I had OCD. But luckily, I picked the most suitable product in the end, and my husband also showed understanding to my work.”

Zhang and other conscientious buyers are behind Yihaodian’s premium shopping experience, all working to provide trustworthy, high-end products for members.

“We are getting more and more picky about products. Maybe to be a good buyer, we all do need to have some level of ‘OCD’,“ Wang said with a smile on her face.