Name of Merchant: Dong Xiwang
Name/Brand of Company: 39 degreesXian Xian Dandong Strawberry
Growing up in a single-parent family, Dong has always strived to be independent since childhood to ease his family's burden. He took on various part-time jobs since college and started his career in e-commerce in customer service.
"Many online stores were looking for online customer service, and the hours were flexible, so I gave it a try. From that experience, I realized the magic of e-commerce - businesses can easily connect with consumers all over the country through a single Internet cable. The market potential is huge."
Using what he learned from the part-time job and his judgment of market growth, Dong started his own e-commerce business selling chestnuts and pears after graduation.
Dong also introduced Dandong strawberries, which were first brought to China from Japan in 1999. They are beautiful in appearance, bright in color, sweet and rich in taste. The rapid growth in sales prompted him to focus on one dedicated platform. He chose Pinduoduo, the largest agricultural produce platform in China.
"Back then, Pinduoduo strawberry orders were naturally growing rapidly, and we were able to attract a lot of new customers every day because of our authentic origin and low cost," said Dong. He upgraded the store to a flagship store and named it "39 degrees Xian Xian." 39° north latitude is the latitude of the eastern port of Dandong. Dong was determined to push more good fruit from his hometown to all parts of the country through his shop.
The surge in demand soon outstripped Dong's old set-up. "Stores are seeing more and more 'overbooked' orders, and the priority is to quickly digest the orders that have been sold. On the one hand, I need to find more high-quality supplies. On the other hand, I need to look for new places for packaging and delivery, and add more production lines, to ensure a continuous supply of strawberries."
Dong's brother-in-law, Sun Qingbin, came to the rescue. Sun was also a strawberry distributor with 10 times more in sales than Dong. With the guidance of Sun, Dong quickly expanded a warehouse of nearly 1,000 square meters and introduced mechanized assembly lines and vacuum packaging equipment. SF Express delivered all shipments by air to ensure quality and freshness.
In addition, Dong signed long-term cooperation agreements with strawberry growers to ensure a stable supply of fruits. "We set strict criteria for purchasing strawberries, from size and variety to color and weight and other threshold requirements. At the same time, our purchase price from them is set 1 yuan higher than the market price on average." Dong said.
Dong gradually established a complete system of strawberry planting, picking, sorting, packaging and delivery in response to the continuous order demand of his Pinduoduo store, which has already doubled the income for more than 70 local farmers. Through this system, Dong was able to do "same day picking and delivery" of strawberries in Dandong. The fastest time from picking to delivery was only 5 hours.
Dong is now one of the leading Dandong strawberry merchants on Pinduoduo. "Our store currently can sell an average of 3,000 kgs of strawberries every day, and it will reach 5,000 kgs during New Year's Eve and peak season."
"The store has grown faster than I could have imagined. Now I have asked my best friends from college to come back and help me, and now I'm looking for a place to build a bigger warehouse with more fresh fruits," said Dong.
As the new year has started, the small goal Dong set for himself in 2021is to achieve sales of 50 million yuan. Last year, he sold 10 million yuan offruits on Pinduoduo.