Semir's E-Commerce: Success and Exploration
(9 pages of text)
Zhejiang Semir E-Commerce Co. Ltd., the online subsidiary of Chinese casual clothing company Zhejiang Semir Group Co. Ltd. (Semir), grew continuously from its launch in 2012 to become a main contributor to Semir’s success, contributing approximately 30 per cent of Semir’s annual revenue by 2016. Semir entered the online market relatively late after many competing Chinese clothing manufacturers had already established their presence online. Yet it became the industry leader in terms of e-commerce revenue. It differed from other major clothing firms mainly in its implementation of the management philosophy of Kazuo Inamori, particularly his Amoeba Management method and his belief in altruism and a win-win approach to business. Semir worked to create supply chain relationships that were true partnerships, and it promoted the various brands in its multi-brand strategy through celebrity endorsements and online marketing. Like its major competitors, Semir was exploring online-to-offline (O2O) models in the clothing industry. In 2016, the company faced a rapidly changing online environment and increasing competition in the industry. It needed a strategy to maintain its early success in e-commerce. It also needed to determine what kind of O2O model to adopt and how to deal with competition from fast-fashion retailers in the online marketplace.
This case is suitable for business administration students at various levels, from undergraduate to MBA. Targeted courses include but are not limited to e-commerce, marketing, and business strategy. By studying this case, students can understand the business transformation of the clothing industry in general and the e-commerce model in particular. After completing the case, students should be able to do the following:
- Understand the opportunities and challenges that a traditional garment company like Semir faces in transforming to e-commerce.
- Apply marketing and business strategy theories to systematically analyze the changes in the clothing industry and the overall competitive environment.
- Develop long-term growth strategies for an e-commerce company.
China, Large, 2016
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