Chinese Hot-Water Bags Sweep Europe Merchants from Yiwugo Get Busy with Orders

YIWU, China, Oct. 1, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Yiwu is the world’s capital of commodities, is the official website of the Yiwu Commodity Market, which is the largest commodity wholesale market in the world. Yiwugo hosts 50,000 merchants and 10 million registered buyers, 10% of whom are overseas buyers. It has 800,000 daily average visits and a daily average PV of 15 million. According to the latest statistics from Yiwugo and the feedback from merchants, the number of European buyers purchasing hot-water bags has grown significantly, with the regular water injection type is the mainly-purchased product.

Sales doubled from the previous year at the beginning of the peak season.

Jingyang Daily Necessities is an established international trade enterprise with a history of more than 30 years. 12 years ago, Chen Jianping took the business over from her parents. For enterprises in Yiwugo, there are usually two peak seasons every year. The first begins from July and lasts till October as boosted by buyers from the northern hemisphere, and the second from the end of the year till next spring, as boosted by buyers from South America. This year is unusual. Although the first peak season has just been halfway through, enterprises’ sales volume has already doubled from last year.

Chen explained that, due to the impact of repeated Covid-19 outbreaks at home and abroad, most orders were placed by long-time buyers instead of new ones in the past two years. This year, however, the number of new customers, particularly end customers, has suddenly surged. Most of them are from Europe, looking for water injection hot-water bags. As electric heating hot-water bags were previously popular exports to countries such as India, it is unusual to see water injection type gaining popularity in Europe.

In fact, this is closely attributed to the rising energy price in Europe. The natural gas price in Europe has reportedly reached more than 10 times that of the same period last year; the anthracite price has been three times that of the same period last year; the electricity price has increased by 12 folds from the previous year. The German government announced that it would levy a “natural gas surcharge” from October, and Italy has shortened the heating period by 15 days for this winter.

The surging energy price this year has driven up the heating cost, especially for European people living in frigid high-latitude regions. As such, the traditional affordable water injection hot-water bags have suddenly become their favourite choice. Even though European people have also started to use water injection hot-water bags, they have never lost their aesthetic sense and pride. According to Chen, European consumers favour fashionable, high-quality hot-water bags with high rubber content and European architectural style of decorative imprints.

The popularity of hot-water bags in Italy and other European countries aroused Chen’s curiosity. She later figured that a significant number of buyers had come around by searching the English site of Yiwugo. Although many orders placed were small or medium ones, they were still “fresh blood”, and all the buyers were overseas wholesalers. This encouraged Chen and made her confident about her decision last year to launch new products continuously and establish an international site on Yiwugo.

Some of the new customers were referred to Chen by merchants of home textiles, quilts and other warm-keeping products in Yiwu market. There are also merchants in other lines of business who are entrusted by customers to make purchases, or those who recommend Jingyang Daily Necessities to buyers after they found the company on Yiwugo. The buyers will then have intermediaries such as international trade companies to make purchases directly from Jingyang.

Chen explained that there had been signs of this purchase frenzy since the first half of the year. From April to May, some well-established buyers, including those from European countries such as Italy, already stocked a large quantity of water injection hot-water bags. But this was not common practice at the time, so it did not attract much attention of merchants.

Domestic-oriented enterprises generated more export sales than domestic sales this year.

Yu Fengchao, owner of Yiwu Junma Hot Water Bottle Factory, is running an established international trade factory of water injection hot-water bags. The factory was established over 30 years ago, receiving orders mainly from Spain.

As a second-generation business executive, Yu took the business over exactly ten years ago. To date, his factory has been a member store on Yiwugo for five years. A Spanish new customer contacted Yu on Yiwugo this July. After they communicated with each other for a while, the customer, without meeting Yu in person, placed an order of more than RMB 100,000 for high-quality hot-water bags, mostly in the shape of cartoon characters and covered with insulating cloth.

Yu explained that the water injection hot-water bag, which is a home-grown product, used to be sold domestically. Since July, however, many new buyers have emerged from European countries such as Spain and Italy. Driven by the recent trend towards original design, new models are launched in the second half of each year. In this peak season, export sales have surpassed domestic sales.

It is mutual trust that has led an overseas new customer to place his very first order for more than RMB 100,000. Besides faithful communication between the two sides, Yiwugo, a third-party platform, has also played a vital role as a guarantor for them to build trust. As enterprises divert more resources into Yiwugo in recent years, the platform has also yielded better results for them, thus forming a virtuous circle of win-win cooperation.

2022 marks the 40th anniversary of Yiwu market, as well as the 10th anniversary of Yiwugo as the largest e-commerce platform in China. As the market enters the second generation in the past decade, more and more young merchants are choosing Yiwugo as their partner. Likewise, Yiwugo will join hands with them to embrace a brighter future.