As consumers’ needs and requirements continue to evolve, some Chinese companies are aiming to change with them with a new retail concept called O2O – or online-to-offline.
As part of the recent Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Fresh Connections China, held in Shanghai in mid-March, Fresh Fruit Portal took part in a tour to see O2O stores of two major retailers first hand.
First up was Yonghui, which has 500 supermarkets across the country and specializes in fresh food. It currently has ‘neighborhood retail concept’ stores in Shanghai, Beijing, Chongqing, Fuzhou and Fujian and plans to have 200 by the end of the year.
It used to only source produce from Chinese farmers, but recently set up an import department to provide fruits and vegetables from all over the world.
Customers can use an app to purchase online and the produce will then be delivered from the nearest store, which the company aims to have every 3km (2 miles) in Shanghai in order to deliver as quickly as possible.
Through doing this, the company hopes to transform from the traditional big supermarkets model to combining online and offline retailing.
Meanwhile, Hema Fresh, which is part of the major Alibaba Group, has adopted the O2O model while also incorporating the restaurant concept. Customers can purchase produce and have it cooked in store, as part of a unique shopper experience.
The company is also able to deliver orders made through its app within just 30 minutes – which is almost unheard of in China.
Hema Fresh’s Total sales are split evenly between online and offline, and while there are only seven stores in Shanghai at the moment, the aim is to have more than 100 in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen in three years.
We invite you to take a look at these stores in our photo gallery below.