BEIJING, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- Affected by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pneumonia epidemic, the demand for online grocery shopping has grown greatly, and major fresh food e-commerce platforms have seen surge in orders, reported the Xinhua-run cs.com.cn Thursday.
During this year's Spring Festival, the sales of Meituan Maicai in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Wuhan all increased significantly. The highest daily orders in Beijing was 2-3 times of the pre-holiday period. As for JD Fresh under China's e-commerce giant JD.com, the sales volume has increased 215 percent year on year from January 24 (Lunar New Year's Eve) to February 2. Similarly, another food delivery platform Meiri Youxian saw the transaction value up 350 percent year on year from January 24 to February 1.
Meanwhile, the increasing orders is challenging the supply chain management and distribution capabilities of fresh food e-commerce platforms.
Wang Jun, chief financial officer of Meiri Youxian, said that quantities of vegetables rotted in the producing areas, due to the difficult transportation and short in labor amid the epidemic.
According to the person in charge of procurement at Meituan Maicai, the company is actively attracting more high-quality suppliers, increasing purchases, and making direct procurement in Shandong, Hebei and other producing areas. As a result, the shortage of vegetables and other categories has significantly improved.
Hema Fresh, Alibaba Group's online-to-offline food chain, has recently come up with a method of "employee sharing", renting staff of traditional restaurant chains that has much off-work time during the epidemic outbreak, to make up for Hema's current shortage of delivery drivers.
Data show that the online penetration rate of China's fresh food market is still low, and there is a lot of room for future development. According to a research report by China International Capital Corporation Limited (CICC, 3908.HK), the o2o fresh food delivery platforms will visibly benefit from the development of user habits during the epidemic. (Edited by Li Wenxin, firstname.lastname@example.org)