When we talk about e-commerce in the World, no other country can beat China. Nowadays China e-commerce is used in every sector. You can go cash-less and buy your grocery shopping, a car, food, clothes, shoes and anything you want. All you need is your smartphone in which you can use different payment methods in China. This is no surprise in a country where internet use comes 98% from smartphones.
Alibaba, one of the giants in China has opened supermarket stores called Hema. There are 46 stores in 13 cities and they deliver 24 hours a day in the stores located in Beijing and Shanghai. Hema features mobile app shopping and payment, it has in-store dining and also serves as a warehouse with a ceiling conveyor system.
Everything in the store can be scanned with a smartphone app that tells the user more information about where it comes from and what it can be used for. If you don’t want to visit the shop, you just need to go to the app and select what you need. A worker from the store will actually grab your products, pack them and send them to you wherever you are. As well in the in-house restaurants, you can choose your food and tiny robots will deliver your food to your seat.
Hema can be considered the Amazon of China. While Amazon is also experimenting with digital-only stores, it isn’t moving as fast as Hema. In the same time Amazon launched 8 cashless stores in the US, while Alibaba opened 100 Hema stores in which customers can now pay only using facial scan.
Tencent, another giant in China, has invested a lot of money in Super Species, the fresh grocery store brand of Yonghui Superstores. This stores use a hybrid model of high-end supermarket plus fresh food restaurant and 020.
JD launched its first offline fresh-food supermarket, 7Fresh in Beijing one year ago. This store has 4,000 square meters and smart carts which guide shoppers to their desired aisles. As well it offers cooked-food stalls, fresh food and you can receive your order in 30 minutes.
China’s online grocery market is expected to reach US$30 billion in 2019. This proves that e-shops in China are growing in an unbeatable way and that maybe in the close future a smartphone is all we need to buy what we want.