China Food

Behind the fancy “grabbing vegetables”: how do Ding Dong, meituan and HEMA meet the new year?

increased combat power.
“Didi”, at 5:59 a.m. on April 1, Gao Jing’s alarm clock rang on time.
She quickly opened the dingdong shopping app shopping cart page and waited for the opening of the order appointment time to settle the payment.
As soon as 6 o’clock arrived, Gao Jing clicked “pay now” but was prompted: “there are many people at present. Please try to refresh the page later.”
Dingdong vegetable purchase order settlement system Caton
Although he gets the same prompt repeatedly, Gao Jingyi clicks persistently. Because the experience shared by “people who came here” is, “as long as you don’t pay successfully, close your eyes and be crazy. You can’t give up!”
Affected by the epidemic, a community in Shanghai where Gao Jing now lives is in a sealed state. Residents are required to stay at home and purchase basic living materials online. At this time, the fresh e-commerce platform with guaranteed supply chain, complete goods and transparent price has become the first choice for most people to shop at home.
Due to the large number of buyers and large demand, there will always be few goods after refreshing every time the system is stuck in the settlement process. The process of grabbing food is like opening a blind box. You often don’t know what you bought until you finish the order. Sometimes, when Gao Jing doesn’t even have time to see what she has bought, she will quickly turn around another fresh e-commerce platform and join a new round of “vegetable fighting”.
However, this was about a week ago. With the Shanghai municipal government’s request on April 7 to fully guarantee the supply of people’s living materials, more and more express delivery and takeout delivery personnel in non epidemic areas returned to their posts, online and offline supply guarantee enterprises recovered, and the pressure of residents to “buy vegetables” has been alleviated.
Many fresh food e-commerce platforms, including HEMA, dingdong, meituan, daily excellent fresh food and original life network, are also making every effort to mobilize resources, increase transportation capacity and ensure supply. Almost all of them said to all-weather technology that they are making every effort to ensure supply. They have increased the purchase volume, sufficient inventory and stable prices, which can meet the basic living needs of residents.
In the case of “war epidemic”, fresh e-commerce is no longer a novice. They have improved the fresh supply chain, built a demand monitoring system, optimized the warehouse distribution model, and “armed” themselves from hardware to software, but they have also encountered new tests in this “fierce battle”.
After more than two years of experience, what are the progress and difficulties of fresh e-commerce?
The stock volume has increased 8-10 times
According to Cao Bo, deputy director of dingdong vegetable purchasing, with sporadic infection cases throughout the country in early March, the platform orders increased by single digits year-on-year; Around March 10, as some districts in Shanghai entered the sealed state, the demand of residents was released, and the order volume of the platform further increased; By the end of March, there were all 280 Ding Dong pre positions for buying vegetables in Shanghai, and the order volume and unit price of most warehouses increased by more than 50% year-on-year.
All weather technology learned from Yi Ruilin, the operation director of daily excellent fresh Shanghai, that due to the impact of the epidemic prevention and control policy, the liquidity of consumers has decreased and the demand for online purchase has increased. In the week of March 30, the daily order volume of daily excellent fresh Shanghai has increased by 1.5 times compared with the daily average order in February, and the customer unit price has more than doubled. The daily price is between 80-90 yuan, and the customer unit price has no upper limit during the epidemic period; Originally, disclosed that as of April 1, the actual order volume of vegetable guarantee packages provided by the platform to Shanghai reached 20 times of the daily order volume.
In the face of soaring market demand, residents have to do everything they can to buy vegetables smoothly. However, it is distressing that “rush buying time” has been set up, including the main fresh food platforms such as HEMA, dingdong, meituan and daily excellent fresh food. Without exception, these fresh apps will fall into a system crash for a period of time when the order is open, which has created the “difficulty of grabbing vegetables” in everyone’s mouth to a certain extent.
In fact, it is not uncommon for the system to crash due to the sudden surge of orders on the platform. From the promotion of traditional e-commerce to the rush purchase of popular items, and then to the anti epidemic of fresh e-commerce, they are all the high incidence periods of “system collapse”; Especially in the past ten days, the “system crash” of fresh e-commerce is more common.
Many people wonder why the platform has failed to solve this problem? Is it the lack of technical capacity or the lack of material supply?
Before clarifying the reasons, we need to distinguish between page visits and order trading volume. Although the year-on-year growth of platform transactions seems general, the impact of actual traffic on the system is not general.
The technical director of daily Youxian disclosed to all-weather technology that since late March, the user traffic in Shanghai has increased sharply, and some services of its platform (such as shopping cart) have reached 100 times the daily traffic. The company has urgently expanded and upgraded the server.
“However, the traffic is increased by a hundred times, and the server cannot be expanded by a hundred times. At present, the daily production capacity and materials will be sold out. Under the condition of priority resources, the system has made every effort to meet users, but can not meet all users. In addition, in the face of peak traffic, the system will have a self-protection threshold, and when the threshold is reached, the flow will be limited, and some users will prompt to queue up for entry. This is a common practice in the industry. Refer to Xiaomi rush purchase, second kill Maotai and other industries Business scenario. ” The official said.
In order to guide the diversion of users and reduce the pressure of the system, Youxian has been snapped up from the original 23:00 every day to 22:00-0:00 every 30 minutes.  
Ding Dong also explained that due to the frequent occurrence of abnormal conditions in the epidemic, the bottleneck of supply may occur in any link such as transportation, production, sorting, distribution and arrival. At the same time, the demand of users in Shanghai is growing explosively. The user ordering experience must be different from usual, and the success rate of ordering will be low. In this case, the principle of the product is to ensure the fairness of the order first, and switch from the order mode under normal circumstances to passing the order randomly in a reasonable proportion.
“We are trying to improve users’ experience in rush buying scenarios through product technology optimization, such as optimizing and improving system throughput. For the expansion of core services, the peak order processing capacity has been increased to more than 100 times the usual peak. At the same time, we continue to optimize users’ interactive experience, reduce congestion on trading nodes and make the experience of placing orders smoother.” Ding Dong buy vegetables related technicians said.
In terms of material reserves, on the one hand, all fresh e-commerce platforms are increasing inventory to ensure supply, on the other hand, they are also beginning to adjust the SKU combination, and there is no shortage of goods on the whole.
Taking HEMA as an example, since April 1, it has started to provide group purchase services in batches in Shanghai, adopting the mode of “package purchase and delivery the next day”; Since April 3, online users’ scattered orders have been officially suspended, and all of them have been converted to group purchase packages, so as to more efficiently serve the residents within 3 kilometers around.
Arrangement for rush purchase of some living platforms in Shanghai
According to all-weather science and technology, most of the vegetable bases where dingdong buys vegetables are outside Shanghai. Except for occasional outbreaks in a few areas, it basically does not affect the overall supply. At present, Shanghai Dachang has a safety stock of 2-3 days, the stock cycle of leafy vegetables is short and the stock cycle of rhizome vegetables is relatively long; Originally, the inventory of vegetable bags of changed with the actual arrival, which was 10000-40000 / day as of March 31; In the early stage of the epidemic, the stock of vegetables increased by five times, the grain and oil of fruits, meat and eggs, rice noodles increased by four times, and the stock of apples, pears, potatoes, green peppers, vegetables, eggs, vermicelli and other commodities increased by 8 to 10 times.
At the press conference on epidemic prevention and control in Shanghai held on April 7, officials also made it clear that the storage reserves of rice flour, grain, oil and meat in Shanghai are relatively sufficient. At the same time, they have locked in and prepared enough sources of vegetables, pork and other goods outside the city, which can be transported to Shanghai at any time. At present, Shanghai is trying to solve the problem of low efficiency in the procurement and distribution of living materials.
Thousands of people were added to the guarantee and supply team
From the perspective of fresh e-commerce platform, in the case of sufficient supply, what will you experience if you escape the “system crash” and deliver the dishes to users?
If the fresh e-commerce supply chain is split, it can be roughly divided into “source base – regional large warehouse – front warehouse / offline Stores – consumers”.
After all fruits and vegetables and other materials are transported from the source base to the regional warehouse, the fresh e-commerce platform will arrange employees to sort and pack them, and then distribute them to the front warehouse or directly send them to the corresponding community according to the order.
During the epidemic period, in order to minimize the risk of infection caused by personnel movement and strive to ensure the safety of residents’ living materials, all personnel involved in guarantee and supply work need to hold a “pass” to go out.
Taking the hungry Yao platform as an example, the relevant departments require communities outside the “7 + 7” or “2 + 12” closed management period. The guaranteed supply and distribution personnel need to hold a work permit (or unit certificate, guaranteed supply enterprise certificate) and a 48 hour negative nucleic acid test certificate before they can apply for a community. Hungry riders will be reviewed when issuing certificates for riders. Riders who meet certain single cycle and activity can receive relevant certificates; For the sake of epidemic prevention safety, newly registered riders who do not run alone cannot obtain a work certificate.
However, in order to coordinate rider resources and ensure the supply of living materials for residents during the closure period, hungry also issued a series of emergency plans – providing free emergency accommodation for knights who are unable to return to the residential area temporarily, and distributing food, masks, disinfectants and other supplies to knights in need.
However, for the timely distribution platform and fresh e-commerce platform, the “last mile” distribution is basically completed by riders. Once the rider’s travel is limited, the platform will face manpower shortage and tight transportation capacity.
According to the data released by Liu Min, deputy director of Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce on April 6, there are about 11000 riders on major takeout and other e-commerce platforms in Shanghai every day.
On April 7, the Shanghai municipal Party committee and government stressed that they should spare no effort to do a good job in the supply of living materials for the city’s 25 million people. From the four aspects of procurement and distribution efficiency, nodes and outlets of domestic material supply, human transportation capacity and price monitoring of domestic material supply, we will promote the guarantee of domestic materials for residents in the city and solve the phenomenon that materials are difficult to reach their homes.
Specifically, those who are sealed in the community for non epidemic reasons are allowed to go out of the sealed area and return to the post of guarantee. At the same time, coordinate the logistics resources such as postal express and SF, connect with the e-commerce platform, supplement the distribution force, and complete the distribution task of “the last kilometer” in the community.
The introduction of new regulations has reversed the situation of material supply in Shanghai. More and more enterprises began to submit applications and organize qualified riders, couriers, warehouse pickers and other personnel to return to their posts.
Supplement of Shanghai transportation capacity of some fresh e-commerce
On April 9th, covid-19, Gu Jun, director of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce, introduced the 9 new business outlets for the resumption of business in Shanghai and 17 supermarkets in April 8th. The number of guarantee and supply personnel such as express brother increased by 1096, and 2000 were transferred from outside the city to Shanghai.
According to the latest news, Alibaba enterprises such as hungry, RT mart, HEMA and rookie will add 3000 anti epidemic insurance personnel. Among them, the first batch of 80 employees of RT Mart in Shanghai arrived in Shanghai on the afternoon of April 9; Dingdong has called nearly 500 front-line employees to return to the guarantee team; Yonghui is expected to send 650 more people to Shanghai in the next week.
Unusual 2022
Surging orders and tight transportation capacity are both opportunities and severe tests for fresh e-commerce.
Fortunately, in such a “twisted” situation, fresh e-commerce is not the first time. When the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020, they give rise to orders and the shortage of distribution personnel, and even face the plight of insufficient supply.
“After more than two years of large and small epidemics, typhoons and other tests, we will no longer feel in a hurry in the face of these situations.” Cao Bo, deputy director of dingdong vegetable purchasing, told all-weather technology that compared with more than two years ago, the platform has significantly improved in supply chain construction and is more and more comfortable in dealing with emergencies.
Fresh supply is to deliver the radishes and vegetables in the field to the kitchen tables of urban residents. From production, distribution, sales to consumption, the whole link involves many links and complex contents, which can not be completed by relying on the power of fresh e-commerce alone. What the platform can do is to minimize uncertainty in all links and ensure smooth links and material transportation.
Going deep into the upstream of the industrial chain and strengthening the production and guarantee of source agricultural products is one of the most energy invested by the fresh food platform at present.
Taking dingdong shopping for vegetables as an example, in April 2021, it signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Shanghai Chongming Xincun Township People’s government and launched a rice order agriculture project. During this round of epidemic, Chongming rice has played a significant role in stabilizing Ding Dong’s vegetable inventory and ensuring residents’ living needs.
According to Cao Bo, the rice purchased by residents in Shanghai is mainly northeast rice and local Chongming rice. Generally, the average daily sales of 5kg Chongming rice is 500-600 packs.
In early March, when sporadic outbreaks occurred in Shanghai, Ding Dong expanded the purchase volume to 1000 bags / day to cope with the possible increase in order demand; In mid March, a small number of communities in Shanghai were sealed off, and the order volume of the platform began to rise, with an average daily sales volume of about 3000-4000 packages. “Based on past experience, we continued to expand our inventory in response to the epidemic and consumer demand”; By the end of March, Shanghai had issued the sealing and control policy, and the daily sales of Chongming rice directly exceeded 10000 orders. “Because we have always kept safety stocks and increased material reserves, we can also meet the rapidly rising market demand.” Cao Bo said.
Establishing cooperative relations with the origin and stabilizing supply is actually one of the important work of the whole fresh e-commerce industry in the past two years.
Official data show that as of July 2021, HEMA fresh has built more than 550 agricultural direct mining bases and nearly 140 HEMA villages, and launched the industrial base project in April 2020. It is planned to be put into use this year, with an annual processing capacity of 146000 tons of fruits, 219000 tons of vegetables and 109500 tons of fresh meat; As of September 2021, Youxian daily also has nearly 200 “Youxian farms” direct mining bases in China; By the end of 2021, dingdong has owned 3 agricultural demonstration parks, signed 118 order planting bases and built 10 food R & D and processing plants.
Construction of dingdong fresh vegetable industry chain
As an industry closely related to the daily life of tens of millions of residents, the epidemic prevention of staff in special periods is also very critical. After participating in the last round of epidemic prevention in Wuhan, Youxian took epidemic prevention as a normal work every day.
Yi Ruilin, the operation director of daily Youxian in Shanghai, introduced that since 2020, daily Youxian has started to ensure the safety of riders from three aspects: first, nucleic acid vaccination. At present, the whole staff has covered two injections, and the vaccination rate of three injections has reached at least 95%, “people without vaccination can no longer engage in cold chain work”; Secondly, all employees need to hold 100% health certificates before employment; The last and most important point is nucleic acid detection. If there are confirmed cases in the administrative block, the store requires employees to hold nucleic acid for 48 hours. If there are no confirmed cases, nucleic acid should be guaranteed once a week.
“These are hard indicators. Because we have carried out regular monitoring, when the epidemic comes, the mentality of employees is very stable and everyone is relatively safe.” Irene said.
Even if the fresh e-commerce has a set of anti epidemic plan and makes arrangements in terms of source purchase and material reserve in advance, it is always difficult to 100% predict the behavior of the consumer side. Especially in extraordinary times, it is difficult for big data to accurately judge the possible changes in consumer demand.
Cao Bo told all-weather science and technology that during this round of epidemic, the consumer side showed a significantly stronger response to policy changes than before. “Maybe sometimes when a message comes out, people will go crazy to hoard goods. No matter how well our data system is done, we don’t think they will suddenly store rice oil and rob all vegetables in the morning. It’s completely unexpected.”
Fortunately, more and more enterprises have joined this “war epidemic”. After Shanghai issued the instructions to fully guarantee the supply, transportation and chain, many timely distribution platforms and large supermarkets began to resume operation to ensure residents’ access to living materials by increasing the purchase volume of raw and fresh fruits and vegetables, strengthening trunk logistics and distribution, allocating staff and supplementing the “last kilometer” transportation capacity.
On April 8, Xu Lei, CEO of, also sent two messages in a row in the circle of friends, saying that was “willing to efficiently support any city in need with its best supply chain capability”, “these two days, with the smooth operation of all links, we are ready to go, and will drive full power and do our best to support Shanghai.”
Image source: network
The community group purchase business of fresh food platform is also in full swing. On April 7, Gao Jing successfully joined the group buying group of fruits, meat, eggs, milk and vegetables in the community. The news kept coming from morning to night in the group. Everyone was placing orders in an orderly way and joked with the head from time to time.
“The fruit I bought yesterday (April 8) has been received. It’s very fresh and fast. Don’t worry about not being able to buy vegetables!” Gao Jing, who followed the regiment, slept the most reassuring sleep recently after receiving materials.
On April 10, the official informed that as of April 9, there were more than 11000 discharged patients and medical observers in Shanghai. The first batch of supermarkets, convenience stores, restaurants and other nearby small stores and pharmacies in Yangpu, Shanghai are gradually resuming operations. E-commerce channels such as, pinduoduo and tmall are also gradually opening up and accepting orders. Fresh e-commerce such as daily excellent fresh food and dingdong vegetable shopping have begun to return to personal order business, and the industries that protect residents’ lives online and offline have been started.
Wutong green spring the Shanghai of the meeting of wind and clouds is returning.
Source: All Weather Technology (ID: iawtmt), reprint has been authorized. Reprint authorization and media business cooperation: Amy (wechat: 13701559246); Foodaily Expo 2022] in line with the original intention of providing the whole value chain and one-stop industrial innovation services for the industry, foodaily Expo 2022 (2022.05.31-06.02, Shanghai) is further upgraded. In addition to the upstream and downstream of the food industry, it also covers and gathers multiple resources such as e-commerce, social media, traffic, channels and capital, aiming to bring you an annual innovation feast. Here, products, content, technology, marketing and other aspects related to food & brand innovation will be presented in the form of “professional exhibition + innovative content + interactive experience”, breaking through and differentiating in the consistent form of industry exhibition.

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