China’s second-ranking e-commerce platform, JD.com, is now the country’s number one couch potato enabler, serving up fast food, Oreos and stinky tofu straight from the nearest FamilyMart convenience store to the comfort of every Internet user’s living room.
Under the terms of a new agreement signed between the online shopping provider and Japanese convenience store operator FamilyMart, JD users will be able to have food delivered to their doors from any of FamilyMart’s core locations in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Chengdu within one-half-hour, anytime 24 hours a day, according to a press release by the company.
The services are being added to JD’s online food ordering and delivery platform Dao Jia (京东到家), which already sells products from global rivals 7-Eleven and Lawson. JD said it expects more than 500 FamilyMart stores and 3,000 7-Eleven and Lawson shops to join within this year with the Dao Jia already featuring some 4,000 convenience stores.
Jingdong Raises the Stakes in O2O Battle
Convenience stores listed on Dao Jia recorded a three-fold annual surge in total sales volume in January, while 7-Eleven stores leaped 400 percent in the same period, after the brand joined the platform in 2016, according to media reports.
The deal with FamilyMart continues Jingdong’s drive to integrate online and offline retail (a strategy dubbed O2O, or online-to-offline), as the Beijing-based firm ramps up competition with its chief e-commerce rival Alibaba. Jingdong recently debuted its first offline fresh-food supermarket 7Fresh, a 4,000 square metre store in Beijing boasting “smart carts” that guide customers to their desired aisles.
The retailer chalked up a milestone in the emerging O2O sector in 2015, by investing RMB 4.3 billion ($700 million) for a 10 percent stake in Shanghai-listed supermarket chain Yonghui Superstores.
Alibaba, Tencent Bet on Bricks and Mortar
China’s other e-commerce giants are increasingly betting on brick-and-mortar stores. Jack Ma’s Alibaba launched the first of its HEMA tech-enabled supermarkets in its home city of Hangzhou in December, while laying out a plan to open 2,000 of the O2O grocery emporiums.
The following month, internet behemoth Tencent invested in French retailer Carrefour’s China unit, which operates 225 hypermarkets and 30 convenience stores in the country.