- Feb 27, 2020
- Chinese Consumers
JD’s Friends Shop Delivers Fresh Produce to 200 Residential Compounds in Wuhan
by Yuchuan Wang
JD’s community group buying business, Friends Shop, has been delivering fresh meat, fruits, and vegetables to the people of Wuhan since launching services in the epicenter of COVID-19 on February 5th. To date, the business has served about 200 Wuhan residential compounds.
In late 2018, JD’s Friends Shop began to recruit brick-and-mortar stores such as mom-and-pop stores to become partners in the community. Shop owners use WeChat to promote group buying products with nearby residents. Consumers can order on the Friends Shop mini program hosted on WeChat, and products will then be delivered to the dedicated pick up location, such as the partners’ shops within the community the next day.
Due to the lockdown and logistics restrictions in Wuhan, Friends Shop collaborates with local markets and agricultural supply and marketing cooperatives to purchase the products together with other daily necessities such as rice, flour, grain, and cooking oil. They will then pack the products according to different options for consumers to easily choose according to their preference.
During the epidemic, Friends Shop provides “contact-free” pick-up service for Wuhan’s consumers. Vehicles transporting the products will be disinfected before departure every day. Frozen products and fresh vegetables will also be packaged separately. Friends Shop will guide customers to make appointments to pick up the goods at different periods of time.
“Friends Shop now also offers an Operation Field Counsel (OFC) partnership model, in which JD applies its expertise in retail innovation, supply chain and online operations to provide omnichannel services to regional partners, helping traditional stores expand their offering. In Wuhan, “we are already cooperating with the local convenience store brand Today,” said Wei Wei from 7FRESH’s Community Retail Innovation at JD.com. “Most recently, JD.com also partnered with Tianfu convenience store chain to provide the Friends Shop community group buying service in Guangdong province.”
In addition to Friends Shop, JD’s offline supermarket 7FRESH also launched a group buying service for community residents who are now in need of fresh products but are avoiding putting themselves at risk by going outside. The service also leverages WeChat groups and mini programs and now has covered 1,200 residential compounds housing 500,000 consumers.
JD is also providing unique AI vending machines to a residential compound in Beijing’s Tongzhou district, offering residents 24/7 access to fresh fruit, vegetables and more sourced from JD’s 7FRESH supermarket nearby.