Industrial networks have encouraged more connections and enabled the Internet of Things in homes and workplaces. As the world grows more connected, businesses of today need to balance digitalization’s rewards and risks to avoid pitfalls while maximizing operational efficiency. Jun Yang, Co-Founder, Director and Chief Technology Officer of Dada Group, China’s leading local on-demand delivery and retail platform, spoke at CNBC’s East Tech West 2021 held in Nansha, Guangzhou. Yang shared his insights into the opportunities and challenges springing forth from the fast-paced digitalization of the business world as well as Dada’s tried and tested solutions that are playing a part in shaping the future of the hyperlocal-ecommerce retail space in China.
From one-hour delivery to mere minutes, Dada partners with JD.com to roll out “Shop Now”
Ahead of this year’s Double 11 shopping extravaganza, Dada Group teamed up with JD.com, a leading Chinese e-commerce platform, to launch Shop Now, a new retail service allowing 550 million active platform users to purchase a wide range of premium products from businesses in their vicinity while ensuring super-fast delivery times as low as tens of minutes. Products featured in the “Shop Now” page on JD.com’s app can be delivered to shoppers’ doorstep in an hour or less from stores within a radius of 3-5 kilometers. The Shop Now service is backed by Dada’s nationwide rider fleet and pioneering on-demand logistics solution that addresses key challenges involving order fulfillment of on-demand delivery from warehousing to item pickup and handover.
On the day of November 11, the average delivery time of on-demand orders was only 23 minutes. During the whole promotion period, the delivery volume of pharmaceutical products increased 2.3 times year on year, and the average delivery time was less than 20 minutes. More than 150,000 offline retail stores on JDDJ took part in this year’s Double 11 shopping extravaganza and the platform’s single-day sales hit a record. During the 11-day event, sales across the platform increased by more than 100% year on year.
“The launch of Shop Now has redefined the e-commerce experience by upgrading JD.com’s on-demand retail model, enabling customers to enjoy ultra-fast, convenient, and high-quality online shopping. Cooperation with JD.com not only boosted profit and operation efficiency for its partners but also served as a springboard for Dada from which it has launched itself to be the leader in the instant needs market,” said Dada co-founder Yang, who has served as the Company’s Chief Technology Officer since its inception, and a director since the IPO and is responsible for the management and development of Dada’s technology, products, data, and corporate strategies.
A panorama of on-demand warehousing-picking-delivery services
As a SaaS product that enables retailers to drive O2O sales while streamlining operations, Dada Haibo System, a systematic, digitalized and standardized platform independently developed by Dada, integrates the operations of marketing, products, users, account reconciliation and order fulfillment which has significantly improved operating efficacies and reduced cost for a lot of leading retailers in China. During Singles Day Festival, Dada Haibo system was adopted by more than 5000 retail stores. The omni-channel orders served by Haibo were 2.5 times more during the Festival compared to the year prior.
In early November, Dada released the Panorama of its On-Demand Warehousing-Picking-Delivery Services, which detailed major improvements in critical processes in online fulfillment operations, including warehousing, picking and delivery services. Relying on Dada Haibo system, Canghai system and Smart Logistics system, Dada upgraded its all-process capabilities to bring a convenient shopping experience to both retail merchants and consumers.
A more open attitude to embrace future technological exploration
Dada Unmanned Delivery Operation system and Dada Smart Delivery SaaS System dazzled during this year’s Singles Day Festival for the first time. Adopted by Sam’s Club, 7 Fresh and Yonghui, the system helps supermarkets automate order distribution, manage package loading, and complete delivery operations based on optimal pre-planned routes.
Qiang Wang, Vice President of JD.com and Head of the Intelligent Supply Chain Department of JD Logistics (JDL), demonstrated the efforts of JD Logistics in autonomous delivery vehicles on open roads. JD Logistics has close cooperation with Dada Group in last-mile delivery, jointly helping retail merchants improve efficiency and reduce cost. The launch of Dada’s autonomous delivery operation open system has accelerated the scale, enriched scenarios and normalized the use of the unmanned distribution service.
Based on Dada Now’s self-developed Smart Logistics System and Big Data Platform, Dada Smart Delivery SaaS System provides integrated delivery solutions, including an operation platform, merchant application, and rider application, to empower retail chain brands and delivery service providers to improve their delivery and management efficiency. “Dada’s autonomous delivery open system paves the way for the large-scale application of unmanned delivery services for the crucial last-mile of delivery. As the establisher of the unmanned delivery ecosystem, Dada also aims to link its upstream and downstream partners and scale up the R&D of the software and infrastructure for autonomous delivery services as part of its latest effort to accelerate the transition to the era of smart delivery,” said Yang.
Lei Maofeng, the Deputy General Manager of Business Operations of WeChat Pay, a payment platform by Tencent Holdings, also joined the panel discussion, which is themed “Acceleration in Digitalization” and hosted by CNBC Beijing Correspondent Evelyn Cheng.