Alibaba’s online platform Tmall Supermarket will be soon available on food delivery app Ele.me, also property of Alibaba (NYSE: BABA), allowing consumers in China to order and receive their groceries at home within one hour, 36Kr reported on Thursday.
Tmall Supermarket was established as early as 2012 to provide Chinese users options to purchase fresh food, cosmetics, beverages, and snacks online, at a time when brick-and-mortar stores were still the preferred way to buy these products.
The online supermarket has been leveraging on Cainiao, the logistics arm of Alibaba to provide deliveries within two days, one day, or even one hour depending on different order fulfillment capabilities in different cities. With the partnership, Tmall Supermarket will increase its delivery efficiency powered by Ele.me’s extensive network of riders.
Alibaba, which also owns Taoxianda, another online grocery buying platform, and Hema, a supermarket chain offering delivery services, declined to comment when contacted by KrASIA on Thursday.
Products on Tmall Supermarket and in Hema are sourced by Alibaba directly, while goods available on Taoxianda are all fetched from various supermarkets like RT-Mart.
Tmall Supermarket’s cooperation with Ele.me comes at a time when consumers in China have shifted a significant part of their shopping online on the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, while competition in the on-demand grocery delivery sector is heating up.
JD Daojia (JDDL), owned by Dada Nexus (NASDAQ: DADA), Meituan (HKEX: 3690), and Tencent-backed MissFresh are among a slew of Alibaba’s competitors also providing on-demand grocery delivery in China.