Epidemic prevention and control boosts the new model of e-commerce, community group buying strides into people’s lives

  Draw your mobile phone, order what you need in the WeChat Mini Program, and you can get the goods at the head of the community the next day – community group buying is a new type of consumption model that has emerged in recent years. During this year’s COVID-19 pandemic, community group buying suddenly became popular, providing residents at home with daily necessities, especially fresh fruits and vegetables that are necessary for three meals a day. It has played a huge role in ensuring the normal life of residents during the epidemic prevention and control period, and has also been recognized by more and more people. How will community group buying develop in the future has become a topic of concern for people.

  Fresh fruits and vegetables become the main commodities of the "group"

  "My family’s daily necessities such as vegetables and fruits are basically solved by community group buying, and the monthly consumption exceeds 1,000 yuan," Ms. Liu, from Kaifu District in Changsha City, told reporters on April 22. "This kind of community group buying consumption model provides convenience for our working people, the price is relatively affordable, and the quality feels good."

  The merchant recruits the head of the community as a unit, the head of the group creates a group buying WeChat group, and the head of the group promotes group buying goods in the group. Consumers place an order in the WeChat Mini Program, and the merchant delivers it to the head of the community according to the order volume the next day. Consumers go to the head of the group to pick up the goods, thus completing a community group buying.

  Group buying platform on the sale of a dazzling array of goods, the reporter in the prosperity of the preferred platform to see, there are 24 categories, ten Hui group also has 14 categories, from fresh fruits and vegetables, food, beauty care to home appliances digital group, and even cleaning services, laundry services can be group, among which vegetables, fruits, snacks, fresh most popular.

  In the vicinity of Heyuan Community, Kaifu District, Changsha City, there are three group buying points, Xingsheng Preferred, Zhihua Zhiguo, and Shihui Group. There are two group buying groups in the mobile phone of Ms. Zhang, a resident of the community, "I joined two community group buying groups. Each group buying has a different time every day, and the types and prices of sales are different. So when I want to buy something, I will compare the supply of the two platforms before placing an order. There is one platform with better fruit quality, and the other platform has cheaper daily necessities." Ms. Zhang is very knowledgeable about group buying. She said that she has joined community group buying for more than two years. Now most of the daily necessities are solved by group buying, and the number of visits to supermarkets and vegetable markets is much less than before.

  On the morning of April 24, the reporter saw a truck full of fresh food at the Shihuituan pick-up point in Lotus Pool, Kaifu District. The delivery driver told the reporter that he was responsible for delivering more than ten points around the area, each time there were thousands of orders.

  The number of Zhihua Zhiguo group buying group in Heyuan Community has reached 492 people, and sometimes the head of the group also sells some local eggs, local chickens, Dongjiang fish and other local specialties. The head of the group buying is mainly middle-aged people, office workers.

  It is common for several group buying platforms to coexist in a community. Residents of Jinxiu Huatian, Kaifu District, Changsha City told reporters that before the Spring Festival, there was only one prosperous and preferred community. After the epidemic appeared, there are now 4 group buying platforms in the community. Every day, the 4 heads of delegation do their best to promote platform products in the group, which is very lively.

  In Changsha City, Chengbei Shuiying California Community, the head of the "A Preferred Little Talent" concurrently operates three platforms: Xingsheng Preferred, Koala Selection Mall, and Shihui Group, as well as Deyuan Baozi delivery. Every day at about 8:30 am, she will send the main product links of each platform in the WeChat group to notify the arrival and other information. During the epidemic prevention and control period, she also personally delivered the goods to her door. Ms. Zhou from the community told reporters that because it is far from the urban area and there are relatively few supermarkets, she is more willing to participate in community group buying. The content of the three group buying platforms is similar, all of which are fruits, vegetables, daily necessities, etc., and the prices are slightly different. The price of group buying vegetables and fruits is cheaper than the surrounding fruit shops and supermarkets, such as honeydew melon in Hainan, fruit shops sell for 6 yuan/catty, while the platform only 4 yuan/catty.

  Community group buying plays an important role during the epidemic

  "On the fifth day of the first lunar month, there were no vegetables at home. I went to the vegetable market and found that it was not open at all. I went to the nearby supermarket. The vegetable area that had always been dazzling in the past had no leaves. Just when I was at a loss, the owner of the commissary in the community pulled me into the Zhihua Zhiguo shopping platform. The next day, the dishes I bought arrived and felt fresh. Since then, as an office worker, I have been buying fresh fruits and vegetables on the platform every day, which feels very convenient." Recently, Ms. Liu from Yuhua District, Changsha City, told reporters how she became a loyal consumer of community group buying.

  The sudden COVID-19 epidemic has disrupted the normal life of the citizens, the semi-closed management of the community, and the vegetable market has also delayed the opening of the door. With the extension of the closure time, many residents have no food, and some e-commerce platforms are still delivering goods without interruption. Some community heads also responded positively to the opening of the group, alleviating the residents’ shopping problems.

  During the most serious period of the epidemic, the reporter found that community group buying was very popular. For example, on the Xingsheng Preferred platform, each single product is tens of thousands of pieces of vegetables, soy products and meat, which are often sold out within 15 minutes of opening the group at 0:00. Some other commodities that are in short supply during the epidemic, such as alcohol, disinfectant, yeast powder, etc., have been out of stock elsewhere, but they are still available on the platform from time to time. As popular products, they need to be snapped up quickly.

  Ms. Zhou of Heyuan Community said that recently, she has been guarding the two platforms of the community to open a group and stock up on some vegetables every day. It is because of community group buying that her family’s life has not been greatly affected during the epidemic.

  The frenzy of group buying has ruined the heads of the community. A head of the group surnamed Liu in Lotus Pool, Kaifu District, Changsha City, said that since the opening of the group on the sixth day of the new year, the number of group buying has soared, reaching more than four times the previous number. "During the epidemic, I am so busy that I often can’t eat lunch and dinner." A head of the group surnamed Zhang in Furong District also told reporters that as soon as the delivery truck arrived at 2 pm, in order to prevent the crowding of people taking goods, his family of four went into battle and put the goods in sub-units first.

  The person in charge of several large-scale group buying platforms in Changsha told reporters that during the COVID-19 epidemic, the sales volume of the platform ushered in explosive growth. For example, in Xingsheng Preferred, Changsha’s super 1 million active users placed orders on the platform, the average order volume increased by about 300%, and the number of new users increased by more than 4 times year-on-year. Fresh goods such as vegetables and fruits were basically sold out before noon.

  All platforms have tried to ensure delivery during the epidemic. The person in charge of Zhihua Zhiguo told reporters that during the epidemic, the platform also applied for resumption of work early. The first delivery began on February 6, and the growth of vegetables and meat was obvious. In order to ensure that a community with suspected cases can deliver goods, several shareholders also take turns to drive home deliveries. Xingsheng Preferred also took measures such as providing additional subsidies for distribution personnel and setting up incentives to encourage distribution personnel and heads of delegation.

  Healthy development requires facing existing problems

  The epidemic has made community group buying widely accepted by people, which is greatly conducive to the future development of this e-commerce model. However, the threshold for community group buying is not high, and many problems such as commodity quality and after-sales services are also exposed during the epidemic. Pay attention to and solve these problems, so that community group buying can better develop and better serve the masses.

  Group buying has a price advantage, but because you can’t see the real thing, sometimes you will buy troubles: the duck intestines you bought are covered with red spots, the tofu is sour, the vegetables are broken, the melons and fruits are cracked, and the fruit taste is very poor – consumers have a lot of complaints. The biggest difference with other online shopping products is that the fresh fruits and vegetables have a short shelf life, and the goods are particularly easy to break, which brings certain difficulties to after-sales. The sales process includes producers, group buying platforms, community heads, consumers and other links. The responsibilities of each link are not clear. Once there is a problem, mutual accusations and wrangling often occur. Some consumers because the price of goods is not high, defective products thrown away, did not go to complain, but if this happens often, it will definitely affect the group buying feeling.

  Delivery of goods is also often untimely, which occurs from time to time on various platforms. Sometimes a goods cannot be delivered for several days in a row, and fresh ingredients are not delivered in time, which brings extraordinary trouble and greatly reduces the satisfaction of the shopping experience.

  Platform in the selection of the community head, there is no threshold, some heads do not even have their own brick and mortar stores, the goods come, just like a stall in the community. A resident of Changsha Yuelu District complained that the community will be a long pile of vegetables, fruits and even meat on the ground, spring and winter season is OK, summer to do? Who is responsible for deterioration?

  How to protect rights if there is a problem with the goods bought by the group, lawyer Li Chunguang of Hunan Haitian Law Firm told reporters, "If the head of the group buys for free, as long as there is no major fault, it generally does not need to bear legal responsibility; if the purchasing fee is charged, if the purchasing behavior causes the buyer’s loss, it will be legally responsible. Citizens who encounter Sanwu products or quality problems must keep relevant evidence. If the after-sales service of the group buying products is not smooth and there is a dispute, they can use the WeChat chat records and payment records of the head of the group to complain to the Market Supervision and Administration Bureau, or they can request the Consumer Association to mediate or sue to the court."

  (Text/Tian Yan, Shi Xuehui)