Duo Duo Grocery, the fast-growing next-day grocery pickup service launched by Pinduoduo in August 2020, is often mistakenly referred to as a “community group buy” service. We explain the crucial differences.
But first, a word about the growth of online grocery retail in China, one of the biggest changes in consumer behavior to emerge from Covid-19. While online purchases of packaged foods and everyday products have crept up over the years, the pandemic and the resulting changes in daily routine really accelerated the change in consumer behavior.
Pinduoduo introduced Duo Duo Grocery (previously referred to as Duo Duo Maicai) in August 2020 to cater to the rising demand by consumers for convenient and affordable groceries. Based on where they are located, customers are presented a curated list of available fresh groceries and daily necessities from local farms and suppliers. Orders placed before 11 pm through the Pinduoduo app are ready for collection after 4 pm the following day at selected collection points.
Duo Duo Grocery is now available in more than 300 cities across China, ranging from Heihe in Heilongjiang, China's northernmost province bordering Russia, to the tourist resort city to Sanya in tropical Hainan, China’s southernmost province.
Duo Duo Grocery is often mistakenly referred to as a “community group buying” grocery service.
In “community group buying,” the orders are placed by a group - typically neighbors - through a “group leader” who earns a commission for organizing the purchases through WeChat groups.
With an active buyer base of more than 730 million, Pinduoduo does not depend on community leaders to attract users for its Duo Duo Grocery service. The use of community leaders is more common among platforms that have fewer users and traffic and hence rely on community leaders to enlist new customers.
Duo Duo Grocery is thus a natural extension and complement to Pinduoduo’s agriculture business, shortening the fulfillment time for fresh groceries from 3-4 days to less than 24 hours. Customers who prefer home delivery or cannot find the items they want from Duo Duo Grocery can still order from Pinduoduo merchants nationwide and have their orders delivered to their doorstep in a few days.
Duo Duo Grocery has another important function. By expanding the breadth and scale of grocery offerings, Duo Duo Grocery is helping to further improve Pinduoduo’s ability to predict demand and match it with the most suitable supply. Pinduoduo is investing in building new logistics infrastructure suited to handling agricultural products that will reduce waste, lower costs and speed up delivery.
Last year, Pinduoduo doubled its agriculture-related GMV to 270 billion yuan ($42 billion) from the year before, cementing its place as China’s largest agriculture platform.