In this comprehensive analysis, Jeff Towson delves into the ongoing struggle for profitability faced by leading eCommerce companies such as Grab, Dingdong, Meituan, Didi, GoJek, and iFood. Highlighting recent business model shifts, he discusses the newfound strategies these companies have adopted to strive for profitability. A major focus is placed on the crucial concept of geographic density, underlining its role as a significant type of economies of scale in the eCommerce industry.
In Part 1, I laid out some of the challenges of doing ecommerce in groceries. And two innovative business models that attempted to make it work. One by Alibaba Freshippo and one by Dingdong. Both very interesting. Both, especially Dingdong, being unprofitable. In the past month, both companies have announced operating profits. That was really […]
Alibaba’s Freshippo and Dingdong are two of the leading ecommerce grocery companies in China. They have achieved profitability by reducing costs and improving margins. Some of the strategies they have used include:
Opening physical stores that serve as fulfillment centers for online orders
Using data analytics to optimize inventory levels and pricing
Offering same-day delivery
The strategies that Freshippo and Dingdong have used can be applied to other ecommerce grocery markets around the world.
In Part 1 – and in Podcast 90 (Can Dingdong Win in Groceries and Specialty Ecommerce?), I teed up questions about how specialty ecommerce companies win and lose. It’s a really useful strategy question to think about. Here’s why. Imagine a small ecommerce company emerges and gets some traction with a clever product. Or in […]
Dingdong is a Chinese specialty ecommerce player focused on fresh groceries. It has gone public while still operating profit negative, but brings to mind a similar situation with Meituan at IPO. Jeffrey Towson argues that Dingdong’s success will depend on its ability to build a strong logistics network and scale its operations.
Softbank-backed Dingdong and Tencent-backed Missfresh have both gone public, to minimal investor enthusiasm. Both companies were launched: To solve the difficulties of selling perishable and difficult to transport groceries online. To tackle some of the pain points for both Chinese families and farmers. To capture a massive opportunity. And to get to operating profitability. They […]