Business / Technology

China's O2O catering industry makes eating easy

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-08-15 15:57

"The discount war is putting the whole industry in jeopardy, and wasting a lot of resources," added Sun.

Some of the statistics might support his argument. According to data collected by Analysys, in the fourth quarter of 2014 the number of orders fulfilled in China's O2O catering industry was as high as 190 million, an increase of 140.9 percent compared to the third quarter.

Moreover, despite a small decline compared to the previous quarter due to the winter vacation, the aforementioned number of orders fulfilled in the first quarter of 2015 is over three times more than the same period in 2014. This is probably not the most natural increase seen in any industry.

There are concerns over the O2O service from some customers as well. Gao Yanqin, from Shanghai, questioned the the online-offline synergy.

"Sometimes when the delivery is late, all you can do was is wait as there is no way to contact the delivery man," she said.

Where next?

Despite all these imperfections, China's O2O catering has a long road ahead. As an emergent industry, it not only faces a lot of potential risks, but also loads of opportunities.

According to Xie Wen, the prospects of the industry depend on whether it can continue to change with the times.

"Only by independent innovation and structural reform can the industry move up to the next level," he stated.

Similarly, Sun Hao spoke highly of innovation, as it would make a company stands out. However, he underscored that service was the core of the whole industry.

"The lifestyle of young people is changing, more and more people are living alone and spending more time commuting. That's going to have a huge effect on the industry," he said. "In this case, service is key to securing loyal customers."

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