The exterior of an outlet owned by smart retail innovator MissFresh (Pic Source: MissFresh)

The exterior of an outlet owned by smart retail innovator MissFresh (Pic Source: MissFresh)

China’s MissFresh to bring smart retail to SME grocers with Tencent

Smart retail player MissFresh has partnered with Tencent to bolster its Retail Cloud services and ensure that its retail partners will be able to jumpstart their online business and operate more efficiently to cater to a more demanding customer base.

In a release shared last week, the company claimed that MissFresh can accurately predict and capture consumer’s demands in China’s first and second-tier cities.

MissFresh does this through working with Tencent Smart Retail to provide their customers a comprehensive SaaS and AI-based technology platform via its Retail Cloud initiative. This enables capabilities such as omnichannel marketing, private domain traffic operation, merchandising and last-mile delivery, and more. 

The company has over six years of innovation in the modernization of the neighborhood retail market, which comprises fresh groceries and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) among others. 

MissFresh provides traditional retailers, especially small and medium-sized supermarkets, with digital services in order for them to more easily bring fresh groceries and FMCG to customers. 

The company’s Retail Cloud platform, which comprises a suite of proprietary SaaS tools, enables these neighborhood retailers to achieve sustainable growth with efficient, optimized digital operations. 

China’s neighborhood retail market reached US$1.86 trillion (RMB11.9 trillion) in 2020, with supermarkets as the largest sales channel.

MissFresh is modernizing what has otherwise been a highly fragmented business landscape of more than 143,000 supermarkets with limited digitalization and low operating efficiency. 

The neighborhood retail cloud market for supermarkets has huge growth potential, according to iResearch, which projects it will grow from US$29.5 billion (RMB190.7 billion) in 2020 to US$292.8 billion (RMB1,893.2 billion) in 2025 in terms of the gross merchandise value (GMV) at a compound annual growth (CAGR) rate of 58.3%.  

Recognizing the core technology capabilities and growth potential of MissFresh, Tencent has been supporting the expansion of the company in different ways. Tencent Smart Retail first formed a strategic partnership with MissFresh in June 2019. 

Now, both parties are deepening their cooperation in the B2B space. Tencent is a strong player in China’s industrial Internet sector, with a broad user base and advanced technological capabilities, while Tencent Smart Retail offers B2B assistance in improving customer engagement through digital services.  

Through persistent investment in technology, MissFresh has improved its Retail AI network (RAIN) – a trinity of “Smart Marketing”, “Smart Logistics”, and “Smart Supply Chain”. RAIN offers MissFresh retail partners, such as small and medium-sized supermarkets, assistance by automatically making decisions in smart merchandising, offering smart marketing based on consumer behavior and big data analytics, and enabling smart store operation to provide intelligent recommendations on product variety, store layouts, and inventory tracking to improve the accuracy of service recommendations.

These services in turn allow small and medium-sized supermarkets to overcome many barriers of entry in the online retail market, expanding their proportion of online business and growing their customer base and gross margins. Such gains will be felt across China’s entire neighborhood retail industry.  

“Working hand in glove with Tencent Smart Retail has been integral to MissFresh’s advancement of its Retail Cloud services, enabling us to continuously be able to offer the latest and most optimized merchant tools to supercharge individual retailers’ online business growth,” said Zheng Xu, MissFresh’s Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer.