Tap that App: Hema – the Future of Food Shopping in China

By Bailey Hu, September 18, 2018

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Tap That App is a monthly segment where we feature an app our editors think is cool. 

We’ve seen the future of shopping for food in China, and it’s not very high-tech. Instead, Alibaba’s massive cashless grocery chain Hema Xiansheng is relying on speedy service to keep customers coming back.

Delivery times are as low as 30 minutes, as long as you live close to a store in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Xi’an, Wuhan, Nanjing, Fuzhou, Ningbo or Guiyang. And even if you don’t, the chain might soon be coming to a city near you, with a total of 60 stores slated to open by the end of the year.

Many prefer to check out Hema’s in-house restaurants and impressive selection of imported goods in person, but you can also tap into the future of grocery shopping through their app, Hema (盒马). 

Despite the language barrier, the app is image-heavy and easy to navigate, with a search bar and various categories to browse. As with most delivery-based apps, you’ll be prompted to plug in an accurate Chinese address and phone number before placing an order.

Naturally, since it’s Alibaba, you’ll also need an Alipay account to checkout.

But before you begin your spree, remember to check whether you’re within delivery range by tapping the location pin – otherwise you’ll be stuck shopping the old-fashioned way.

Hema is available on iOS and Android devices (click here for the Xiaomi App Store, and here for the Huawei App Store). See store locations at www.freshhema.com.

To access our guide on how to order groceries via the Hema app, click here.

For more Tap that App, click here.

[Cover image via Hema]

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