Today (24 September) is the day where iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro are officially available. In China, where pre-orders allegedly crashed the Apple web site, many ecommerce platforms are ready to sell lots of iPhones. 

Early in the morning, Meituan, the leading food delivery platform in the company, sent out the following notification: 

“Sale from 8am today:
Meituan Food Delivery iPhone 13 – current stock, delivery within one hour” 

How does it work? Search for “Apple” or the phone model on Meituan or Meituan Food Delivery app, and order from authorised shops/resellers within 3-5 kilometers range, place the order and wait for the Meituan rider to deliver to your doorstep. 

Meituan revealed that 498 authorised Apple retailers/resellers in 117 cities are participating in this sale. 

Last year, Meituan did something similar, but at a much smaller scale – 100 units, only in Beijing and Shanghai. 

Why do we think this is significant? It is a demonstration that real time fulfillment of ecommerce works at scale, nationally. It is also a signal to brands that they can rely on Meituan’s fulfilment capabilities to launch nation-wide campaigns. 

The real time fulfilment experience, and the instant gratification it gives, will beat any traditional ecommerce, where you have to either let customers wait until the next day, or stack up a large inventory yourself. 

Pinduoduo, JD and Taobao will probably feel the heat. Would they have thought about this five years ago? 

We feel this is just a warm up – more will come soon. 

Thanks for reading The Low Down (TLD), the blog by the team at Momentum Works. Got a different perspective or have a burning opinion to share? Let us know at [email protected].