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Apps tap into new potential amid outbreak

2020-3-17 14:17

An employee of an internet firm in Fuzhou, Jiangxi province, promotes local agricultural products online, using no more than a smartphone for livestreaming. [Photo by He Jianghua/For China Daily]

 

 

Singing, learning to cook and fresh food sales have been hugely popular during confinement

 

After being confined indoors for about three weeks due to the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak, Wang Xin, a 32-year-old editor from a financial magazine, found her cooking skills have improved by leaps and bounds.

 

Wang used to eat in the office, order takeouts or dine out with friends. She seldom cooked at home on workdays.

 

"However, I have needed to change my lifestyle, since I have to stay home and work remotely due to the epidemic. I check out online recipes and spend much time studying cooking these days."

 

She downloaded a popular recipe-sharing app called Xiachufang and cooks three meals per day. "I can make dumplings, green onion pie, curry chicken rice and soybean pork bone soup with the help of the app. I am now focusing on improving my baking skills."

 

 

Top products purchased online by Chinese. [Photo/China Daily]

In her point of view, cooking brings her great joy and helps ease anxiety amid the outbreak. In the past, Wang also liked to join a group of friends to sing and drink in a bar or go to mini "KTV" karaoke bars on weekends, but now she can sing along with Changba, a mobile karaoke app.

 

Just like Wang, many Chinese people, who are staying indoors to avoid infection and trying to relieve boredom, are taking this opportunity to learn how to cook and are seeking new forms of entertainment to enrich their daily lives amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

A slew of applications, such as an online recipe-sharing community and a mobile karaoke app, as well as online fresh food sales, are gaining traction due to the epidemic.

 

Xiachufang founder Wang Xusheng said data flow from new users grew 10 to 20 percent daily during the Lunar New Year holiday, and the company has expanded the capacity of its servers due to the influx of a large number of users.

 

The app also provides paid knowledge services related to cooking and the online marketplace, showing different baking ingredients and where to buy them.

 

"We hope to help those eating at home eat better," he said. "We found people like baking during the epidemic. They take out the electric oven that hasn't been used for a long period of time and bake bread and cakes together with their family members."

 

He added that users are also willing to upload photos of food they made to the platform and share their feelings about cooking. "A group of users can feel the happiness in the process of cooking."

 

Statistics from consultancy Analysys Qianfan showed the monthly active users of Xiachufang reached 13.74 million in December. The number rose to 14.79 million as of January, up 7.7 percent month-on-month.

 

Moreover, Ecook, a mobile app that gives food lovers access to online recipes from the best cookbooks, has seen a surge in demand.

 

Zhang Yi, an analyst from market research company iiMedia Research, said, "People have the desire and time to cook some delicious food, since they are trapped at home, but their passion will fade away gradually when the epidemic ends."

 

He said more innovative operation methods in terms of technology, content, products and services should be adopted to retain these users. "It is noteworthy that the epidemic has attracted new groups of consumers, such as elderly people, who originally didn't belong to target user groups."

 

Changba, which literally translates into Singing Bar, provides an online platform for music fans and allows users to share their performances with friends.

 

"People are more willing to use mobile karaoke applications during the epidemic period, and our users' growth rate, retention rate and activity level surged dramatically," said Chen Hua, founder and CEO of Changba.

 

Chen added that Changba fans generally range in age from 20 to 30 years old. "We found that youths under 20 swarmed into our app amid the outbreak, and older users have come back. In addition, they tend to spend more time on mobile karaoke apps, and their frequency of use each day is also rising."

 

The outbreak has also made shoppers refrain from frequenting crowded brick-and-mortar stores, switching instead to online shopping, especially using e-commerce platforms that deliver daily necessities and fresh produce.

 

JD Daojia, the local on-demand retail platform of Dada Group, said overall sales revenue increased 374 percent year-on-year during the Lunar New Year holiday in late January and early February, with the consumption of meat jumping 710 percent year-on-year, vegetables increasing 440 percent, and fruit 380 percent.

 

The transaction volume of online fresh food platform Missfresh surged 350 percent year-on-year during the holiday period, also known as Spring Festival.

 

江西省福州市一家互联网公司的一名员工在网上推广当地的农产品,只用智能手机进行直播。[何江华/中国日报]


在监禁期间,唱歌、学习烹饪和销售新鲜食品非常受欢迎


由于新型冠状病毒的爆发,32岁的王鑫(音译)在室内呆了三周左右,之后她发现自己的烹饪技术突飞猛进。她是一家财经杂志的编辑。


王过去常常在办公室吃饭,叫外卖或者和朋友出去吃饭。工作日她很少在家做饭。


“然而,我需要改变我的生活方式,因为我不得不呆在家里,远程工作,因为流行病。现在我上网查菜谱,花很多时间学习烹饪。”


她下载了一款名为“下厨坊”的流行菜谱分享应用,每天做三顿饭。“在这款应用的帮助下,我可以包饺子、葱派、咖喱鸡饭和大豆猪骨汤。我现在正专注于提高我的烘焙技能。”

中国人在网上购买的顶级产品。【图片/中国日报】


在她看来,烹饪给她带来了巨大的快乐,并帮助她缓解了爆发期间的焦虑。过去,王也喜欢和朋友们一起去酒吧唱歌喝酒,或者周末去迷你“KTV”卡拉ok,但现在她可以和手机卡拉ok应用“唱吧”一起唱歌了。


就像王一样,许多中国人为了避免感染而呆在家里,试图缓解无聊,他们正在利用这个机会学习如何做饭,并在“贪吃病”爆发期间寻找新的娱乐方式来丰富他们的日常生活。


许多应用程序,如在线分享菜谱社区和移动卡拉ok应用程序,以及在线生鲜食品销售,由于疫情的蔓延而越来越受欢迎。


夏楚坊创始人王旭生表示,春节期间,新用户流量每天增长10%到20%,由于大量用户的涌入,公司已经扩大了服务器的容量。


该应用还提供与烹饪和在线市场相关的付费知识服务,显示不同的烘焙原料以及在哪里购买。


“我们希望帮助那些在家吃饭的人吃得更好,”他说。“我们发现人们喜欢在流行时期烤面包。他们拿出已经很久没用过的电烤箱,和家人一起烤面包和蛋糕。”


他补充说,用户也愿意上传他们制作的食物的照片到平台上,分享他们对烹饪的感受。“一群用户可以在烹饪的过程中感受到快乐。”


咨询公司易观千帆(Analysys Qianfan)的统计数据显示,12月份下铺坊的月活跃用户达到了1374万。截至1月份,这一数字上升至1479万,同比增长7.7%。


此外,给美食爱好者提供从最好的烹饪书中获取在线食谱的移动应用程序Ecook的需求也出现了激增。


市场研究公司艾媒咨询(iiMedia research)的分析师张毅(音译)表示:“人们有意愿也有时间做一些美味的食物,因为他们被困在家里,但当疫情结束后,他们的热情会逐渐消退。”


他说,应该在技术、内容、产品和服务方面采取更创新的运营方式来留住这些用户。“值得注意的是,这种流行病吸引了新的消费群体,比如老年人,他们原本不属于目标用户群体。”


“唱吧”为乐迷们提供了一个在线平台,并允许用户与朋友们分享他们的表演。


“在流行期间,人们更愿意使用移动卡拉ok应用程序,我们的用户增长率、保留率和活动水平急剧上升,”Changba的创始人兼首席执行官陈华说。


陈补充说,常八粉丝的年龄一般在20到30岁之间。“我们发现,在疫情爆发期间,20岁以下的年轻人蜂拥进入我们的应用,年长的用户又回来了。此外,他们倾向于把更多时间花在移动卡拉ok应用上,他们每天的使用频率也在上升。”


疫情的爆发也让购物者不再光顾拥挤的实体店,而是转向网上购物,尤其是使用提供日用品和新鲜农产品的电子商务平台。


大数据集团旗下的本地按需零售平台京东道家表示,在1月底和2月初的春节假期期间,整体销售收入同比增长了344%,肉类消费同比增长710%,蔬菜消费同比增长440%,水果消费同比增长380%。


春节期间,在线生鲜平台米鲜的交易量同比飙升了350%。

 

原作者: Fan Feifei 来自: china daily