Aolike: finding opportunity in the ‘last inch’
Published: Jan 18, 2023 04:11 PM
Model Oasis 30

Model Oasis 30", Open Top Grab&go refrigerator in Walmart store Photo: Courtesy of Aolike

As business competitive grows fierce, it becomes even more difficult to gain an advantage over other industry rivals. Therefore, more and more companies have started to make big moves to catch customers' attention. 

Chen Qixu, general manager of Aolike Commercial Refrigeration and a veteran engineer who graduated from Imperial College London, came up with a design concept that would provide retailers a means to maintain the freshness and quality of low-temperature foods while also acting as a promotional method that can influence customers' decisions and enhance their loyalty to certain brands. 

Therefore, Chen led a development team of engineers to transform a traditional refrigerator into a freezer with multiple functions that also makes full use of the promotional opportunities that exist within the "last inch" between merchandise and customers. 

Chen Qixu, General Manager of Aolike Commercial Refrigeration Photo: Courtesy of Aolike

Chen Qixu, general manager of Aolike Commercial Refrigeration Photo: Courtesy of Aolike

Q: Please introduce Aolike and the company's main businesses

A: Established in 1997, Aolike focuses on commercial refrigerated cabinets and point of purchase promotional showcases. The total area of our plant is 100,000 square meters with annual capacity of 100,000 units. After more than 20 years of hard work, aside from the domestic market, our products are exported to more than 45 overseas countries and regions in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America. Our sophisticated products and manufacturing experience help us to serve various clients, including distributors, end users and retailers around the world, such as Walmart, Kroger, Cargill and Pepsi.

Aolike's business covers various phases of the industrial chain. We provide refrigeration equipment design, production as well as sales and rentals. We also offer customized services for our domestic and overseas clients. Like other electronic manufacturers, Aolike's after-sales services, including equipment maintenance, refrigerator collection and refurbishing, are also available in every market. 

Q: Please introduce Aolike's products and the project that won the 2022 ECI Award

A: Let's imagine that you were used to drinking a brand of milk for more than 10 years. One day, you come to the checkout section in a supermarket when a refrigerator with a dynamic display and high illumination canopy catches your eyes. We call this a "refrigerated display merchandiser."

A strip of neon light pours down from the top of the freezer door, imitating the silky flow of milk. The smooth pouring of milk is played again and again as customers pass the freezer, looking just like the glass of milk that your mother prepared for you each morning. 

As you pull open the freezer door, the milk brand that you buy everyday has now been forgotten due to this creative advertisement and you grab this new brand without hesitation. Gradually, the move from consuming your traditional brand to the new brand is completed. 

The ECI Awards founded in 2014 was established jointly by Chinese scholars and global digital innovators from 27 countries and regions. It is renowned as the "Nobel Prize" for defining the future of the digital economy.

Our creative award-winning refrigerated display merchandiser seizes the promotion opportunities that exist within one inch before consumers make final purchases. 

It is also equipped with sensors to monitor any changes in weight, sales volume and the temperature of products in the freezers and sends updates to the operators. 

Q: What do you think is the most important competitive aspect of Aolike's products? How can they change old market paradigms?

A: We position our company as a turnkey solution provider of refrigerated display merchandisers that can replace traditional shelves in supermarkets or malls in the future. Out creative freezer is an innovation that increases brand effectiveness and can also be used as a sales promotion point. 

According to monitoring data and clients' feedback, our refrigerated display merchandisers have increased revenue by more than 20 percent for over 50 clients. 

In addition, cutting-edge technology such as artificial intelligence and remote sensors are installed to our products in order to help our clients make the correct decisions amid complex business environments.