Nov 11, 2020|

JD Boosts Real Economy through Mom-and-Pop Convenience Stores


by Kelly Dawson

As China continues its economic recovery, JD’s Singles Day Grand Promotion is boosting growth of the real economy through the company’s partnerships across many sectors. One such business is JD’s New Markets convenience store network, a B2B2C initiative that is committed to serving China’s many offline mom-and-pop stores by supplying quality products and upgrading their traditional offline shops with digital marketing support, consumer insights and more.

For one JD convenience store owner, Zhang Dan, the program has been a boon after his former business, a restaurant, failed. When he learned about the opportunity to open a store in Beijing within the JD network, he worried that he lacked experience in the industry. But at every step of the way, JD has provided guidance, he said.

“If I had tried to open a store on my own, I wouldn’t have known how to get started or what products were best suited for my customers,” Zhang said. “Whether it is brand influence, supply level or operational guidance, JD convenience stores have obvious advantages.”

JD’s New Markets team determined that his store location next to Beijing’s Zhichun subway station would get a lot of traffic from younger office workers, so they recommended that Zhang stock his shop with specific brands that would appeal to this group based on big data analysis. JD also provided guidance on store decoration, in-store displays and more for the nearly 80-square meter store.

Additionally, JD’s smart store management system provided an easy way for Zhang to track the store’s finances and monitor which products are selling well, with suggestions on future product selection.

Finally, JD supplied Zhang’s store with his selected products through the company’s advanced supply chain network, ensuring reliable sourcing.

While the JD convenience stores carry JD’s branding, each store is owned by the small business owners like Zhang who choose to join the program. Of course, the JD name brings a level of brand awareness and trust for both the owner and the consumers who frequent the store, said Xin Tengjun, who owns another type of store developed by the JD New Markets team. Xin’s store, which is located in Jinan, Shandong province, sells wine, baijiu and more.

“The goods in our store are all purchased from the JD platform,” Xin said. “We and the customers can trust that the quality of the products is guaranteed. That is a major advantage for us.”

One customer who shopped at Xin’s store echoed his feelings. “They have a wide range of domestic wines and the JD brand on the store, so I know I can trust them,” she said.

Additionally, products in these stores feature product traceability QR source codes that provide information on the source of the product and other related information.

Consumers can also sign up for the New Markets’ mini program or app and receive benefits, with some traffic diverted from JD’s other platforms including JD Daojia to expand the New Markets user base. Unlike traditional offline stores that need to rely on foot traffic and word of mouth to gain loyal customers, JD New Markets can attract customers across multiple channels.

JD New Markets can attract customers across multiple channels.

This Singles Day, products from brands such as Lay’s, Procter & Gamble, Vinda, Mondelēz International, and Three Squirrels (a popular Chinese snack brand) will participate in cross category and brand-specific promotions to provide the best products at the best prices to nationwide store owners.

On the customer side, the New Markets’ mini program enables customers to receive discount promotions during this Singles Day, with deals including RMB 1 yuan, 9.9 yuan, buy one-get one free, etc. Customers who order products for home delivery will also enjoy other discounts.

The official opening of new storage centers in Linyi, Shandong province and Jieyang, Guangdong province ensure smooth sourcing and delivery to store owners across 30 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions and 129 cities during the peak shopping season.

“I’ve been so busy with work recently that I was worried I might struggle to take advantage of 11.11,” said a customer of Zhang’s store, Miss Liu, who works at a nearby office building. “But now this store is synchronized with the app, which means I can either pass by the store before or after work, or I can place an order on my phone at home or during the work day and have it delivered wherever is convenient. It just means I have more options.”

Thanks to Zhang’s participation in JD’s Singles Day Grand Promotion, his store’s sales have doubled during the period, he said. “JD has huge potential to allow both consumers and business owners to experience the ‘whatever you want, you get’ shopping experience,” he said.