Jan 6, 2021|

JD Empowers Small Business Owners


by Kelly Dawson

For many brick and mortar stores, 2020 was a test. Droves of Chinese customers went online for the first time, and stayed online even as life began to normalize when the virus was brought under control. For Li Yao, the owner of a convenience store in Chengdu, Sichuan province, his decision to work with JD’s social e-commerce platform Jingxi three years ago proved essential in not only surviving but thriving in a year that saw many offline stores hit hard.

Li's wife stocks shelves in their convenience store in Chengdu, Sichuan province
Li’s wife stocks shelves in their convenience store in Chengdu, Sichuan province

In 2017, Li and his wife were struggling to generate a daily turnover of even a few thousand yuan; and found the work of running the store to be tiring and inefficient. Using a notebook, Li painstakingly noted down daily transactions and calculations, marking products that needed to be restocked, what to buy next, and where he might find the best price. Worse, this process was often inaccurate and difficult to predict, resulting in expired products at the end of some months. Sometimes customers requested popular products that were still en route from the warehouse, and walked out empty-handed.

Li knew that this wasn’t sustainable. He scoured local information about other brand stores to which he might attach his business, but ultimately found that the product selection and prices weren’t to his advantage—until he learned about the opportunity to work with JD’s Jingxi platform, which empowers small business owners.

Li contacted the local account manager, a man named Xiao Jiang, and within a few minutes, had decided to do business with JD.

According to Xiao, Li’s problems are exactly what JD’s empowerment platform is set up to address, with a complete set of intelligent solutions and professional team guidance to improve the efficiency of the store. As Li began working with JD, Xiao visited the store often to provide guidance on how to set up display shelves, how to place orders on the JD shopkeeper app, which products to select, and more.

As a member of the post-1990s generation, Li quickly learned the ropes. “After he showed me how to place the orders, I received the goods the next day in the store. I now have a wider selection of snack foods and popular products to choose from, and it’s the fastest way to stock the store.”

JD provides a smart “butler” store management system and automatic replenishment system, cutting away all the tedious processes that Li had previously struggled with while running the store.

“There are smart recommendations for hot products, and it reminds you when replenishment is needed,” Li said. “The system will also recommend to eliminate products that sit in the store for too long, so you don’t continue to buy slow-moving products. In this way, through the automatic adjustment of the smart product stock, the store continues to do better and better business.”

Li’s store has also transitioned to an omnichannel structure, enabling the store to reach more customers and increase revenues. Xiao helped Li navigate the process of opening a JD Convenience GO mini program for the store. Now, when a customer comes to the store, they will receive a notification of discounts that are available, and be reminded that they can order the product to be delivered directly to their home.

“The future development of shopping will definitely be a combination of online and offline,” Xiao said. “Having a mini program is the equivalent of having an online store for free.”

After linking his business to the mini program, Li’s store gained 500-600 new customers during the 11.11 Grand Promotion. These days, Li’s store easily generates RMB 10,000 yuan in daily sales, compared to his previous daily maximum of a few thousand, before he began working with JD.

“After working with JD, it’s not only my business that has undergone major changes—it’s also my thinking,” Li said. “JD has brought a lot to me, and therefore to my customers, thanks to high-quality products, and a strong store management system that enables me to meet consumers’ changing needs.”