Sep 16, 2020|

JD Shares Case Studies on Retail Trends with Brazilian Executives


by Ella Kidron attended an online panel during the Global Retail Show, a large retail event heavily attended by Brazilian executives, to discuss China retail trends and provide practical case studies from JD’s business.

The Global Retail Show aims to promote the debate between players and peers in the retail space throughout their experiences, strategies and ideas. The event, held from September 13-19, promotes a total of 150 hours of content, with curators from 12 countries inviting leaders of different segments, resulting in a team of 267 speakers. It is usually held in Brazil but under COVID-19 was held entirely online this year.

The panel was organized by top Brazilian business school Fundação Dom Cabra (FDC) and Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB). Rodrigo Zeidan, Associate Professor of Practice of Business and Finance at NYU Shanghai and Visiting Professor at FDC, as well as Dr. Yang Li, Associate Professor of Marketing at CKGSB. Mary Wadsworth Darby, Chief Representative of CKGSB Americas, moderated the discussion.

As the only representative from a retailer on the panel, JD’s presentation focused on how innovations in retail are applied throughout the business to improve the customer experience and help brand partners and merchants in the market. The sharing focused on four areas, omnichannel, customization, consumption of services and interactive forms of consumption such as AR/VR and livestreaming.

In omnichannel, the emphasis was on providing a consistent shopping experience across different shopping formats and giving brands and merchants insights into how their consumers behave offline, as well as online, while the section on customization focused on how matching supply and demand from the consumption and production ends can ensure more satisfaction throughout the entire retail process. The trends shared can be summarized in a few words – consistency of experience, customization and interactivity.

Slide from’s panel discussion sharing

Rodrigo Zeidan opened the discussion with an overview of China’s economy. “We overestimate China in the short run and underestimate it in the long run.” He added: “Everyone is enamored by the scale and size of China,” referring to the double digit growth of the last 40 years. “But they underestimate China in the long run… the success of China is going to be earth shattering 20 years from now, much more than it is today.” He went on to explain that the total GDP per employed person in China is now 20% of that of the U.S., but if we assume 5.5% growth for the next 30 years, while the American economy grows at 2.5% per year, labor productivity of China could hit U.S. levels in 2048. “The Chinese economy has so much space to grow…The retail sector is going to explode – it’s already doing that”

Yang Li used the different components Chinese translation of the word “internet”, hulianwang (互联网) to explain the current trends in today’s internet: Connectivity (lian 联), Network (wang 网) and Social (互). In terms of connectivity, Li focused on lowering the cost of connectivity, doing between e-commerce and online advertising and online-to-offline integration. As for network, he explained that today’s network is very diverse. Many people are connected and control their own usage of the Internet and their time. This is one of the reasons that information can go viral. Li also explained how the internet celebrity trend has also emerged from this network diversity.

Finally, in sociability, Li referred to how the social networks built by WeChat and other players is “smaller, but more genuine”. The trust of the social network has also played an integral role in some aspects of e-commerce. He mentioned how Tencent makes money not on WeChat, as Facebook would through advertising, but rather through the programs built on WeChat. He referenced as one of the mini-programs accessible through WeChat thanks to JD’s strategic partnership with Tencent.

The Global Retail Show panel hosted by FDC and CKGSB, attended by and CKGSB speakers