by Doris Liu and Xinyi Guan
JD Ehome, the first Apple authorized physical store operated by JD.com in China, was launched on September 3 in Beijing, marking a closer collaboration between the two companies by applying JD’s self-operated business model to Apple products from online to offline for the first time.
The brand-new store also marks a milestone, in that JD.com is the only online retailer in China in nearly five years to be authorized as an Apple Premium Reseller (APR), the best-in-class Apple shop. Normally, Apple selects partners of APR stores carefully with strict requirements of the location, size, store design and more. In addition, all the salespeople, trainers and technicians in APR stores are trained and certified by Apple in order to provide professional consulting services to consumers.
In the sales of mobile phones, physical stores are indispensable as they offer a space conducive to creative experiences that are not limited to trying out products, but also community gatherings, and corporate image and culture enhancement, among others.
With JD’s full-chain and full-scenario capabilities, JD Ehome can smoothly integrate online and offline consumption to cater to the consumers’ needs for an omni-channel experience. Meanwhile, JD’s ability of national layout establishes potential possibilities for JD Ehome to reach out to more cities and regions.
A “little black card” is available exclusively for consumers who visit JD Ehome and meet certain requirements. Pre-orders can be made with the card with multiple membership services following the Apple’s Fall Out event on September 8.
So far, JD Daojia (JDDJ), an on-demand retail platform operated in China, has been qualified as the only such platform for Apple’s pre-sale, which means JDDJ and Shop Now, a jointly built business dedicated for JD’s on-demand consumer retail section, can guarantee the delivery in an hour or even minutes when the new Apple products are available starting September 16.
“The cooperation between JD.com and Apple is not an individual attempt, but an exploration of JD’s new offline self-operated model with long-termism and development vision,” said the head of JD’s APR business. “It is the start of a new chapter and the direction of an in-depth cooperation as well as value extension between JD and Apple.”