Oct 20, 2020|

Young Merchant Weathers COVID-19 Crisis with the Help of JD


by Martin Li

In late January, as Hubei province faced widespread lockdowns due to COVID-19, a 34-year-old merchant named Xiang Chao saw a massive drop in sales on his JD store.

Xiang, who is a former swineherd, sells regional specialties including cured meat produced in Laifeng County of Enshi City in Hubei province. After joining JD’s ecommerce platform, it took only two years for Xiang to grow the store from annual sales of RMB 100,000 yuan to 15 million yuan.

However, Xiang’s streak of success came to a sudden halt when the pandemic accelerated.

“I thought the first half of this year was hopeless,” Xiang said. The first two months of this year saw almost zero orders in his store.

At the end of March, Xiang received call from JD’s Song Xuehui, who supports operation of specialty stores including Xiang’s. Song recommended Xiang take part in a promotion campaign to support merchants and brands in Hubei, and he agreed.

Xiang’s products were given high exposure during the campaign, which lasted more than one month and ultimately brought sales of 1.4 million yuan to his store. Many buyers posted encouraging messages to Xiang online.

“I saw he was relieved from worries and gained more confidence after the campaign,” said Song.

Xiang continues to embrace e-commerce solutions to boost business. He livestreams on JD for six hours every day, and aims to sell two million yuan of products during the upcoming Singles Day(November 11th ) shopping festival on JD.

He spends between 2-3% of sales on advertising on JD, which he said can generate higher sales than other platforms. At the suggestion of the JD team, Xiang always combines advertising with discount campaigns on JD.

As a result of this support from JD, his store’s sales exceeded RMB 10 million yuan on JD in the first nine months of the year, despite next to no sales in the first few months—and are expected to reach RMB 15 million yuan by the end of the year.