China’s JD.com is leveraging the WeChat platform to help retailers develop mobile retailing capabilities as it seeks to offer ‘retail as a service’.
JD is one of the first companies to leverage WeChat’s mini program platform, which is a sub-app bit of software that can add functionality to the WeChat chat platform, including ecommerce. WeChat is already used by more than 100 million Chinese consumers and leveraging that for ecommerce is seen as a natural progression for social media sites. The Mini program platform allows this to happen.
JD was one of the first retailers to develop a mini ecommerce program and it is now extending that offering to other retailers to offer them ‘retail as a service’. JD uses Tencent’s open platform to offer brands a range of service modules to equip them with all the resources they need to operate WeChat Mini Program stores. Originally launched as a pilot last year, JD’s Kepler Mini Program Solution has recently expanded to offer options covering marketing, logistics, financial services and big data. Over 2,000 brands and merchants have joined the program to date.
And one of the first brands to benefit has been world-renowned Swiss luxury watchmaker Audemars Piguet, When it was mapping out its Chinese e-commerce strategy, JD provided comprehensive support – from technology to logistics – to facilitate the process. The “pop-up” store Audemars Piguet launched on WeChat’s popular Mini Program platform is part of JD’s Kepler Mini Program Solution.
Logistics, customer service and IP infringement have long been factors giving brands – particularly luxury brands – pause for thoughtbefore fully committing to e-commerce in China. JD provides the world’s top brands a guarantee of authenticity, premium service and efficient fulfillment, giving them confidence that they can succeed in China’s rapidly growing market.
“We understand that brands in China all have their own individualized needs,” says Dr. Kefeng Li, a Vice President at JD.com. “This module approach leverages our technology, resources and experience to provide a customized solution for each of our brand partners, bringing China’s vast market into reach with just a few clicks. This is our Retail as a Service vision in action.”