JD and WeChat usher in era of ‘retail as a service’ and help luxury brands tap into Chinese m-commerce

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JD.com and WeChat are helping retailers turn the leading chat platform in China into a mobile commerce marketplace and offering ‘retail as a service’ to brands looking to enter the Chinese market.

The move exploits WeChat’s mini program platform, a suite of sub-app mini programs that add functionality to the WeChat platform and allow brands to create new add on services to the chat platform. JD.com was one of first retailers to make use of the ecommerce WeChat mini program for its own goods. Now it is offering it out as a service to allow other retailers and brands to sell on WeChat.

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 thought before 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. 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.”
– Kefeng Li, a Vice President, JD.com

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