If you are a business owner who is interested in selling products to China, then Jingdong (JD) should be on your radar. With its 88 Million daily active users (2019) It has become one of the most popular ways for Chinese consumers to purchase goods and services online. In this guide, we will discuss how you can sell on Jingdong as well as some of the more important things that you need to know about the platform.
JD com: One of China’s eCommerce Leader
Unlike other e-commerce platforms, JD.com is not just an e-commerce website. It’s a whole ecosystem of innovations, from futuristic brick-and-mortar stores using AI, to drones and autonomous trucks. JD.com was able to compete with other e-commerce giants such as Alibaba and Taobao as well as to attract many famous international brands.
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Short History of Jingdong (JD)
Founded in 1998 by Liu Qiangdong in Beijing, JD (which stands for Jingdong 京东) was at the beginning only a magneto-optical store, which diversified over the years with electronics, computers, mobile phones, etc. In 2004, it opened its online retail platform and quickly became one of the two massive B2C online retailers in China with its competitor the Alibaba-run Tmall. Now, JD.com is partly owned by the giant Tencent, which has 20% of its stake. As of 2021, JD.com has over 470 million active customers.
In 2019, the total net revenues of the online shopping company JD.com amounted to 576.9 billion yuan. JD.com runs one of the biggest online marketplaces in China, other platforms being Tmall, Pinduoduo, and Suning.
What has made the success of JD?
JD.com has set its standards for online shopping through its commitment to quality, authenticity, and the variety of products it offers, covering everything from fresh food and apparel to electronics and cosmetics. Another asset of JD.com is the delivery time, which is, in general, the same day (or less than 24 hours).
Since its partnership with Tencent, JD.com was able to stand out in terms of marketing, benefiting from Tencent’s database.
Another key-point of JD’s success it the wide range of products it has. Not only you will be able to purchase smartphones, vacuum-cleaners, computer, but you can also buy your groceries on JD.com.
For example, 7Fresh is a grocery store chain that is really popular in China for its fresh food products.
What are the most popular categories of products sold on JD?
According to JD.com’s data report, beauty products and cosmetics, maternal & child health supplements are the most popular imported categories for JD Worldwide’s consumers.
Products from the U.S, Japan, and Australia were the top three best-selling countries in 2019.
Dyson, Casio, Philips, Vtech, and Shiseido were among the best-selling brands. Top-ranked supermarket brands are also featured on JD Worldwide for Chinese customers, including Walmart, Rakuten, and 24Shopping.
JD.com: The Future of Retailing
These past few years, JD.com has invested a lot in high-tech and AI delivery through drones and robots and has the largest drone delivery infrastructure in the world. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, it has started testing robotic delivery services by drones, as well as operating driver-less delivery by unveiling its first autonomous truck in the streets of Wuhan.
In 2017, JD.com introduced its JD.ID X-Mart in three cities (Shenzhen, Dongguan, Guilin). These stores are using AI, facial recognition and radio frequency identification that allows users to pick their items and then directly walk out of the store without even queuing to pay as they are automatically debited the moment they get out of the store.
The E-Commerce Industry in China
These past few years, China has become one of the world’s largest e-commerce markets. As the major driver of the country’s retail economy, e-commerce sales have experienced considerable growth from 12.4% in 2014 compared to 36.6% in 2019. In 2023, the e-commerce industry in China is expected to reach around 64% of the total retail sales market with an estimated amount of $1.9 trillion.
How the growth of e-commerce is reshaping JD’s logistics?
JD.com is known as one of the fastest e-commerce websites in terms of delivery, using its nationwide logistics network and sophisticated data-driven delivery technologies. The growth of e-commerce in China has greatly contributed to innovations in terms of logistics for many companies. One of the strongest competitors of JD.com is Alibaba, which is also striving to accelerate its delivery time by using new technologies.
JD.com has one of the largest infrastructures in the world in terms of logistics. As of 2021, JD.com operated more than 28 “Asia No. 1” logistics parks, which are among the largest and most automated centers in Asia. JD.com also leverages a network of over 900 warehouses. It is the only e-commerce platform in the world to provide different sizes of warehousing, cross the border, cold chain delivery, frozen and chilled warehousing facilities, B2B, and crowdsourcing logistics. Thanks to its logistics and deliverymen, JD.com is able to have over 90% of its orders delivered the same or the next day.
Why should you sell on JD in China?
If you want to start your business in China, selling on e-commerce platforms is almost considered as mandatory as the majority of Chinese consumers are shopping online. Even though Tmall is the leading e-commerce platform in China, JD.com also generates a lot of traffic, attracting everyday 88 million of daily active users. If you had the idea of creating your own Chinese website and sell your products on it, you should forget that idea. In fact, Chinese consumers are really cautious when it comes to buy products online, so they prefer to buy on popular e-commerce platforms.
Between 2009 and 2020, Alibaba’s Tmall, JD.com, and Pinduoduo ranked as the leading three Chinese e-commerce retailers, accounting for nearly 80% of the total online retail sales in the country. JD.com was the second leading B2C retailer just after Tmall, with 26.51% of the share of sales.
JD.com can be a good alternative to Tmall or even a way to expand your activities even more if you want to be on both Tmall and JD.com. Given the popularity of these two e-commerce platforms, you will be able to quickly gain Chinese consumers’ attention if you adapt your marketing strategies to the Chinese market. As a Digital Marketing Agency that has collaborated with many brands, we can help you find the best strategy to enter the Chinese market through e-commerce platforms without a hitch. So, if you have any questions about JD.com, you can contact us.
JD.com vs JD Worldwide
JD has three methods of sales which are: JD Direct sales, JD Marketplace (= JD.com), and JD Worldwide. JD direct sales allows you to sell directly your products to consumers through the company’s website. JD Marketplace (= JD.com) enables well-established and reliable third-party sellers to set up their own store and sell their products to customers.
Read our JD Worldwide guide
If you are looking into expanding your activities in China, you have probably heard of JD Worldwide. But, you might be wondering what are the differences between JD.com and JD Worldwide?
As a matter of fact, JD.com’s platform enables well-established and reliable third-party sellers to sell their products via the JD.com website directly to Chinese consumers. However, most of the sellers on JD.com are already well established in China.
On the other hand, JD Worldwide (jd.hk) is just JD.com’s cross-border platform that enables international brands from around the world to sell their products directly to Chinese consumer. Thus, even those that do not have physical stores in China can get to sell their products on the platform.
JD Worldwide provides global shipping and warehousing solutions that ensure products from countries around the world are delivered to the doorsteps of Chinese customers at ease. It means that you will be able to send your products via DHL, Australia Post, etc. Then, it’s also important to take into account that JD Worldwide was mainly created for brands, franchisees, retailers and traders that are legally registered outside China selling foreign products. So, if you are not well established in China yet, you should go for JD Worldwide instead of JD.com.
JD vs Tmall
Tmall and JD are the most popular e-commerce platforms in China. However, you might be wondering which one to choose in order to expand your activities? Even though the two of them are quite equivalent in terms of services and notoriety, there are a few differences between the two of them that you should into consideration beforehand:
- JD.com focuses more on new technologies (home appliance and electronic equipment), while Tmall focuses on clothes, cosmetics, and F&B.
- Subscription and management fees are pretty much the same
- The process to have a official and verified account is pretty much the same too. Both of them requires to have an online presence in China, the quality of your products and your brand’s reputation are also important.
- Both Tmall and JD.com have their own cross-border platforms enabling foreign businesses to sell directly to China: Tmall Global and JD Worldwide.
If you want more informations on how to choose between Tmall or JD, you can contact us directly.
What are the steps to start selling on JD.com?
As you probably already know, Chinese consumers are extremely cautious when it comes to buying goods online. So, as one of the most popular e-commerce websites, it is no surprise that customers recognize that JD.com guarantees quality products, even if they have to pay a little bit more than on other websites. Thus, you will have to prove that are qualified to sell your products on JD.com by following a long process of application in order to obtain a verified account.
How to become a seller on JD.com?
First of all, you have to know that JD.com only accepts well-established, reliable third-party sellers on its platform. In order to apply for it, you will have to use JD.com’s industry-leading fulfillment infrastructure, in terms of marketing, financing, and customer services, delivery, etc.
Moreover, before you can start selling on JD’s platform, you must complete several steps:
Step 1: In terms of preparation, be sure to understand the conditions mentioned in JD’s merchant contract, prepare all the documents to prove that you are qualified to do business in China. Then, set up your JD wallet (which is JD’s online payment platform).
Step 2: To apply, you will first need to register your account and enter all the information about your company and your future store. Then, submit the contract and submit your application.
Step 3: JD.com will examine your application as well as all the information provided. You’ll be able to check the status of it anytime your want.
Step 4: Once your application will be approved, you will have to give your contact information and address maintenance, verify your account’s security, and then pay the fees to open your online store.
Globally, if you want to sell your products on JD.com, you will have to pay between $8000 – $50,000 as a deposit, and between $1,500 to $10,000 USD fee per year. You will also have to give JD a commission between 5-8% once you’ll sell your products. Don’t forget that you will also have to pay the management fees. All these fees will depend on the sector of activity in which you operate, the scale of your company, your revenues, etc. If you want more information about that, you can contact us directly.
Moreover, as you can see, you will need to have a translator or a Chinese employee to apply for JD.com as everything is written in Mandarin Chinese. If you need help, we have experts in this fiels who can take care of your application on JD.com, do not hesitate to contact us.
What company can apply to register on JD Worldwide?
Even though the Chinese market is full of opportunities for foreign brands, the truth is that Chinese consumers tend focus only on the biggest brands that are already well-known in China and have a strong presence online. So, since the amount you’ll have to invest is quite important, you should be careful when planning your marketing and advertising strategy on JD.com, but also on Chinese social media.
How to Register an Official Account on JD Worldwide?
Suppose that you are not established in China yet, you will have to follow a few steps in order to be able to sell your products on JD Worldwide.
First of all, you have to know that JD will treat in priorities famous brands, famous retailers, department stores etc. in order to be sure that Chinese consumers will be interested in buying your products. So, if you are a small brand, it might be more difficult, but not impossible ! You can contact us to talk about your projects in China, and we will be able to give some tips and advice.
Then , you will have to complete this process that will be different according to the type of store you want.
Moreover, you will also have to respect these criterias:
- Be a brand owner or have a license
- Have a company establish abroad with a trademark registration
- A track record of your products
- An operational history to demonstrate that you are not a fake foreign company
- A USD bank account
- A business registration
How to sell more on JD?
Using the e-commerce platform JD might be different than using Amazon for example. Moreover, you will need to attract customers and increase your brand awareness both on JD’s website, but also on social media that you have to include as part of your marketing and advertising plan. Here are some tips to sell more on Jingdong.
Optimizing your JD flagship store according to Chinese consumers’ taste
Chinese consumers are indeed different tastes when it comes to the layout of the website. While we tend to prefer simple layout with a white background, Chinese consumers tend to prefer colorful websites.
Moreover, don’t forget that you target Chinese consumers, so you should write your content in simplified Chinese. You also have to consider the fact that Chinese consumers like to scroll for pictures, so you will have to put lots of pictures (between 5 and 10) and even videos if possible. Then, put a detailed description of your product.
Advertising on JD
If you want to do advertising on JD.com, you can either use banner ads or PPC (pay-per-click). These two solutions are great to get traffic on your online store but not necessarily optimum for an acquisition strategy. Moreover, advertising in China requires a different approach from what we are accustomed to, especially on Chinese e-commerce platforms such as JD.com. However, some tools of advertising are quite similar to ours.
If you want to increase your ROI (Return on Investment) be careful not to throw money away by investing in massive paid advertising. The best way to benefit from advertising is to plan a detailed advertising campaign that will include Baidu SEO, PR, Social media, KOLs and of course, a Chinese website !
You can also use forums to increase your visibility and e-reputation such as Zhihu (知乎) the most popular Chinese Q&A forum, or apps like RED (aka Xiaohongshu 小红书)
The importance of e-reputation in China
Driving traffic to your store won’t be necessarily an issue, but getting consumers’ trust is harder. In order to do so, you’ll have to work on your online presence and e-reputation. Indeed, Chinese consumers are extremely suspicious of products and brands that they have never heard of before. They will most of the time rely on other user’s experiences, recommendations, looking at reviews. Word-of-mouth is actually one of the best ways to attract new customers, and this is why your brand e-reputation is essential when it comes to entering the Chinese market. You will also have to be careful when it comes to consumers’ feedback on your products, as it will influence potential consumers and even e-commerce platforms such as JD.com. As soon as you’ll get a few hundred sales, you have to encourage your customers to write reviews in order to attract new customers.
To maintain and increase your e-reputation in China, you can use the following methods:
- Social Media: Wechat, Red, Weibo, Douyin, Kuaishou… there are plenty you can join. They are great to build a following and improve customer loyalty. They allow you to interact directly with your target audience and run paid advertising for traffic acquisition and even get customers’ detailed reviews (RED). Some of them also tend to rank quite high on Baidu which is great for credibility and for your SEO.
- KOLs & Influencers: They are well trusted and highly influential. There are many ways you can collaborate with KOLs offering you some flexibility in the way you want to promote your brand.
- PR, forums, and Q&A: The best way to build brand credibility. Thirds party recommending your brand will always be more effective to increase conversion than official brand communication. Just like social media posts, they rank high on Baidu.
To put it in a nutshell, we can say that e-reputation can be a significant opportunity to improve the consumers’ perception of your brand without investing in massive advertising campaigns. According to a report from Mintel, 75% of the Chinese population using e-commerce platforms are posting online feedback after buying their products.
WeChat: A Powerful Tool to Promote your JD Flagship Store
As the most popular app in China, WeChat is a must-have if you want to build a community and succeed in China. You have to know that more than 905 million Chinese citizens are using WeChat in their daily life.
By using WeChat, you’ll be able to communicate directly with your clients, share content, create an H5 brochure, send e-vouchers, and advertise your online store. On top of that, take into consideration that both WeChat and JD.com belong to Tencent, so the links of your JD store will work smoothly on WeChat and people will be able to find it on the search bar.
Is JD suitable for your brand to sell in China?
JD.com is the partner of choice for both local and international brands wanting to reach Chinese consumers online. JD.com provides a full range of services from marketing, consumer targeting and big data-driven analytics, logistics and warehousing, and financing.
Contact us to Start Selling on JD com
The Chinese market is one of the most promising in the world in terms of opportunities, both for smaller companies like startups, but also for larger international companies. However, in order to succeed, you will need to use local e-commerce websites, such as JD.com, one of the leaders in the Chinese e-commerce sector. To do so, you will need to do a lot of research beforehand as well as be prepared to complete quite a long procedure in order to sell your goods on the platform. That’s why working with specialists in the Chinese market can be the key to success.
Working with an agency which has both the western and Chinese point of view like Gentlemen Marketing Agency can help you overcome the pitfalls of the Chinese market. Our agency has accompanied many companies entering the Chinese market through JD.com. Proud of the success of the companies that contacted us, our experts are ready to help any company willing to do business in China. So, if you are interested in doing business in China, do not hesitate to contact us and we will reply within 24 hours.