Chinese B2C e-commerce giant JD.com Inc on Thursday said fashion brand Uniqlo will open a flagship store on its marketplace platform, joining fashion retailers Gap, Levi’s, Lacoste, Marks & Spencer and Skechers to reach China’s online shoppers.
JD.com’s marketplace is increasingly becoming the platform of choice for both domestic and internationally renowned brands and manufacturers seeking to reach the company’s massive base of active Chinese shoppers. This latest link-up represents a significant milestone for JD.com, according to Cinthia Chen, Partner at OC&C Strategy Consultants Greater China.
"The partnership underlines JD.com’s reputation as an e-commerce market leader. They have been successful because they get the fundamentals right, offering a fast and reliable service, and enhanced shopping experience that has built trust with online consumers. In turn, this appeals to both domestic and internationally brands looking to reach the massive Chinese online retail market," noted Chen.
Uniqlo will become the first international clothing brand on the platform to use JD.com’s warehouse and logistics services.
"We are excited to offer our customers the use of JD.com’s amazingly fast and trusted last-mile delivery network, which has proven to be an advantage in China’s e-commerce market. We expect that the secure and seamless shopping experience that JD.com offers will turn many shoppers into new Uniqlo customers in China, which is one of its most important overseas markets," said Pan Ning, CEO of Uniqlo Greater China.
JD.com hopes the partnership with Uniqlo will encourage more companies to use its logistics services. "We can expect more brands to review the different logistics options available to them, whether they keep operations in-house, outsource to a specialist third-party provider or, opt for an e-retailer’s solution. Ultimately, any decision will depend on what makes most sense in terms of cost and customer experience," said Chen.
The battle to attract brands has never been more intense as many brands choose to be on more than one e-commerce platform.
"Uniqlo was one of the first strategic partners when Alibaba’s Tmall accelerated its efforts to recruit international brands, contributing significantly to building Tmall’s image and driving customer traffic. Uniqlo’s decision to open a flagship online store on JD.com further helps to enhance the e-retailer’s reputation. However, the competition is not standing still, Tmall made similar moves to upgrade its image by recruiting more premium tenants such as Burberry and Hugo Boss in 2014," Chen added.