JD.com has opened its U.S. Mall for Chinese consumers, showcasing American goods and highlighting authenticity of product as a differentiating factor with its e-tail competitors such as Alibaba.
That’s because JD.com, the largest e-tailer in China, is working directly with brand partners for product to sell on its cross-platform site JD Worldwide. It’s a move that ensures Chinese consumers shopping on the site will be buying authentic, branded goods.
For now, one of the newer brands that will be found exclusively on U.S. Mall will be Taylor Swift’s new fashion line.
Working with Heritage 66 Company, Swift will offer dresses, sweatshirts and tops next month on JD.com’s site. The line is designed specifically for the Chinese market. JD.com is the first authorized seller of Taylor Swift merchandise in China, and the only official online source.
Swift will be in Shanghai Nov. 10 to 12 for her 1989 World Tour Concert.
Richard Liu, JD.com founder and chief executive officer, called Swift a “global icon” and said that the choice of JD.com to host the apparel line is a recognition of the company as “China’s online shopping platform of choice for those who value authenticity and quality.”
Mark McDonald, chairman of Heritage 66, which represents American artists looking to expand their reach in China, said, “JD.com is simply the one and only e-commerce site where shoppers in China can be assured they will get only authentic Taylor Swift products.”
Other brands that will be available on U.S. Mall include Converse, Samsonite and those that are part of Global Brands Group, including Nautica Kids and Jeep apparel.
Liu spoke at the company’s first Worldwide Business Conference in the U.S. on Monday at The Plaza Hotel in Manhattan, noting that the company’s main focus is on “reducing channel costs and price for [our] customers.”
JD.com and Alibaba are competitors in the race to grab market share from the Chinese consumer. JD.com has noted its zero tolerance policy toward counterfeits as a way to distinguish its offerings from that of Alibaba.
JD.com’s cross-border platform JD Worldwide connects international brands with Chinese consumers. It also has a program that helps it curtail the presence of counterfeits on its site.
The company has seven fulfillment centers and 123 warehouses in 40 cities, along with 3,210 delivery stations and pick-up stations in 1,862 counties and districts across China.
Liu said at the conference, “We don’t charge an additional membership fee for same-day service.”
The company is now testing a pilot program that will provide for delivery of an order in between 15 to 30 minutes.
JD.com on its regular site buys much of the merchandise directly from vendor partners, and that’s one way of ensuring the products sold on the site are not counterfeit goods. That model is about 60 percent direct-sale and 40 percent marketplace goods from vendors selling on the site. JD Worldwide, where U.S. Mall is hosted, provides vendor partners with different options for selling products. Further, favorable trade policies in China’s e-commerce free trade zones and JD’s employment of bonded warehouses ensure the fastest times for customs clearance and delivery to consumers.
As for working to provide more and more fashion brands on its site for its customer base, Liu said authenticity of product is something the company will continue to focus on. “I believe as time goes, more and more brands will cooperate with JD.com,” he predicted.
He added that while the company is focused right now on bringing overseas brands back home to the Chinese consumer, over time as China’s brands develop, “JD will develop with them to bring the brands to overseas markets.”
Liu said, “As American companies increasingly understand our core advantages of zero tolerance towards counterfeits and unparalleled same-day delivery capabilities, we are gaining excellent momentum attracting U.S. brands to our site.”
Alfred Goh, senior vice president and global head, fast growing enterprises, at DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation, said, “With increasing demand for ‘Made in America’ products, Chinese consumers are buying American products from JD.com at an exponential rate, with exports from the U.S. into China in 2014 totaling over $123 billion.”
DHL is the preferred logistics service partner for shipping American products orders on JD.com’s U.S. Mall to consumers in China.
Bruce Rockowitz, chief executive officer and vice chairman of Global Brands Group Holding Ltd., said his firm is looking forward to “making even more leading American brands available through this innovative platform.”