JD.com “declares war” on Amazon with a “robot store” model in Europe
The special feature of the two physical retail stores that Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has just opened in the Netherlands is that they are operated by collection and delivery robots.
|The unmanned delivery vehicle was previously tested by JD.com. Photo: AFP|
These two “robot shops” are branded Ochama by JD.com (hereinafter referred to as JD), located in two cities of Leiden and Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Putting these two “robot stores” into operation has created JD’s first foray into the European market in implementing the model of physical retail stores, and affirms the group’s ambitions in the future. expanding market share beyond China.
Ochama is a combination of two concepts “omnichannel” (multi-channel) and “amazing” (great). Ochama stores are tasked with consolidating online orders with a pick-up store, where robots will prepare parcels for collection and home delivery, JD said in a statement late Thursday.
Customers can use the Ochama app to order products ranging from food to beauty products and home furnishings. They can then go to the store where the automated vehicles and robotic arms will pick and sort the orders. Customers when shopping at an Ochama store, can scan the barcode on their app and the order will be delivered to them via a conveyor belt.
From a competitive perspective, JD’s attack on the European market is the beginning of a potential challenge for rival from the US, Amazon. Before that, the US e-commerce company opened cashierless, automated grocery stores named Amazon Go stores in its home country and the UK.
Meanwhile, JD said it planned to develop two more Ochama stores in the Dutch city of Amsterdam and Utrecht. This group intends to develop the Ochama store model with a focus on expanding logistics and e-commerce business. In China, this group operates a specialized logistics unit and is implementing a plan to expand logistics to the international market.
Currently, most of JD’s revenue still comes from the Chinese market, but in recent years JD has taken bold steps outside the Chinese market.
JD is operating an online shopping site called Joybuy.com for international customers. In Southeast Asia, the group participates in an e-commerce joint venture in Thailand and is the largest shareholder of Tiki (Vietnam) e-commerce platform through its branch in Singapore.
Not only participating in the e-commerce field, JD is encroaching on the development of logistics real estate in Vietnam. A few days ago, JD Property, a company affiliated to JD, started construction of the industrial real estate project JD Property Logistics Park with a total land area of about 100,000 m2 in Tan Duc Industrial Park, Long An province. It is expected that after completion and operation, JD Property Logistics Park will meet the flexible leasing demand from 6,000 m2 to 50,000 m2 of tenants from many different fields and countries.