JD.com billionaire founder Richard Liu announced that the company would be “doing the right thing in the right way” when it celebrated its 18th anniversary in 2021. The company has followed the words with action by opening two robotic shops in the Netherlands on January 10, 2022. The supply chain technology and service provider shops have the name “ochama”, and more locations will follow. Ochama is a name combining omnichannel and amazing.
The two pioneer pick-up shops are in Rotterdam and Leiden. JD.com plans to open two more in Amsterdam and Utrecht. The new model shops introduce a unique shopping format that merges online ordering and pick-up shops. Robots prepare parcels and participate in-home delivery services.
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JD.com and Technology
JD.com has a history of using technology in its product delivery service. Liu, the founder, has been an online retailer since a 2003 SARS outbreak in China affected in-person businesses. His company Jingdong enjoyed the success of brick and mortar business, but he was still enthusiastic about technology after learning to code. Liu even rented the first retail space in China’s technology hub.
He realized the full benefits of moving operations online after the SARS outbreak. He got increased requests from clients who sought to shop while in their homes. Richard Liu trusted his instinct to close his physical store and sell products online. Liu knew he was responsible for maintaining a good customer service experience by utilizing technology to achieve a positive user experience during browsing until delivery.
The coding skills came in handy by enabling Liu to develop back-end platforms and forward-thinking technology further. The superiority of his technology put him ahead of early competitors. He successfully used drones to provide same or next day delivery to over 1 billion people.
The idea of utilizing technology in the delivery business paid off
Richard Liu has the largest fleet of delivery drones worldwide. Revenue generation shows that JD.com is the largest e-commerce business in China. The company began trading on Nasdaq in 2014. It has over 471 million active customers and reported revenue of $108.2 billion in 2020.
It is the first time for JD.com to launch a retail store in Europe. The opening also marks JD.com first omnichannel in the Netherlands to offer food and non-food in a single shopping App.
Ochama, JD Worldwide general manager Pass Lei said the company aspires to “Create an unparalleled shopping format for European customers with better service and price.” Lei added that the company would utilize its rich experience in retail and advanced logistics technology it has accumulated over time.
The Omni-channel model brings the convenience for shoppers to order a range of A-brand products through Ochama’s App.
Some of the products on offer are
- Fresh and packaged food
- Maternal and child products
- Household appliances
- Home furnishings
An automated warehouse is a plan for a future pick-up shop. The automation allows people to witness robots, including automated ground vehicles (AGV), robotic arms and more devices pick, sort and transfer merchandise. Shoppers will see all this by scanning the QR code of the app at check-out to watch a conveyor belt bring their orders as a part of a hassle-free cashier-less shopping trip.
Ochama COO Mark den Butter noted that the shops could reduce the product price by an additional 10% for the chain’s member customers by tapping on technologies in supply chain management and logistics. Additionally, people have an option to visit a pick-up shop showroom to experience an assortment of Ochama’s products or choose a next-day home delivery service that does not require a shop visit.
The Netherlands is a highly urbanized European country. World Bank Data shows that 92 percent of the Dutch population lives in cities with an advanced urban structure. The lifestyle contributed to a decision by ochama to open shops in four Netherland cities.
Den Butter observed that “Dutch people have a passion for innovation and a green environment and ochama shopping format design contributes to both.” Ochama offers convenient one-stop shopping without queues and heavy traffic jams.