Consumers from the most remote regions of China can now look forward to having access to popular brands such as Vaseline, Lux, and Pond’s.
Leveraging on logistics expertise
With its nationwide network of logistics, JD will help move Unilever goods between warehouses, as well as distribute them to the various outlets of their retail partners.
Previously, Unilever worked with standalone logistics firms such as Deutsche Post’s DHL to distribute its products across China.
Today, with over 300 million customers, JD is China’s largest retailer, both online and offline.
With JD as its partner, Unilever will be empowered with its logistical prowess, which includes 500 warehouses, 7,000 delivery stands, a fleet of drones and autonomous ground vehicles.
With this arsenal, JD is able to deliver 90% of orders on the same or next day across China.
“After working closely with JD as a retail partner, it’s clear that its logistics network and technology are unmatched,” said Rohit Jawa, executive vice president of Unilever North Asia. “By opening that infrastructure to businesses outside of its own platform, JD will now help us bring our most popular products to the most hard-to-reach communities in China, securely and quickly.”
JD pushes Retail as a Service
JD’s deal with Unilever is the latest move by the company to expand its Retail as a Service (RaaS) business, where it provides expertise, technology and infrastructure to other companies outside its e-commerce platform.
Born out of a need to distinguish themselves from its rival, Alibaba, JD was the first large-scale commerce company to build and operate its own logistics network.
The company boosted their logistic capabilities by being early adopters of new supply chain technology, like big data and Artificial Intelligence (AI). For instance, it was the first e-commerce company to use delivery drones.
“By investing in our own network and in innovations for e-commerce, JD has built one of the world’s most extensive and efficient supply chains,” said Zhenhui Wang, CEO of JD Logistics. “We believe in sharing our capabilities, because everyone, including consumers, will benefit from the transparency, speed and efficiency of modernised global commerce.”