While Alibaba has its huge 11.11 shopping festival – aka Singles Day – which dwarfs Black Friday and Cyber Monday, rival JD.com and partner Walmart are weighing in with 8.8, and hoping its associated luck rubs off.
Walmart and JD.com are expanding their strategic partnership in China. In conjunction with that, the partners are launching a new shopping festival in mainland China on Aug. 8. The Bentonville, AR giant will now have coverage of 99% of the Chinese mainland through JD.com’s logistics and delivery network.
On that day – considered extremely lucky in Chinese culture – customers will be offered discounts, deals and rewards across all JD.com and Walmart channels. There will also be a live streamed broadcast from Walmart’s first U.S. store and opportunities for customers to share their experiences and earn rewards.
The expanded partnership includes a jointly developed supply chain and backend system to integrate inventory management. JD.com’s order management system will analyze data from the partner’s combined inventories to determine whether a JD.com warehouse or a Walmart store is closer to the customer, dispatching a JD.com courier. The companies are piloting this integration in six Chinese cities.
Since last week, customers have been able to scan a QR code at more than 400 Walmart stores in China to earn coupons for use online during 8.8.
The partners are also integrating physical stores with an online presence. JD.com recently set up a JD Home store inside a Walmart location in Shenzhen, selling consumer electronic products. There are also JD.com pickup stations in Walmart’s Chinese stores.
Since teaming up with JD.com one year ago, Walmart has launched five online stores on JD platforms.
While far behind market leader Alibaba, JD.com is growing rapidly, according to Investopedia. Ecommerce in China is projected to grow 19% in 2017, according to McKinsey & Co., far behind the simmering 70% rate in 2011. By comparison, JD.com recently reported 42% growth in gross merchandise value in the first quarter.
In February, Walmart increased its stake in JD.com to 12.1%, seeing it as a strong route into the massive Chinese ecommerce market.