JD.com ready to roll out Thai domain
The online marketplace www.jd.co.th is scheduled to open in August, operated by Central JD Commerce, a joint venture between JD.com and Central Group.
Ms Li has heralded Thailand as an attractive market for growth.
After signing an agreement last November, the soft launch of jd.co.th is set for mid-June.
"Thailand is our second [biggest] market in Southeast Asia, following Indonesia, with Vietnam in third place," said Gloria Li, corporate vice-president of JD.com, the Nasdaq-listed firm and largest online retailer in China.
Talking to Thai media as part of a group interview during a visit to its Beijing headquarters, Ms Li said Southeast Asia became part of JD.com's overseas expansion strategy two years ago.
"We will bring our technology expertise and transfers to local teams, building an innovative retail industry," she said.
Ms Li said Thailand is an attractive market because of its preference for high-quality products and the rising number of middle-income consumers.
A partnership with Central Group will enhance the customer experience for online shopping and logistics, as well as warehouse and delivery capabilities.
There will be a marketplace providing goods from select, qualified merchants, most of whom are brand owners and small- and medium-sized enterprises.
Ms Li said the joint-venture will export Thai products where the company has a footprint, such as China and Russia.
JD.com introduced its "super brand sales" campaign for Thai products on May 18, spurred by growing demand for durian and tiger shrimp.
The marketplace will open more opportunities for local partners as JD.com can sell its technology to them, helping retailers increase their efficiency through customer insights developed from big data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), automated warehouses and automated delivery by drone.
"Our big data analytics technology will provide customers insights into products for which there is high demand, [helping them] run promotions for targeted customers," she said, adding that the return on investment in relation to such marketing campaigns can be measured.
JD.com operates joint-ventures abroad, while investing in every step of operations to control supply chain management, from procurement to delivery. In Indonesia, the retailer has 1,400 employees and nine warehouses.
JD.com's Thailand office is at Gaysorn Tower, where Chodok Bhicharnchitr oversees the merchandise. Rvisra Chirathivat, daughter of Suthichai Chirathivat, is chief of marketing at Central JD Commerce, while the company's chief executive is from JD.com.
Earlier this year, Central JD Commerce signed a warehouse leasing agreement with WHA Corporation Plc, granting it 6,848 square metres at Bang Na-Trat KM 19.
Ms Li said the company has also explored the possibility of setting up a premium brand website here, run separately from jd.co.th, similar to Toplife, an exclusive platform of JD.com in China which was introduced last October.
"We built a special advanced AI-powered warehouse to store those luxury products, which are delivered by white glove carriers," she said.
Ms Li said luxury brands need to go online, as China e-commerce penetration accounts for 20% of total retail. For this exclusive platform, the buyers are mainly from capitals and second-tier cities.
Overall, JD.com has 301 million customers, with 82% of its orders made via mobile. JD.com is the largest retailer in China, with revenue of US$55.7 billion (1.8 trillion baht) in 2017. JD.com is also the world's third largest internet company by revenue, behind Amazon and Alphabet.