Social group e-commerce booms in China during Covid-19 crisis

Social group e-commerce is booming, fuelled by the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, reports Chinese online retail platform JD. 

The online retailing model has experienced a major boost as Chinese consumers under lockdown have recommended products to friends, customers and others in close proximity, with JD’s sales in the sector for the first quarter of this year exceeding that of the entirety of last year.

An example of the boom is JD’s collaboration with China Youth Travel Service, offering tour guides part-time work as JD “shopping guides” via WeChat to recommend products to friends, customers and others nearby.

JD’s broader social group e-commerce initiative on WeChat enables participants to act as shopping guides to recommend products in the digital community.

“JD continues to recommend good products to Chinese consumers through innovative marketing models,” said social group e-commerce initiative head Jiarui Liu. 

“Sales representatives and tour guides from travel agencies have something in common with young moms and middle-aged women. Their customers are highly targeted and have a strong sense of trust, which is consistent with the trust that JD has established over the years. JD highly values working with people who have a strong connection with their customer groups, and it is also a good way to explore new business scenarios.”


As part social group e-commerce initiative, JD’s cloud-store solution is assisting offline stores to resume trading post pandemic. After receiving training, shopping guides can use the solution to generate orders. Thus far, 54,000 shopping guides in the fashion and home industry have joined JD’s cloud store solution.

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