JD.com is one of the biggest eCommerce platforms in China that has grown at a rate of more than 30% a year. Not surprisingly, increasingly more foreign companies see JD as one of the best options to reach the growing Chinese online consumer market.
Before you start selling in China, it’s important that you know what products are in demand on the different eCommerce websites. Previously, I wrote an article where I list some of the top-selling products on Tmall.
Today, we’ll have a look at some of the top-selling products on JD, Tmall’s main competitor. Let’s get right into it.
1. Electronics & Home Appliances
JD attracts plenty of Chinese buyers who look for electronic merchandise, gadgets, and home appliances. The company does its utmost to grab market shares in these markets and acquired 46% of the big home appliance retail chain Five Star in 2019, valued at USD 190 million.
It’s not strange why JD is so strong in this market as it’s the preferred option among many men who are young and middle-aged, with a high purchasing power.
With that said, JD also pays much attention to the offline market and has over 10,000 retail stores for electronics and home appliances. This outperforms all of its competitors and has boosted sales significantly.
Looking at the top-selling brands of home appliances, Tinton Life has seen great sales volumes where products such as vacuum sealers, electric shavers, and vacuum cleaners are in high demand.
Platform Fees for Electronics & Home Appliances
As explained in my article about top-selling products on Tmall, sellers need to pay for different fees when selling on JD:
- Yearly service fee
- Payment processing fee (Tenpay)
The deposit is a one-off ‘refundable’ fee and USD 15,000 for Home Appliances and Electronic Products.
The commission standard rate is 3% and where a quarterly rebate frame rate of 1% applies. Simply put, if your investment into the platform is lower than your Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) multiplied by 1% in a quarter, then you need to pay the difference.
The yearly service fee is lower than Tmall by comparison and USD 1,000. On top of these fees, you also need a payment processing fee that is generally 1%.
2. Automotive Parts
Automotive spare parts have become increasingly in the past years, many big automotive companies, including Toyota, have partnered with JD. Not only are consumers able to buy spare parts, but also to book maintenance services online.
This industry will increase much in the coming years and it’s even said that other automotive companies have plans to solely dedicate their after-market sales to JD.com. We don’t only see this trend in China, but also in countries like India, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
Yishen Tang, the General Manager of JD’s auto accessories department, is positive about the future outlook for this market:
“China’s rapidly growing market for car parts and services offers a logical extension to our ‘Boundaryless Retail’ vision and a great way to provide increased convenience to our auto customers through this partnership.”.
Platform Fees for Automotive Parts
The deposit is the same as for most other products and USD 15,000. The commission, on the other hand, ranges between 2% to 3%. Pay attention as there’s no rebate frame rate, which you will be subject to when selling household appliances and Consumer Electronics.
The yearly service fee is the same for these products and USD 1,000. Keep in mind that a payment processing fee of around 1% applies as well.
3. Food, Beverages, and Alcohol
We see a great demand for food and beverages in China, not only on JD.com but other eCommerce websites such as Tmall and Kaola. Some of the most popular food products are meat, fish and seafood, preserves, olive oil, honey, and dairy products.
Not to forget, there’s an increased appetite for foreign alcohol products, like Belgium beer and Australian wines, which will inevitably increase in the future, as the younger generation plays a vital role in the growth of the eCommerce industry.
Importing food products and beverages into China is easier said than done though and one must register with the relevant authorities and get approvals before imports can start. As such, a common option is that foreign companies work with a local food distribution company when selling these kinds of products.
Platform Fees for Food & Beverages
Sellers must pay a deposit of USD 15,000 when selling food, beverages, and alcohol on JD.com. The commission ranges between 1% to 3% and with a rebate frame rate of 1%. The yearly service fee is USD 1,000, which is the same as for most products on JD.com.
4. Fashion & Apparel
Tmall is by far the biggest website for fashion and apparel and currently accounts for 80% of the market shares. JD follows, well… not shortly behind, but has secured the second spot, accounting for almost 10% of the market.
With that said, JD is more of an electronics retail platform and many brands have closed down stores due to the fierce competition on other websites, and in general. Some even claim that Alibaba (the owner of Tmall) pressed foreign companies to shut down stores on JD. Whether this is true or not, I don’t know.
Recently, big international fashion brands like DKNY, Prada, and Kappa have become partners with JD, to start selling to the huge Chinese online consumer market. As mentioned, JD attracts many male buyers, a reason why you see plenty of sports clothes, bags, and similar products on the website.
Platform Fees for Fashion & Apparel
It’s comparably expensive to sell clothes on JD and the yearly service fee is normally USD 3,000. That’s three times as much compared to the other products listed above. The commissions are also high and 6%. The deposit is the same and USD 15,000.
5. Digital Products
Digital products include everything from e-books, entertainment, courses, audio products, and videos. The growth of digital products is evident in foreign countries too, as consumers become more online-based.
Why go all the way to a book store when you can download it with a click? Sure, some people still prefer to have the physical version of a book, but millions of people (myself included) see the outweighing benefits of having these kinds of products in a digital format.
Examples of popular course materials include everything from English language programs, children’s games and books, books for personal development, and more.
Platform Fees for Digital Products
The deposit is the same as for the other products listed and USD 15,000. The standard commission rate of 3% and with a rebate frame rate of 1%. The yearly service fee is in the lower segment and USD 1,000 per year.
6. Cosmetics & Personal Care Products
We see an increased demand for cosmetics, hair, and skin care products, brands such as Head & Shoulders and Loreal are just a couple of names that started to collaborate with JD recently. Yet again, Tmall is still the preferred choice for Chinese online consumers who wish to purchase these kinds of products.
So what drives the demand? First of all, the Chinese earn more money. With higher disposable incomes and exposure to local and foreign media, it’s not strange why locals pay more attention to their appearance and outfits.
We also see an increased demand for high-end cosmetic products, something that goes hand-in-hand with the increased amount of a growing middle class, high-end middle class, and high net worth individuals.
The younger generation is one of the main drivers of the boom, especially thanks to female buyers in the bigger cities. With that said, we also see that the demand increases in tier 3 and tier 4 cities, places that are more untapped and with much growth potential.
Platform Fees for Cosmetics & Personal Care Products
The deposit and yearly service fee is the same as usual and USD 15,000 and USD 1,000 respectively. The standard commission rates differ and range between 1.5% to 5%. On top of that, you need to take the rebate frame rate of 1% into consideration.