Blurring the line between online and offline shopping
JD.com (JD) and Intel (INTC) have teamed up to explore the use of the Internet-of-Things in retail. The companies have created a joint lab through which they intend to collaborate in areas such as building smart vending machines and media and advertising solutions to power future retail stores.
JD.com is one of the e-commerce companies working to blur the line between online and offline shopping experiences. For example, JD allows its customers to order certain fresh food items online for pick up at Walmart (WMT) stores in China, according to TechCrunch. JD also operates supermarket stores under the 7Fresh brand, and earlier this year, it opened cashierless retail stores in Indonesia. The Indonesian e-commerce market is poised to grow to $53 billion by 2025 from ~$12.2 billion this year according to Google.
Grocery spending raises the need for an offline presence
Amazon (AMZN) and Alibaba (BABA) are also making an offline push with physical stores, including cashierless retail outlets. To increase their share of the grocery retail market, e-commerce companies are finding they need to build a physical presence to allow customers to inspect food items more closely before they make a purchase.
JD already collaborates with Intel to analyze consumers’ purchasing habits to help store operators provide a more personalized experience to customers. Their latest deal represents the companies’ deepening ties. JD’s revenue rose 25% year-over-year to $15.3 billion in the third quarter.