JD has an equivalent chain of stores known as Seven Fresh (formerly styled as 7Fresh), and it uses the term “boundaryless retail” rather than New Retail to describe the concept; however, New Retail is the term best-known worldwide. JD.com has not referenced New Retail or boundaryless retail in conjunction with Ochama, but anyone familiar with the concept will quickly spot the similarities.
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Here’s how JD.com’s new Ochama stores embody the core traits of New Retail, and why I think it is noteworthy that JD.com is opening them in Europe.
To shop at Ochama, consumers must first sign up to become a member, which is currently free for the first year on a promotional basis, but will later cost 10€ per year. Upon signing up, members need to volunteer their mobile number, email address, and postal address. Ochama touts a number of benefits associated with membership, including free collection, free returns, and 10% of the value of each shop awarded to your account as credit.
All purchases at Ochama are made online, whether through the website or through the app. This is where the merging of online and offline comes in: although Ochama has physical stores, they operate more as a combination of showroom and warehouse, with robots picking and preparing orders that are subsequently delivered to the customer on a conveyor belt when they arrive to collect it, or packed for home delivery. The shop floor also features carefully-crafted displays of Ochama’s range of products that are designed to inspire customers when they come in-store to collect their items.
Ochama’s name combines the words “omnichannel” and “amazing”, with “omnichannel” representing its fusion of online and offline, and “amazing” purportedly referring to its high-quality selection of products. In a promotional video created by JD.com, Ochama COO Mark den Butter emphasises the retailer’s ability to offer the best of both worlds, saying, “ochama is where online ease and offline service and commitment meet.”