No one would have expected that the forgotten petrol station will one day become a hot target that all e-commerce tycoons seek after and scramble for.
Recently, JD.Com Inc (one of the largest B2C online retailers in China) announced its cooperation with Sinopec, one of the major state-owned petroleum energy and chemicals companies in China. Brands of JD will be available at 25,000 sites of EasyJoy (convenience store under Sinopec) and customers will be able to place an online order and then collect the delivery from the store. In return, JD will support Sinopec in accelerating its intelligent transformation with technology and experience of e-commerce.
As China's largest refiner of petroleum, Sinopec owns the widest retail sales network with more than 30,000 petrol stations and 25,000 EasyJoy stores. Sinopec’s petrol stations nationwide are visited by an average of 20 million customers for their refuelling service every day and up to now have had 180 million members possessing its fuel card.
After the in-depth cooperation, Sinopec’s gas stations and EasyJoy convenience stores will be able to take advantage of the powerful intelligent computing capabilities provided by JD, including big data, forecasting algorithms, cloud computing and machine learning, and will particularly import techniques on sales forecasting, smart selection, warehouse layout, intelligent replenishment and supply chain management in order to improve their operation efficiency. Besides, JD’s well-established e-commerce system involving product, supply chain, transaction, logistics and marketing will provide a model for Sinopec to update its traditional retail network to an integrated one that features smart supply, operation and consumption both online and offline.
On the other hand, a special brand zone for JD will be set up in every EasyJoy convenience store, which allows people to directly buy goods at the same price as that in online JD mall or buy online and pick up offline. Also, products from Sinopec will make their way to the online JD mall and be sold through multiple channels backed up by JD’s terminal network, warehouse and data sharing.
In addition, to meet the growing demands for automobile services, JD with advantage in the e-commerce market accumulated over years is considering to incorporate a greater variety of services into Sinopec’s retail stores. For example, customers can purchase automobile-related services on JD’s online website and enjoy it in the physical stores. The thorough collaboration based on vehicle products, data, finance and service is an essential step for both sides to facilitate a more intelligent car service platform.
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