JD.com Launches Robotic Shops “Ochama” in the Netherlands


Technology is rapidly taking over the world, and most people around the globe are taking advantage of e-commerce. E-commerce has proven to be more efficient than traditional shopping methods for busy people and anyone who would like to save time and hassle associated with physical shopping. Richard Liu, the founder of the internationally renowned company JD.com, has made it easier for people to shop conveniently from their homes in China and has currently expanded their operations to the Netherlands. 

Early this year, JD.com launched two robotic shops, ochama, in the Netherlands and hopes to open more soon. Jd.com will use these shops located in Leiden and Rotterdam to facilitate online shopping whereby robots will be responsible for packaging parcels and making home deliveries for customers. Ochama is the first omnichannel retailer in the Netherlands to offer food and non-food products and services in a single shopping app. Besides saving time, JD.com hopes to provide better prices and services through ochama. 

The Netherlands is highly urbanized and one of the most sophisticated countries in Europe. Most of the country’s population resides in the cities, providing the niche for ochama to thrive. E-commerce is bound to flourish in its various towns, and JD.com plans to launch two more robotic shops in Amsterdam and Utrecht. Furthermore, the country is bound to benefit from Ochama’s innovation and sustainability. It will lessen queues and traffic jams as people will have the option to shop at the comfort of their homes and have their products dropped off conveniently at their doorsteps. The automated system is a tremendous advantage towards saving money as product prices are anticipated to drop. 

How ochama works

The omnichannel model offers convenient shopping services through ochama’s app. Shoppers order a wide range of products, including fresh and packaged foodstuff, household appliances, beauty, maternal and child products, fashion, and home furnishings, among others online. Users choose whether to pick their products at pick-up stores or have them delivered to their houses the following day. The pick-up stores consist of an automated warehouse system whereby robots handle all the operations like picking, sorting, and moving merchandise. 

Being cashier-less, the users will then scan the app’s QR code at checkout, and the automated system will deliver their products through conveyor belts. The logistics and supply chain management is taken care of by a fleet of robots throughout the various levels of operations. Customers who choose to pick up their products can watch as their orders are sorted by automated ground vehicles, robotic arms, and automated conveyor belts at the pick-up store showrooms.

About Richard Liu

Richard Liu, alias Liu Qiangdong was born to a humble family, but he always looked for opportunities to broaden his horizons. He attended the People’s University of China, where he studied sociology. His friends, family, and neighbors supported him, and when the help ran out, he got a job writing letters by hand for a company that did not have a photocopier. He simultaneously learned computer programming and coding, thus expanding his internet knowledge and e-commerce. Soon he became a top computer engineer and made a fortune off it. He also studied EMBA at the China Europe International Business School, further enriching his resume. Liu tried a couple of business ventures before establishing his prowess in e-commerce. 

He founded JD.com, which is now one of the world’s largest internet companies, in a tiny booth. His dream was to enable everyone in his village to access pork conveniently. After failed attempts to run a restaurant and healthy products business, Liu opened a computer parts retail shop in Beijing in 1998. The 2004 SARS epidemic affected the retail business and forced him to switch to online sales exclusively. The shift marked his journey on the successful e-commerce venture and internet fame. Currently, JD.com is expanding its horizons to include various products, including pharmaceuticals, and opening more online retail stores worldwide. The company boasts authenticity and efficiency in providing a world-class shopping experience that matches today’s shoppers’ needs.