The Otto Group and leading Chinese online marketplace JD.com have embarked on a joint venture that incorporates Otto’s subsidiary, Zitra GmbH. The purpose of this venture is to increase international e-commerce between Europe and China, with Zitra™ acting as an independent full-service provider to connect international brands with the leading marketplaces.
Intermediary for International Brands
Operating out of Germany, Zitra™ will serve as an intermediary for international brands looking to expand their sales on JD.com and further top online marketplaces, worldwide and will provide services including third-partner operation, marketing strategies, IT system handling, logistics, and post-sale services. China has established itself as the biggest ecommerce market in the world and is expected to generate €522 billion in sales in 2015, and so this partnership represents a coup within international online trading. By entering into this partnership with JD.com, the Otto Group gains direct access to the Chinese market and, in turn, sets the stage for JD.com’s success within the European market.
Enormous Demand for High-End International Products
Hanjo Schneider, Member of the Executive Board, Services Otto Group and Head of the Supervisory Board of Hermes Europe GmbH, said: “We are thrilled to enter into this partnership with JD.com to help foreign brands take advantage of the enormous demand for high-quality international products in China’s e-commerce market. By providing an integrated e-commerce marketing solution, we look forward to helping international brands gain traction and accelerate their sales in China.”
Haoyu Shen, CEO of JD Mall, added: “As a leading global online retailer, Otto Group is the ideal partner to help more international brands reach consumers through marketing on the JD.com marketplace platform. We are seeing tremendous demand for imported products, and this new venture will help further expand our range of products for Chinese consumers.”
Partnership With Zitra
By partnering up with Zitra™, JD.com invests a two digit million Euro amount and will benefit from having an established European-based partner and access to the Otto Group’s vast client portfolio. As an independent full-service provider, Zitra™ will connect brands not only with JD.com but also with other marketplaces worldwide and implement the onboarding processes by providing all IT, management and fulfillment services.
Philipp Kraft, Managing Director of Zitra™, said: “The rapidly changing B2B retail market continues to offer great opportunities for vertical online sales, which we strive to cater for. We are, therefore, delighted to have gained another top player in addition to the Otto Group, as a partner.”
Hermes Responsible for Cross-Border Logistics
For all cross-border logistics between Europe and China, Zitra™ will utilize the infrastructure of the Hermes Group, the Otto Group’s services segment. This comprises full customs-clearance service, real-time duty and tax quotes, and full track and trace. By leaving these tasks to Zitra™, brands will be provided with a full service. The fulfillment service covers international order management, B2B and B2C inbound and outbound logistics, efficient returns handling, and cash-flow-optimisation services.