Interview with Volker Glaeske, CFO, Lidl Hong Kong /
Lidl is selling its products online on Tmall and JD. What expectations does Lidl have by offering its goods to the Chinese consumer?
Glaeske: Lidl has curated an extensive range of European products to offer our customers in China a wide variety of products ranging from health-conscious choices to taking care of baby’s needs. Our goal is to make Lidl the destination for customers who value high quality goods and healthy lifestyle choices. Therefore, our focus is to fulfil these needs by providing special value deals, everyday affordable prices and regular healthy inspiration. Utilising the distinctive identities of JD and Tmall in different product categories, will facilitate in attracting various portfolios of customers, allowing for targeted marketing and fulfilment.
How do Lidl’s European products meet Chinese shopping habits and lifestyle?
Glaeske: We want to meet our target group’s preference for high quality products in a family-oriented lifestyle. With our selections of European products, and by working closely with reputable suppliers throughout Europe, Lidl ensures that every product adheres to strict safety and quality standards, giving customers easy access to trusted products, which inspire a healthier and happier living.
Are Chinese e-Commerce customers different from European ones?
Glaeske: We generally observe that customers feel valued during their shopping experience by offering them tailor-made recommendations to their specific needs. Something, we believe, that e-Commerce is highly suited for. In China, mobile Internet is a common medium for communication, completing day-to-day tasks and purchasing, thus making shopping faster and more convenient. In addition, the surge in secure online payment methods have further increased the acceptance of online shopping. Online marketplaces account for roughly 90% of the e-Commerce business in China. This is why it makes sense for us to team up with both Tmall and JD to present our products. Transparent and detailed product information is highly valued by Chinese customers, either through online product reviews or social network threads. Lidl addresses this need by offering an own products landing page, not only to highlight the quality and benefits of our products, but also to allow our consumers to fully understand what they are purchasing.
What are Lidl’s experiences with Tmall and JD?
Glaeske: China is home to the world’s largest e-Commerce market. The partnerships with JD Worldwide and Tmall Global allow us to combine the strength of Lidl as Europe’s leading supermarket chain with the specific knowledge and reach of our two partners. The well-developed logistic networks enables consumers to receive their orders within a short period of time. The common vision is to improve this already impressive service further.
Is this the first step into the Chinese market the preparation for having brick-and-mortar-stores in China soon?
Glaeske: Currently, there are no such plans. It is our aim to establish a successful online presence on both platforms, thus understanding the Chinese customer better and constantly improving our services.
More about Lidls involvement in China from Volker Glaeske at the C-star 2018 Retail Forum on April 26th – 28th in Shanghai.