Industry insiders are calling it a significant development and a major new resource for online merchants and KOLs. China’s retail and e-commerce giant JD.Com has unveiled its JD Stock Material Center. It makes available an enormous 100 million stock images and fonts that registered users of JD can use royalty-free.
The subject of authenticity has always been a core value of JD.Com. In fact, it was how JD founder and CEO Richard Liu made a success of the precursor of the firm that would one day evolve into JD.Com. Prior to JD, Richard Liu established a series of brick-n-mortar business locations that sold magneto-optical components in Beijing. A key to the success of that enterprise is that it did not sell second-tier, clone or imitation brands. All products were certified as authentic from the original manufacturer.
It helped set Liu’s business apartment and build intense customer loyalty. When that business developed into an e-commerce model — becoming JD.Com — the continuation of the guaranteed authenticity policy helped make the company a success.
The issue of online image use and copyright protection remains a serious concern for thousands of online merchants and KOLs. That stands for Key Opinion Leaders. These are people who use online video platforms, such as YouTube and Tic Tok, to showcase products they use themselves or for which they like to promote to their followers.
KOLs have emerged as an essential element of selling online and for the makers of the products. KOLSs are also important to selling platforms, such as JD.Com, simply because they are good for business.
It’s informative to look a bit further into the role of the KOL to help understand the importance they play in modern-day selling. For example, the data firm Nielsen reports that 92% of consumers say they are more likely to buy a product promoted by a KOL. About 74% of consumers identify word of mouth advertising as a central influence in their buying decisions. Finally, the millennial demographic is 115% more influenced by information about products as presented by KOLs.
Thus, JD.Com is eager to support the many KOLs out there who play this critical role in selling products. KOLs can now access the JD Stock Material Center and get all the images they want, use them freely. They never have to worry about getting into copyright trouble.
JD.Com data shows that the average KOL or merchant will use hundreds of images every year. This can run into thousands of dollars or RMB. This expense is eliminated for JD.Com users. The result is millions of RMB that will stay in the hands of sellers and KOLs. This, in turn, acts as a general stimulus to the overall economy because people have more money in their pocket to spend.
JD has deployed AI technology to help recognize and automatically assign images and fonts into specific categories. Furthermore, an operations team will be available to users to help them find the best images for their online activities and presentations.
Jiandong Pei serves as vice president of JD Retail. He said his firm will continue to invest and develop the JD Stock Material Center to update images and implement ongoing improvements. Jiandong called the effort a “major development” that will contribute to the “materials ecosystem” for society as a whole.