JD.Com Wants to Make Gift Giving a Little Less Awkward

Chinese culture places great emphasis on the importance of giving gifts. It’s a tradition going back thousands of years, a way to foster bonds between people, make their emotions known, even help along a professional relationship. That tradition has also maintained its formalities, like expecting a gift exchange to take place in person. But in the modern era this can cause people a bit of undue stress. Luckily JD has a solution with “JD Gift,” launching on Tencent’s WeChat app. While giving a gift in person is the expected way to do things, that’s changing. In actuality many things can go wrong just trying to arrange a gift to be given. Asking someone for their address to deliver them a gift can lead to a situation where they are rejected.

Even if done politely, the gift-giver can be left feeling awkward, and with a gift they can no longer give. JD simplifies this interaction with “JD Gift.” Shoppers simply browse the marketplace, select a gift, complete the purchase, then JD asks the recipient where they’d like to have it delivered. This method appeals to young people. Statista gauged social media use of more than 600 million people and found that about a third of people 26-35 hangout mostly on WeChat, catching up with their partners, friends, and even coworkers. From their own survey of these users, JD learned that 34% of these people find awkwardness an excuse to not give gifts more often.

Fear of rejection was also a big factor. With alternatives with gift-giving, this can be avoided. And with automation options like scheduling, they can prepare for big events, like the birthday of a significant other or a business event, in advance. Gift cards have always been available through JD, but “JD Gift” opens up a robust marketplace ideal for gifts. The launch is to coincide with the Qixi Festival this month. Regularly compared to Valentine’s Day, this is China’s celebration of lovers, a time for significant others to show off their feelings. Those avoiding the holiday over potential awkwardness can now turn to technology to help keep the traditions of gift-giving alive without removing the personal element that makes the exchange matter.