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Alibaba announces retail partnership with Bailian Group
21
Feb '17
Courtesy: Alibaba
Courtesy: Alibaba
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group has made another move in its push to merge online and offline shopping by forming a new strategic partnership with the Bailian Group, one of China’s retail conglomerates. The two companies said they would leverage their troves of consumer data in order to deliver a better overall shopping experience.

Both companies said they would also “explore new forms of retail opportunities across each other’s ecosystem,” according to a statement.

As part of the deal, Alibaba and Bailian will also combine their membership bases to offer enhanced customer service through technologies such as geo-location, facial recognition and big-data driven sales and customer management systems. There are plans to make Alipay, the online payments app owned by Alibaba affiliate company Ant Financial, available at all Bailian stores, while Bailian’s Safepass and Bailian OK Card payments services will be integrated with Alipay.

“Our partnership with Bailian is an important milestone in the evolution of Chinese retail, where the distinction between physical and virtual commerce is becoming obsolete,” said Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang.

Bailian chairman and president, Ye Yongming, called on traditional retailers to recognise the changes sweeping through their industry, that also include adopting the new technologies for driving those changes. He said, “They need to be able to leverage technologies such as the Internet of Things, [artificial intelligence] and big data to provide consumers with new and immersive shopping experience across channels and product categories anytime and anywhere.”

Alibaba has been taking steps to combine its Tmall and Taobao e-commerce platforms with bricks-and-mortar stores, particularly last month in its offer for privatising Chinese shopping mall operator Intime Retail. (PA)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – China


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