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Alibaba, Bailian Group Announce New Retail Strategic Partnership


Alibaba Group Holding Limited and China’s leading retailer Bailian Group announced today the strategic partnership to explore new forms of retail opportunities across each other’s ecosystem. The companies will leverage the power of big data to achieve integration between offline stores, merchandise, logistics and payment tools with the ultimate aim of elevating efficiency and overall consumer experience.

According to Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba Group, “New retail reimagines the relationship between consumers, merchandise and retail space by leveraging mobile Internet and big data. It will upend the traditional manufacturing and supply chain, the connection between merchant and consumer, as well as the overall consumer experience. Businesses will increasingly embrace big data and new innovations to better identify, reach, analyze and serve their customers, and their digital transformation will be empowered by Alibaba’s ecosystem. 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.”

“A new consumer era calls for a new retail approach. Traditional commerce needs to embrace innovation and change to thrive if they are to ride atop this new consumption trend. New retail is not just the convergence of online and offline worlds. It also means we need to be able to leverage technologies such as the Internet of Things, AI and big data to provide consumers with new and immersive shopping experiences across channels and product categories anytime and anywhere. It is with this shared vision that our companies have joined forces in this strategic partnership to redefine commerce and reshape the retail industry.”, cited from Ye Yongming, Chairman of Bailian Group

Under the agreement, the cooperation will include:

  • New retail outlet design: jointly design cross channel store operation and ordering systems to enable real time service solutions for customers at physical stores;
  • New retail technology R&D: joint R&D in new retail technology in areas such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, and big data;
  • Customer Relationship Management: integrate both company’s membership base to enhance customer service capability through technologies such as geolocation, facial recognition and big-data driven sales and customer management systems;
  • Supply chain management: the companies will combine resources in customer insight and supplier channels to help improve merchandise selection and reduce cost;
  • Payment: Alipay will be made available at all Bailian stores, while Bailian’s payment tools Safepass and Bailian OK Card will be integrated with Alipay to provide a unified third-party payment solution for consumers;
  • Logistics: Bailian Logistics to work with Alibaba on Cainiao’s logistics platform and co-develop logistics rules to enhance services for both consumers and merchants

The partnership with Bailian is the latest milestone in the development of new retail. Alibaba has coined the term “New Retail” to describe a world where the distinction between online and offline commerce becomes obsolete, as Internet users continue to migrate to mobile devices from desktop computers. Under the new retail model, traditional brick and mortar retailers will be offered the tools to transform their way of connecting with consumers, and improve efficiencies in their inventory and distribution network, as well as payment and logistics systems to provide seamless consumer experience both online and offline consumers.

Consumers in China engage in commerce activities from anywhere at any time with the help of mobile phones. With its big data capability and a mobile monthly active user base of close to 500 million, Alibaba is well placed to enable traditional retailers to upgrade to the new retail model.

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