Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) Stores in China
Alibaba announced on Monday that Tmall.com will license more than 10,000 physical stores in China this fiscal year.
Tmall.com (Chinese: 天猫; pinyin: Tiānmāo), formerly Taobao Mall, is a Chinese-language website for business-to-consumer (B2C) online retail, spun off from Taobao, operated in China by Alibaba Group. It is a platform for local Chinese and international businesses to sell brand name goods to consumers in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
In February 2014, Alibaba launched Tmall Global as a cross-border marketplace for foreign brands and merchants to sell directly to Chinese consumers. The cross-border model requires merchants no longer to have a legal entity in China nor hold stock in the country.Some of the biggest flagship stores on Tmall Global include Costco from the USA or dm-drogerie markt from Germany.
Tmall.com, one of the most popular online trade platforms in China, will cooperate with Alibaba Distribution Platform, a service platform, to upgrade stores in residential communities as its brick and mortar stores via brand authorizing.
These physical stores under the brand of Tmall will be smart and well-targeted. For example, the stores will have convenient supply chain provided by Alibaba Distribution Platform, meanwhile, on the basis of big data, Alibaba Distribution Platform will also give advice on the way of shelf displays and the most popular goods in the neighborhood.
Lin Xiaohai, vice president of Alibaba, said the physical stores of Tmall will be upgraded on the basis of Alibaba Distribution Platform, which provides a series of services such as ordering goods, logistics, sales marketing, and value added service.
So far, Alibaba Distribution Platform has offered services to about 500,000 stores.
“With the help of big data analysis, traditional small shops will save their costs,” said Liu Jianfeng, director of the product center of the platform. “In the future, these Tmall physical stores will receive support from Alibaba Distribution Platform on sales marketing and application of smart technologies.”
Alipay, an escrow-based online payment platform owned by Alibaba Group, is the preferred payment solution for transactions on Tmall.com.
As on Taobao Marketplace, the C2C e-commerce platform under Alibaba Group, buyers and sellers can communicate prior to the purchase through AliWangWang (Chinese: 阿里旺旺; pinyin: ālǐ wàngwàng), its proprietary embedded instant messaging program. It has become a habit among Chinese online shoppers to “chat” with the sellers or their customer service team through AliWangWang to inquire about products, engage in bargaining, etc. prior to purchase.