Chinese retailers Alibaba Group and Bailian Group have established a strategic partnership to explore new forms of retail opportunities.
The firms will leverage big data to achieve integration between offline stores, merchandise, logistics and payment tools to enhance efficiency and consumer experience.
Based in Shanghai, Bailian is a leading retail group with more than 4,700 outlets across China.
Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang said: “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, analyse 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.”
Bailian Group chairman Ye Yongming said: “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.”
According to the agreement, the cooperation will include on new retail outlet design, new retail technology R&D, customer relationship management, supply chain management, payment and logistics.
The firms expect that under the new retail model, offline retailers will be offered tools to transform how they connect with consumers, and boost efficiencies in their inventory and distribution network, as well as payment and logistics systems to provide a seamless consumer experience.
Alibaba claimed that with its big data capability and a mobile monthly active user base of close to 500 million, it is well placed to enable traditional retailers to upgrade to the new retail model.