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June 12, 2018

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Alibaba plans to enhance O2O services

ALIBABA plans to integrate nearly 400 RT Mart outlets in China within its grocery and food delivery network by the end of this year to share resources with the e-commerce giant’s Hema Market to boost O2O services and enhance operational efficiency.

One hundred 100 RT Mart outlets, including over 40 in the eastern China region, are already covered by a one-hour delivery scheme and will also become part of Alibaba’s Tmall’s 618 promotion activities.

RT Mart is also working with Hema Market’s delivery team to fulfill orders to destinations within 3 kilometers of dispatch centers, said Chief Operating Officer Yuan Bin of RT Mart’s new retail business.

“Hema’s product offerings complement with RT Mart’s existing products and online delivery also expands our customer base,” Yuan said.

Some of the RT Mart stores will be equipped with smart display facilities for consumers to choose child and maternal products which are not available at the physical stores yet.

Physical stores serve an indispensable role in the retail landscape and Internet giants such as Alibaba are seeking to enhance shopper experience through data-driven technology and personalized services as well as drive brick-and-mortar stores’ operational efficiency by digitalizing sourcing and inventory management system.

Alibaba’s foray into the offline retail sector dates back to its share-swap deal with Suning Commerce Group in 2013.

Alibaba bought over a third of Sun Art shares for HK$22.4 billion (US$2.86 billion) last November. It has also teamed up with Shanghai-based Bailian Group, privatized Intime Retail Group and bought 18 percent of Hong Kong-listed Lianhua Supermarket Holdings.



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