Alibaba Group platforms is processing payments faster during this year’s 6.18 Mid-Year Shopping Festival as it works to improve liquidity for merchants during the pandemic.
Presales for the annual shopping event started on May 26, kicking off a month-long series of promotional activities from vouchers to discounts across Alibaba’s ecosystem.
As part of the initiative to boost merchants’ liquidity, domestic coffee brand Yongpu Coffee has already received several million renminbi from presale purchases made between May 26 and May 30. This payment process would usually take up to 15 days.
“Once we are able to receive payments sooner, we can pay our suppliers early and stabilize the supply chain,” Yongpu Coffee’s founder Youngpu Hou told Alizila.
In the May presale period, merchants will receive roughly RMB10 billion ($1.5 billion) in deposits made by consumers to secure their orders. Once shipping starts between June 1 and June 30, the remaining balance of up to RMB100 billion will be sent to businesses.
For cross-border merchants, international B2C marketplace Tmall Global is freeing up to RMB4 billion to their payment accounts as soon as parcels leave warehouses between June 1 and June 30.
Alibaba is helping businesses thrive despite a host of pandemic-related challenges.
“Ensuring stability of supply chain and logistics amid the uncertainties is the best way to improve consumption sentiment and foster a more positive environment for business operations,” said Daniel Zhang, Alibaba Group Chairman and CEO during an earnings call with investors last week.
These hurdles are big: stores face shipment delays, stymied logistics and tight refund deadlines in the shadow of Covid-19 clusters from Shanghai to Beijing.
Likewise, Alibaba’s logistics arm Cainiao has also offered a choice of five warehouses around China for cross-border merchants to store their inventories in an effort to sidestep logistics problems.
Nonetheless, Yongpu Coffee’s Hou expects to see at least 80% sales growth for this year’s 6.18. He will get a helping hand from C2C platform Taobao, B2C e-commerce site Tmall and Tmall Global as they roll out support tools from livestream training to platform fee exemptions.