The Alibaba News Roundup is a weekly digest of events and happenings across the company. This week’s coverage looks at initiatives by Tmall and Taobao to help drive growth for businesses in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
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Alibaba Group’s B2C online marketplace Tmall launched its Super Consumer Growth Accelerator program to help brands and businesses hit by Covid-19. Tapping the many tools and resources within the Alibaba ecosystem, the program aims to drive 30 billion new visits to Tmall in 2020. Participating brands can benefit from enhanced search and recommendation functions, more-precise banner advertising as well as various marketing tools to drive growth and purchases. Tmall this week also announced plans to help beauty and personal-care brands innovate and find opportunities for growth amid challenging circumstances. At its annual Tmall Beauty Awards, the platform said it aimed to help 1,000 beauty brands achieve over RMB10 million ($1.41 million) each in annual sales over the course of the next 12 months.
Meanwhile, the platform’s cross-border unit, Tmall Global, said it aims to bring 1,000 new international brands onboard over the course of the next 12 months. The e-commerce operator said it would expand its brand-incubation plan, which was piloted last year and is part of its five-year program to bring $200 billion worth of imported goods into China. Included in this wider rollout is an English-language customer-service and self-service registration system for brands as well as support to set up new online storefronts within 30 days. Brands will also receive additional benefits, such as reduced commission fees and access to tailored livestreaming campaigns. With this incubation program, Tmall Global said it aims to help new brands reach RMB1 million each in gross merchandise volume in their first 90 days.
Alibaba’s logistics arm Cainiao on Thursday said it would lower logistics costs for merchants by RMB1 billion in the coming year as a part of Alibaba’s Spring Thunder Initiative to support SMEs. This includes offering transportation at cheaper rates and cutting logistics fees for orders processed in bonded warehouses by 15%. Cainiao said it will also continue offering free bonded warehouse storage services until June and waive warehouse rental prices in cities including Fuzhou, Chongqing, Zhengzhou and Yiwu.
Taobao’s recently launched factory-centric app, Taobao Deals, this week announced measures to help export manufacturers in China diversify their revenue streams amid the coronavirus pandemic. With global supply chains disrupted by the health crisis, the app said it would open a special channel for factories to pivot from exporting merchandise to selling to domestic consumers instead. Through this initiative, factories would be able to enjoy benefits such as waived platform fees, free training courses and subsidies to drive down prices for consumers. Aside from providing relief during the immediate crisis, Taobao Deals said that these measures would help traditional factories accelerate their digital transformation and embrace a consumer-to-manufacturer business model that would herald long-term growth.
E-commerce platform Lazada has ramped up measures to drive business activity across Southeast Asia during the coronavirus outbreak. Aside from continuing to offer reduced freight rates for cross-border merchants, the platform has also increased its number of charter flights and has rolled out an incubation program that provides online training on e-commerce operations and traffic growth. Stimulus packages, meanwhile, have been introduced to aid local business owners, starting with those from Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand.
Alibaba Business School has launched its first-ever Global E-Commerce Talent Challenge – a global competition that calls on young people to innovate digital solutions to tackle the coronavirus crisis. Participants are encouraged to develop ideas that will not only address immediate challenges presented by the health pandemic but will also have continuous positive impact on communities around the world.
German luxury brand Montblanc, best known for its leather goods and writing instruments, has soft-launched a flagship store on the Tmall Luxury Pavilion, Alibaba’s dedicated channel for luxury and premium brands. The store offers a full range of Montblanc’s products, including the exclusive debut of its first wireless over-ear headphones, the Montblanc MTB 01, and a collection of writing instruments inspired by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s “Le Petit Prince.”