Alibaba News Roundup: E-Commerce Trends to Watch with Tmall Global Head Anita Lyu; Alibaba’s Janet Wang on Latest Luxury Developments; Cainiao Launches Free Returns Service in Singapore

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Alibaba News Roundup: E-Commerce Trends to Watch with Tmall Global Head Anita Lyu; Alibaba’s Janet Wang on Latest Luxury Developments; Cainiao Launches Free Returns Service in Singapore

Tmall Global's Anita Lyu joined Alizila in conversation to share latest e-commerce trends. Photo credit: Alibaba Group



This week, Alizila caught up on cross-border e-commerce trends to watch during this year’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival with cross-border marketplace Tmall Global’s Anita Lyu, who has made it her mission to help overseas brands thrive in China.

In other news, Alibaba Group’s luxury division Tmall Luxury Pavilion’s chief Janet Wang shares how luxury labels are taking the online-to-offline experience to the next level for Chinese consumers during this 11.11.

Cainiao Network’s Singaporean service unveils a free in-app return service for B2C marketplaces Taobao and Tmall customers, while Alibaba’s consumer marketing effort goes green as part of its sustainability push.

But that’s not all. Ever wondered what 3D hotel suite tours and home appliances have in common? They both feature in our 11.11 Live Blog, which we regularly update with the latest 11.11 Global Shopping Festival news!

Tmall Globals Anita Lyu on Cross-Border E-Commerce Trends to Watch

Alibaba’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival is underway and to help overseas brands reach the 900 million Chinese shoppers we expect to participate, Tmall Global is ramping up preparations under the watch of general manager Anita Lyu.

“I think [China] has become an extremely important market for global brands, especially amid the pandemic. Despite macroeconomic challenges, we hope to help international brands find growth,” Lyu explained in an interview with Alizila. 

Brands using Tmall Global can now include short videos from influencers and Key Opinion Consumers (KOCs) on their product pages, while a freshly launched warehouse network facilitates next-day deliveries in China. What’s more, a new production facility is helping global manufacturers customize products for Chinese consumers.

“Tmall Global is fully prepared on multiple fronts, with specialized service capabilities supporting merchants and consumers,” she said.

Find the full interview here 

Alibaba’s Janet Wang Shares Latest Innovations in China’s Luxury Market

Luxury brands are taking the online-to-offline experience to the next level for Chinese consumers during this year’s 11.11, said chief Janet Wang.

People expect frictionless, hyper-personalized and instant gratification from their shopping experiences — trends set in motion long before the coronavirus pandemic, but gaining traction as more consumers turned to digital platforms due to social-distancing.

“Consumers no longer think in terms of a break between physical and digital. They want a consistent, unified experience from brands, whether they are shopping online or offline,” said Wang.

Her observations on e-commerce jibe with industry reports on structural changes in retail. Management consultancy Bain & Co. expects China to become the planet’s biggest luxury market by 2025, as more Chinese shop at home than travel overseas.

Read more of Janet’s insights here and check out the video below

Janet Wang Shares Luxury Pavilion’s New Features Launched Ahead of 11.11. Video credit: Alibaba Group

Free Returns for Cainiao’s Singapore Customers

Cainiao Network Thursday announced the launch of its first free goods return service for Taobao and Tmall customers in Singapore, just in time for Alibaba’s 11.11.

For eligible items, consumers on Alibaba’s logistics platform will initiate a goods return request in-app and local logistics partners will reach out to confirm the pick-up details. Upon successful pick-up, consumers will receive a return order code to enter into the app to complete the return process and initiate a payment refund.

“Historically, goods return service has been a popular customer request but reverse logistics is an industry-wide challenge globally. We are truly delighted to be able to fulfill this request to give customers a greater peace of mind when they purchase from overseas merchants via Taobao and Tmall,” said Chris Fan, head of cross-border services at Cainiao’s Singapore office.

The logistics service has also upgraded its in-app functionalities to facilitate the amendment of shipping method (via air or sea freight) prior to the parcel dispatch from a consolidation warehouse to customs clearance for export.

Alibaba’s Plans to Take Green Shopping Mainstream 

Zheng Liqing, who leads consumer marketing for Alibaba’s 11.11, shares what’s new about this year’s mega sale and how the company plans to take “green shopping” mainstream.

Sustainability and shopping intersect at Alibaba’s 11.11 shopping festival, Zheng Liqing explains. Video credit: Alibaba Group

Alibaba’s efforts to be more sustainable extend far beyond marketing. Green is the new black, as a quick scroll through our 11.11 Live Blog will tell you. 

For instance, Tmall launched a dedicated vertical for eco-friendly products on Wednesday, the same day shoppers began to redeem green vouchers giving RMB10(US$1.56) off every RMB100 spent on green goods.

Alibaba Cloud, the company’s cloud computing arm, also announced it would be ramping up clean energy use at its data centers — helping to cut 26,000 tons of carbon emissions at its largest center in Zhangbei alone.

Cainiao Scores Goal with Belgian Footy Partnership

Cainiao moves fast, but things got a whole lot faster this week as the platform’s logo made its debut on Belgian football team Standard de Liège jerseys.

The Cainiao emblem will be visible on the sleeves of male players zooming up and down the pitch — a significant step for a cargo company that only recently launched services in the country.

“To represent Cainiao’s attachment to Belgium, what is better than football, which represents the team sport par excellence and also the key moment of gathering between friends and family?” said the platform’s chief marketing officer Zhijing Niu.

For its part the football club is “proud” and “happy” to sport the logo, according to Alexandre Grosjean, CEO of Standard de Liège, who called his players “ambassadors of choice” for Cainiao.

Cainiao Post Arrives in Hong Kong 

Cainiao launched its first postal service network outside Mainland China in Hong Kong this week, including 10 Cainiao Post stations and 60 collection points to improve last-mile logistics in the city. 

E-commerce sales in Hong Kong are forecast to rise 11.1 per cent in 2021 as consumers increasingly opt for online purchases, according to research by GlobalData. To keep pace with this demand, Cainiao plans to expand the network multifold to cover a combined floorspace of over 4,000 square meters, supporting approximately 1.8 million Hong Kong consumers.

“With a strong digital foundation, coupled with a robust partner and courier network, Cainiao can help the industry drive greater efficiency and seamless connectivity, alleviating pain points in last-mile delivery,” said Cainiao Post’s Hong Kong head Rex Lin.

Internet of Things solutions, which bring together smart devices connected to the internet, are helping to enhance productivity across the logistics platform’s postal stations, while Cainiao’s inventory management, parcel collection and real-time parcel tracking have all received a high-tech boost to cut carbon emissions and reduce waiting times.

11.1111.11 Global Shopping FestivalCainiao NetworkSustainabilityTmall GlobalTmall Luxury Pavilion

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