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Bose Targets China O2O Sales Through Tmall

U.S. audio equipment maker Bose, whose systems are installed in both the Space Shuttle and the Sistine Chapel, is stepping up its China marketing by striking a strategic partnership with e-commerce giant Alibaba Group.

The partnership will give Bose, which launched its flagship store on Alibaba’s B2C site Tmall.com in 2014, greater e-commerce, marketing and logistics support from the Chinese company.

In a joint statement with Alibaba, Bose said that it hoped the partnership would help to further increase sales in the world’s second-largest economy as well as drive engagement with the country’s increasingly sophisticated consumers.

“China is a very important market for Bose. This strategic alliance with Alibaba allows us to explore omnichannel opportunities that combine Bose’s offline presence with Tmall’s online strength,” said Pierre Combaz, vice president Asia-Pacific for Bose, referring to the increasingly important online-to-offline sales channel in China. “And, with access to their strong network, we’ll be able to reach more customers than ever before.”

The agreement with Bose is one of more than two dozen strategic partnerships that Alibaba has with international brands, including also Unilever, Metro, Nestle and Mars. By selling through Alibaba, these companies get a direct channel to hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers, which are the world’s most prolific online shoppers. But the partnerships also ratchet up the benefits of that channel by offering brands digital marketing, cloud computing, supply chain management and data analytics services that allow them to more efficiently sell into China.

Yin Jing, who heads Tmall’s consumer electronics channel, said after the event that personal audio equipment was one of the fastest-growing product categories on the site. That growth is being driven in part by the rising spending power of China’s younger generations, specifically those born in the 1980s and 1990s.

“They will become the major consuming power of China,” Yin said, who noted that premium brands such as Bose are increasingly sought after by this demographic.

The announcement comes just seven weeks before Alibaba’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, and Combaz said that Bose is gearing up to participate for the third time. Combaz declined to offer details on Bose’s plans.

“We’re going to do more interesting things than we did last year, which you can for sure look forward to,” he said.

 

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