Alibaba, Unilever deepen e-commerce partnership

by Erica Shaffer
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Unilever deepens partnership with Alibaba
Unilever and Alibaba Group have signed a partnership agreement that deepens ties between the two companies.

HANGZHOU, China – After a five-year partnership that began with a simple Tmall store, Unilever and Alibaba Group signed a strategic data-driven partnership the companies say will take their business relationship to a higher level. Alibaba is a Chinese e-commerce company that provides business and consumer sales services via the web.

As part of the expanded partnership, Unilever China and Alibaba plan to expand distribution channels, focusing on consumers in rural communities while further developing cross-border e-commerce cooperation. Also, the companies said Big Data will help optimize Unilever’s digital advertising initiatives through “Alimama,” which is Alibaba’s marketing business. The goal is to reach more consumers through online-offline retail integration using data analytics.

Finally, Unilever will deepen its collaboration in Alibaba’s Blue Star program which tags products with a unique QR code that allows consumers to verify its authenticity and origin. The program will help protect the Unilever brand by combating counterfeit goods to protect consumers. Marijn Van Tiggelen, Unilever North Asia president said its collaboration with Alibaba will enable Unilever to provide more convenient services to Chinese consumers.

“Alibaba has changed the shopping habit of Chinese consumers,” Van Tiggelen said. “Its mission is to make it easy to do business everywhere, and its vision is to build the future infrastructure of commerce. This meets the Unilever’s development needs in China.”

Unilever China opened its first Tmall flagship store in June 2011, and in 2014 the company opened a Tmall Global flagship store in September 2014. Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang said the company looks forward to taking its partnership with Unilever to the next level.

“Moving forward, Alibaba Group and Unilever will jointly innovate in Big Data analytics application, cross-border e-commerce, and supply chain management,” Zhang said. “In this rapidly changing business landscape, we are committed to continually provide greater value to merchants and better experiences to shoppers.”

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