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Alibaba Strengthens Its Presence in Digitalization Consulting with A100 Partnership Program

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Coresight Research

Key Points

Alibaba has grown from simple online marketplace to a digital commerce powerhouse, with operations in sales, marketing, product delivery, supply chain, logistics and data analytics — pretty much the whole nine yards. At an event in Hangzhou, the company announced the launch of a new collaborative program called A100.

  • Companies that participate in the program will get a one-stop shopping experience for a wide range of e-commerce solutions, basically tapping into the entire Alibaba ecosystem.
  • This includes digital entertainment services and local services, sales, logistics, supply chain optimization, payments, marketing and a wide range of supporting services all powered by cloud-based technologies.
  • Another advantage for A100 participants is being able to leverage the vast pool of data Alibaba has collected over the years.

Alibaba Announces Plans to Leverage Its Integrated E-Commerce Network

Alibaba Group Holding Limited recently announced the launch of “A100,” a new strategic partnership program the company says offers participating companies a one-stop solution to accelerate digital transformation.

The announcement comes as Alibaba continues to build out its business model to include more and more components of the online shopping experience, moving beyond simply selling online to creating a comprehensive suite of digital sales and marketing services. Alibaba has expanded from a pure e-commerce play into digital entertainment and local services, sales, logistics, supply chain optimization, payments, marketing and a wide range of supporting services all powered by cloud-based technologies.

The new A100 service offering was announced at the first “Alibaba ONE Business Conference” in Hangzhou on Jan. 11.

Alibaba will start with partners already working with the company, and expand to other companies in the future. Participating companies can choose from a menu of services that can enhance digital operations. Alibaba will establish a cross-platform integrated account-serving team to supervise the new program.

Another advantage for A100 participants is being able to leverage the vast pool of data Alibaba has collected over the years. Alibaba has 600 million monthly active users and nearly 30 business units specializing in enterprise services.

Nestlé and Starbucks Lead the Way

One early success of the Alibaba cross-platform partnership is Nestlé. The company was able to strengthen its core B2C business through its Tmall flagship store, Tmall Supermarket and Rural Taobao, and Nestlé recently expanded into new Alibaba channels, such as Lingshoutong, Freshippo (previously known as Hema) supermarket and RT-Mart. Nestlé also signed a strategic partnership with Cainiao, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group, which enabled Nestlé to consolidate four distributors serving its Alibaba-related business into one —– and easing inventory management to better fulfill online orders. Cainiao’s intelligence helped Nestlé sort products and manage inventory based on consumers preferences in different regions, reducing the number of cross-region parcels and speeding delivery.

Starbucks is also working with Alibaba companies, including China’s leading on-demand food delivery platform Ele.me, Freshippo supermarket, Tmall, Taobao and Alipay. Starbucks’ now offers delivery from 2,000 stores in 30 cities in China in partnership with Ele.me. Starbucks also partnered with Freshippo supermarket to create “Star Kitchens” specifically designed to support Starbucks delivery order fulfillment, further expanding delivery capabilities. In December 2018, Starbucks launched its first virtual store in China powered by technology from Alibaba Group, providing a unified digital experience across the Starbucks app and mobile apps within the Alibaba ecosystem.

Alibaba’s success in building its China business, impressive digital capabilities, ability to connect all parts of the customer experience and growing reach into overseas markets positions serve the company well to promote services helping other companies looking to expand their digital capabilities.

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