Unilever & Alibaba seal pact

Unilever China and Alibaba Group have signed a comprehensive strategic partnership that will enable Unilever to reach customers across China with unprecedented precision and effectiveness through Alibaba Group’s data-driven ecosystem.

Key areas of collaboration for the Unilever & Alibaba pacts include rural China penetration, cross-border eCommerce, consumer protection and Big Data.

“We are very pleased to amplify our partnership with an industry leader such as Unilever,” said Daniel Zhang, Alibaba Group CEO.

“We look forward to building on our success in sales over the years and taking the collaboration to the next level.”

Moving forward, Alibaba Group and Unilever will jointly innovate in Big Data analytics application, cross-border eCommerce, and supply chain management.

“In this rapidly changing business landscape, we are committed to continually provide greater value to merchants and better experiences to shoppers,” said Zhang.

“Alibaba has changed the shopping habit of Chinese consumers. 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.” said Marijn Van Tiggelen, Unilever North Asia president.

“Alibaba is the leading internet company in China, with the most innovative thinking. It’s not only an online store, but also a solution platform for online payment, e-finance, and eCommerce logistics. In cooperation with Alibaba, Unilever can provide more convenient services to consumers in China.”

The two companies describe the deal as “a major milestone” for a partnership which started five years ago with a single Tmall store, and has has since grown steadily.

Through the partnership, Unilever & Alibaba will work together to:

  • Strengthen cooperation to expand distribution channels, especially for consumers in rural areas to enjoy more convenient access to Unilever products.
  • Further develop cross-border ecommerce cooperation and make the Tmall Global Unilever store home to the richest selection of Unilever products from around the world.
  • Expand application of Big Data to optimize Unilever’s digital advertising strategy through Alimama, Alibaba’s online marketing business, and reach more consumers through online-offline retail integration.
  • Deepen collaboration in Alibaba’s Blue Star program where each product is tagged with a unique QR code that allows the consumer to verify its authenticity and origin. This will help protect Unilever’s brand and combat counterfeit goods to protect the customer user experience.
  • Develop innovations in supply chain management and offline distribution models

Unilever China opened its first Tmall flagship store in June 2011 and, most recently, a Tmall Global flagship in September 2014, leveraging the free trade zone and bonded warehouse model.

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