Koubei to juice 12-12 up with overseas deals
Koubei, the online-to-offline or O2O e-commerce platform backed by internet giant Alibaba Group Holding, expects to give overseas offline stores a sales boost and provide internet-based finance for more merchants during the “Double 12” (Dec 12) shopping festival on Monday.
The company said from Dec 10 to 12, more than 1 million supermarkets, restaurants, convenience stores, cinemas and gas stations around the country will use its platform to offer discounts of up to 50 percent to users, via Alibaba’s mobile payment platform Alipay.
In addition, some 70,000 offline stores in 16 countries and regions, including Australia, New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, South Korea, Japan, Thailand and billion Singapore, will participate in the festival through Koubei.
Consumers will receive steep discounts from overseas duty-free shops, department stores, airports, night fairs, supermarkets and restaurants as well.
Ant Check Later, an online consumer finance service provided by Ant Financial from the Alibaba stable, will extend loans to consumers to fund purchases from overseas sellers.
“Double 12” is something of a sequel to Alibaba’s more famous “Double 11”, the annual Nov 11 online shopping festival. This year, 11-11 raked in 120.7 billion yuan ($17.5 billion) in sales for Alibaba’s online marketplaces in just 24 hours.
Last year’s 12-12 saw participation of more than 300,000 businesses that accepted payments for in-store purchases through the company’s mobile payment app.
“Offline businesses will be upgraded by internet technology. Koubei will leverage its own resources and advantages such as its huge number of active users, technology and big data to help merchants enhance the efficiency of every link of production and create added value,” said Samuel Fan, CEO of Koubei.
Fan said internet-based consumer finance will be extended to offline businesses this 1212. For example, during the “Double 12” festival, some offline businesses offer insurance for consumers, covering food security and personal safety.
Koubei also provides credit services for merchants.
Koubei, which was estab- lished by Alibaba and its finance arm Ant Financial in June last year with a total investment of $1 billion, is seen as Alibaba’s O2O vehicle to take on the current market leader, Tencent-backed Meituan-Dianping.
According to Koubei, more than 1.5 million offline businesses have set up virtual stores on its platform.
Lu Zhenwang, CEO of Wanqing Consultancy in Shanghai, said: “Alipay hopes to enhance the frequency of its use and users’ stickiness at offline stores through Double 12, and its ultimate goal is to offer finance, big data and other value-added services for merchants.”
Wang Pengbo, an analyst at Beijing-based internet consultancy Analysys, said 12-12 will improve the engagement of brick-and-mortar retailers with consumers, and continue the shopping spree that began around 11-11.
total investment on launching Koubei last year
A supermarket employee in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, scans a consumer’s mobile phone to finish payment during last year’s “Double 12” shopping festival.