Over 175 exhibiting Australian and New Zealand brands and retailers had the opportunity to tap into the e-commerce enabled Chinese economy at Alibaba Group’s E-Commerce Expo.
The Chinese middle class is the same size as the combined population of Australia and the US, driving a huge demand for high-quality, fresh imported products. Chinese online shoppers are increasingly buying international products through online marketplaces such as Alibaba’s Tmall, Tmall Global and Taobao Global, and sales from cross-border e-commerce is expected to reach $245 billion by 2020, according to eMarketer.
Alibaba’s expo, held in Sydney on 21–22 September, provided information on how cross-border e-commerce can become easier through technology and online payments such as Alipay. It aimed to help Australian businesses capitalise on this huge consumer market, meeting and engaging with Chinese buyers and consumers, and building valuable relationships with Alibaba and its ecosystem of partners.
Maggie Zhou, Managing Director for Alibaba Australia and New Zealand, said: “The 2018 expo has been designed to engage big businesses already having great success with our online marketplaces like Tmall and Tmall Global, as well as SMEs who are looking for knowledge and support to tap into the Chinese market.”
The company used the success of Australian retailer Chemist Warehouse as an example, stating it “has grown on Tmall Global to become the largest cross-border retailer on the platform”.
The expo also allowed attendees to learn more about the retail technology developed by Alibaba Cloud. It displayed AI technology Cloud Shelf, which is an interactive screen that enables Chinese retailers to showcase virtual products on the shelf that are available to order online.
A replica of China’s customer-centric Hema supermarkets was also a huge attraction for attendees and exhibitors at the expo, as they merge online and offline shopping experiences. These supermarkets use QR codes to allow shoppers to access product information and enable them to make payments through their mobile devices.
“Retail and technology trends in China are continuing to change the way consumers, sellers, service providers and producers buy and sell,” said General Manager of Alibaba Cloud in Australia and New Zealand Raymond Ma.
He continued by stating Alibaba Cloud underpins much of this technology, and while it has been widely adopted in China, there is still room for growth in Australia.
Keynote speakers and panel discussions also talked about the nuances of Chinese consumers, payments, logistics and digital marketing solutions.
The Alibaba E-Commerce Expo will also be held in Melbourne on 18–20 October.