Don Zhao

Azoya, a turnkey e-commerce solutions and services provider, announced a joint program with UnionPay International “to introduce international online retailers to UnionPay cardholders around the world via a cross-border marketing platform U Plan,” the companies said this morning.

The platform facilitates online retailers with consumers in China who are looking for Black Friday deals. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Azoya said the platform enables five of its retail partners from the U.K. and Australia as well as Germany to “launch promotions and drive sales during the Black Friday online shopping festival this week.”

Azoya described Black Friday as “a feast for cross-border e-commerce” in China. Black Friday is the official kickoff for the holiday shopping season, which generates interest not only in the U.S. but in Asia, Europe and Australia. According to data from Adobe, U.S. online sales last year were $92 billion in the U.S. for the top 100 retailers it tracks while online sales for the season in overseas markets came in over $140 billion.

The figures exclude China, which is considered an untapped market for U.S. retailers looking to leverage Black Friday, Cyber Monday and holiday season shopping opportunities online.

Azoya said the U Plan platform “is the world’s first open cross-border marketing platform to be launched by a bankcard organization.”

“The platform includes a digital alliance of banking applications, Online Travel Agency services, deal web sites, airlines and online influencers, which provide multiple marketing channels for overseas retailers. Azoya’s retail partners, including Feelunique (U.K.) and Pharmacy Online (Australia), are among the first online merchants to participate, alongside Amazon Japan and other major international e-commerce businesses,” the company said.

Joel Palix, chief executive officer of Feelunique, said the company is “always looking to improve customer experience and make shopping with Feelunique as convenient as possible. Our aim is to become a go-to local retailer and Union Pay, with its huge customer base, will enable us to extend our reach even further into China.”

Azoya said in a statement that with support from UnionPay International, it “released promotional banners and targeted campaigns for its retail partners in preparation for the Black Friday sales.” The company also said that shoppers in China will also “enjoy an extra discount when leveraging UnionPay’s payment gateways when purchasing from the web stores of Azoya’s participating retail partners, with a combined value of over one million yuan as the first phase of U Plan.”

Don Zhao, cofounder and executive director of Azoya, said that finding the best ways to reach “online shoppers is an ongoing challenge for international retailers looking to crack into the Chinese market, as cross-border e-commerce continues to skyrocket. By deepening our partnership with UnionPay, we’re helping increase the opportunities international retailers have to promote their businesses and drive revenue growth in the market.”

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