Alibaba

BEIJINGAlibaba is enticing more brands to its fold with a new digital holistic solution, A100, which will help brands integrate digital operations across the group’s many platforms and services.

The move reflects the evolution of Alibaba from a pure e-commerce player into an empire of what it calls a “digital entertainment and local services.” The company’s reach has grown to encompass not just sales but logistics, supply chain optimization, payments, marketing and other supporting services, all powered by cloud-based technologies.

“The A100 initiative, powered by the Alibaba Operating System, will be a one-stop shop for businesses to access a comprehensive range of enterprise services in the digital era,” said Daniel Zhang, ceo of Alibaba Group in Hangzhou.

“Many partners have gained enhanced operational efficiency and business growth through a deep partnership with Alibaba. Synergies generated by our ecosystem are creating new avenues for sales and distribution, and catalyzing product innovation to capture opportunities in lifestyle upgrades across China,” added Zhang.

With this new infrastructure, brands will be able to process a “massive flow of data, offering insights and analytics instrumental to better meeting customer needs and growing their business.”

Alibaba said it would establish a cross-platform integrated account-serving team to supervise the implementation of A100 and will start with partners already in the company’s ecosystem. The program will gradually expand to other brands looking to optimize their digital operations.

The company gave the example of Starbucks which was an early mover who signed a strategic partnership with the group last year. In addition to having Alibaba power the launch of its China-focused Starbucks mobile app in December, the coffee giant also uses TMall, Taobao, Alibaba’s food delivery service Ele.me, fresh supermarket experience FRESHIPPO, formerly known as Hema, and the group’s payments system, Alipay.

The A100 program is open to companies of all sizes, Alibaba said, and will allow them to choose from “an exhaustive menu of services to enhance their business operations.”

According to the firm, since it debuted its omnichannel “New Retail” concept two years ago, it has helped over 1,200 brands having digitize and upgraded more than 200,000 offline stores into “smart stores.”