The once-trendy buzzword “coopetition” may have fallen into disuse, but in the tech world, businesses continue to simultaneously compete and cooperate with each other. Amazon.com, the giant U.S. Web retailer, today announced the soft launch of a virtual storefront on Alibaba Group’s Tmall.com online marketplace in a bid to boost sales in the China market.
Amazon.com vies with Tmall for China’s online consumers through its own shopping website and has invested in warehouses and logistics to deliver orders to mainland customers. By opening a flagship store on Tmall, China’s largest B2C shopping site, Amazon seeks to “develop new sales channels, offering Tmall consumers a variety of premium imported brands and a quality life backed by Amazon,” said Niu Yinghua, vice president of Amazon China, in a statement.
Through Tmall and sister C2C shopping website Taobao Marketplace, Amazon is tapping into Alibaba’s e-commerce ecosystem, which has some 334 million active buyers.
Products sold on Amazon’s Tmall store include footwear, food, beverages, kitchen products and toys, reflecting Chinese consumers’ growing desire for quality, everyday goods from overseas brands. The store, which is set to officially launch in April, features more than 1,000 imports, including some that are sold exclusively by Amazon in mainland China such as casual apparel retailer Panama Jack.
Orders will be fulfilled from warehouses in China and delivered by Amazon China’s local logistics services. Amazon China currently offers same-day and next-day delivery services in more than 1,400 cities and counties in China, as well as more than 5,000 self-pickup locations.
“Amazon aims to serve Chinese consumers to purchase products around the world through its platform,” Niu said. The company launched a store for its Kindle e-reader on Tmall last year.
Unlike Amazon, which buys and sells merchandise and operates its own delivery network, Tmall.com is an online marketplace that serves mainly as a host for independent merchants.
Janet Wang, director of Tmall’s international business development, said Tmall “aims to provide consumers with quality products and service, and welcomes partners with the same idea to join our platform. Amazon’s launch on Tmall will broaden Tmall’s selection of imported brands and allow consumers to shop globally through e-commerce channels.”
Other e-commerce sites that have storefronts on Tmall include Chinese shopping websites Dangdang, Gome and Yihaodian.