Alibaba to help merchants profit from big data, says COO

December 01, 2014 17:09
Alibaba COO Daniel Zhang predicts that all kinds of commerce will become e-commerce in the future. Photo: HKEJ

Alibaba Group (BABA.US) plans to step up the use of big data in its e-commerce platforms to help merchants improve their credibility and sales, chief operation officer Daniel Zhang said.

"All kinds of information can be digitalized, including historical sales, so merchants can get better sales if they have a better reputation or are more credible, and Alibaba is establishing a system for that," Zhang told the Economic Summit co-organized by the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Monday.

Data collected from e-commerce platforms Taobao and Tmall, including sales reports and consumer comments, can be systematized and analyzed not only to guide merchants on how to improve their products and adjust their sales strategies but also in enhancing their reputation, he said.

"Internet has provided ideas and techniques to upgrade traditional business and interact with consumers… For example, consumers will just need to pay at the store and the goods will reach their home just as they arrive," Zhang said.

On Nov. 11, Singles Day, Alibaba recorded 57.6 billion yuan (US$9.37 billion) in sales, up from 36 billion yuan last year and 52 million yuan in 2009. Of this year's sales, 42.6 percent were done through mobile phones.

The purchasing power of Chinese consumers is expected to reach 1 trillion yuan by 2018, compared with 216 billion yuan as of last year, Zhang said.

Traditional businesses can no longer avoid internet, and all kinds of commerce will become e-commerce in the future, he added.

-- Contact the reporter at [email protected]


Ayishah Ma is a financial reporter on Greater China issues.