Retail in Asia

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Alibaba cloud eyes retail sector with 9 new product launch

The Retail industry in China has experienced some significant changes over the past few years.

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New Retail is trending as players in the industry are striving to bring customers an unique omnichannel experience. Shoppers can now buy anything, anywhere, anytime.

The online-offline shopping experience has been strongly supported by digitalization. Alibaba, China’s e-commerce powerhouse, has been offering a wide range of services to support retailers. However, the latter were only available in China.

Earlier this week, Alibaba has launched its suite of cloud-computing solutions globally. Among them are a smart access gateway that enables retailers to connect their data from different shops to a single cloud platform, data lake analytics, or a serverless, high-performance query service that analyses historical inventory and sales data. To prevent retailers from data loss, Alibaba Cloud also launched its Anti-Bot Service, a software solution that protects users from online scalpers and crawlers.

Alibaba’s cloud-computing unit’s chief solution architect, Derek Wang said “This new suite of offerings includes products that are highly efficient, cost effective. Some of them are the first of their kind in the industry.”

He said that all products have specific features meeting some identified need within the flourishing retail market in the Asia Pacific region, allowing retailers for a more effective deployment of their resources and deeper consumer insights.

If the New Retail concept has been around in China for a while, Alibaba’s move aims at expanding it across Asia, specifically Southeast-Asia.

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Ng Yu Xuan, a Frost and Sullivan industry analyst, said Asia-Pacific’s cloud computing market is highly price-sensitive, giving Alibaba Cloud an opportunity to expand its footprint in the region through its aggressive pricing strategies.

However, as AI and machine learning isn’t quite widespread in the developing countries, Ng said that should it want to succeed, Alibaba will have to build an extensive partner ecosystem outside China.

As more ASEAN businesses are adopting a multi-cloud strategy to avoid supplier lock-in and reap the benefits of the latest innovations in the industry, Alibaba started an ASEAN partner alliance program. The program will allow the e-commerce giant to fuel growth in his Asian ecosystem as it aims to recruit 150 solution partners and train 600 sales and technology personnel in the following 12 months.