Hangzhou, China, June 11, 2014 － Alibaba Group announced its strategy to broaden the functionality and application of scannable codes, such as QR codes, to enable a more interactive and holistic consumer experience for its hundreds of millions of users as well as complement its existing mobile and online-to-offline and offline-to-online (O2O) commerce initiatives.
Scannable code technology will be seamlessly integrated with various segments of the platform experience including product listings, customer service, logistics and marketing activities. To mark the start of this new strategy, Alibaba Group has teamed up with PepsiCo and Tsingtao Brewery to push out 1.6 billion cans marked with QR codes that will allow users to better interact with the brands. Some 800 million cans of Pepsi and 800 million cans of Tsingtao beer are expected to be printed with QR codes and circulated during this summer. Users can scan the codes to find out if they have won another free beer or Pepsi.
"Our aim is to broaden the applicability and usability of scannable codes so that users can easily be connected to additional services and content, as well as to create multiple gateways and touch points into our ecosystem via any mobile device, anytime, anywhere." said Daniel Zhang, chief operating officer of Alibaba Group. "We hope this initiative will give consumers the ability to unlock more personalized, customer-oriented potential from their shopping and entertainment activities via our platforms and services, as well as help our merchants to deepen their engagement and interaction with customers."
By deeply integrating scannable technology into its various e-commerce platforms, Alibaba Group hopes to provide the consumer with better customer service and an improved O2O shopping experience. For example, users in China will be able to go into a supermarket to scan the codes of groceries to put them into their online shopping cart. They can then directly purchase the groceries online using their mobile devices and have groceries delivered to their homes fuss free.
Scannable codes will also give shoppers on Taobao Marketplace and Tmall.com access to better customer service by allowing them to scan codes to contact after-sales support staff or scan codes to download product manuals instantly.
Scannable codes are already popular in China where millions use them to follow their favorite companies on social media, or to redeem discounts at offline stores. During Alibaba Group's 11.11 Shopping Festival last year, consumers could scan product QR codes on their mobile phone from more than 300 brands, including Uniqlo, Toys "R" Us and Gap, across 30,000 brick-and-mortar stores to add items directly into their virtual Tmall.com shopping carts.
This strategy also broadens the O2O initiatives Alibaba Group has undertaken in the service sector by making it easier for users to order and for merchants to offer personalized services. For example on Tao Diandian, Taobao Marketplace's restaurant pre-order and takeaway service, users will be able to swipe codes to order their food.
As Alibaba Group seeks to constantly improve customer experience on its platforms, the deepened use of scannable technology will enable merchants to provide better and more customized services for users and for consumers to have a more enriched experience whilst shopping online.
About Alibaba Group
Alibaba Group's mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere. The company is the largest online and mobile commerce company in the world in terms of gross merchandise volume. Founded in 1999, the company provides the fundamental technology infrastructure and marketing reach to help businesses leverage the power of the Internet to establish an online presence and conduct commerce with hundreds of millions of consumers and other businesses.
Alibaba Group's major businesses include:
Alibaba Group also provides payment and escrow services on its marketplaces through its association with Alipay (www.alipay.com), a related company of Alibaba Group.
Through China Smart Logistics, a 48%-owned affiliate, Alibaba Group, operates a central logistics information system that connects a network of express delivery companies in China.