Monday, 07 December 2015 17:59

Australia Post bottles up a partnership with Alibaba’s 1688.com Featured

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It’s a far cry from the local postie delivering parcels and letters to our homes and businesses, with Australia Post’s new partnership with Alibaba’s 1688.com and the commencement of distribution of Aussie wines in the huge Chinese market.

Australia Post announced on Monday it has sealed a partnership with 1688.com, the largest B2B online website in China. 1688.com was established in 2010 by the Alibaba Group, operator of the largest online and mobile marketplaces in the world, to help foreign businesses sell their goods in China at wholesale prices.

The deal sees the official launch of Australia Post’s so-called Australian ‘pavilion’ - auspost.1688.com – providing a “powerful online platform” for Australian businesses to sell into China in bulk, reaching more than 100 million registered users and enticing Chinese importers to buy Australian products at more affordable, wholesale prices.

Australia Post said today it will initially help sell wine through 1688.com because of the strong demand for Australian wine exports into China but, given the growing interest in high quality Australian products more generally, this will expand to include other categories in 2016.

The online store was launched today by Australia Post in collaboration with the Margaret River Wine Association – the first wine region to sell via the Australian pavilion, showcasing wines from five premium wineries in Western Australia – EVOI Wines, Flametree Wines, Happs Wines, Laurance Wines and Rosily Vineyard.

Australia Post has said that over the coming months it will work directly with other premium wine regions to broaden the range offered on the site.

Australia Post’s Managing Director and CEO Ahmed Fahour says the partnership with Alibaba’s 1688.com represents a landmark era in China-Australia free trade.

“There has never been a better time for Australian businesses to access China’s flourishing eCommerce sector, which is set to become the world’s top import market for online goods by 2018.

“Australia Post is committed to supporting local businesses by breaking down barriers to selling overseas and delivering eCommerce solutions that make it easier to do business across the country and overseas.”

According to Fahour, international expansion can be a daunting prospect for many Australian companies but, he said, Alibaba’s B2B platform, 1688.com, offers the “perfect solution for small and medium businesses to drive more sales in China”.

“Our world-first partnership with 1688.com is a one-stop eCommerce, logistics and delivery solution that streamlines labelling, packaging, pallet consolidation, sea and air transport, customs clearance, warehousing and distribution.”

“Alongside our new storefront on Alibaba’s 1688.com, we already have an existing storefront on Alibaba’s Tmall Global business-to-consumer (B2C) marketplace (auspost.tmall.hk). This means customers who want to sell their products into China can partner with us to sell directly to consumers in China via Tmall, as well as wholesale to Chinese businesses via 1688.com.”

“When you combine these two marketplaces and Australia Post’s role as AliPay’s exclusive agent in Australia, we now offer a complete eCommerce solution that can be tailored to any local business wanting to get into the Chinese market.”

Nick Power, CEO of Margaret River Wine Association said, “Our producers told us they needed a faster speed-to-market solution for Chinese exports, and Australia Post listened. The 1688.com Australian pavilion is the culmination of many years of work to solve a major obstacle for the Australian wine industry, offering a simple avenue to sell and ship to China in bulk.”

“We’re thrilled to be the first Australian wine region to showcase our premium wines on 1688.com. Ten different bottle varieties across the Margaret River region’s five participating wineries are now on sale to millions of Chinese people through this online store.”

Australian businesses looking for help to grow their business in China, can contact the 1688auspost website – just click here - and, to visit the Chinese language 1688.com Australian shopfront click here.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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