BEIJING - A new era in automobile shopping has arrived. Alibaba and BMW signed a memorandum of understanding for a strategic partnership on 26 October.
BMW will be the first auto manufacturer to leverage the Alibaba Business Operating System (ABOS) to boost its online presence in China. This alliance will enable BMW and its dealerships to accelerate digital transformation of the dealer network in China, to provide Chinese customers with more premium, convenient and personalised services and digital experiences.
Chinese consumers will soon be able to purchase BMW or MINI vehicles online. On top of that, consumers will enjoy a whole slew of premium, one-stop customer-centric services like gaining access to exclusive member benefits, in addition to making online reservations for test drives and maintenance. Together with the dealers, BMW and Alibaba will provide end-to-end and online-to-offline digital experiences for the Chinese customers.
BMW and Alibaba will work together with dealers to build BMW’s end-to-end operating system, provide customers with full-link service which integrates “car-viewing, car purchasing and car maintenance” on the multiple platforms of Alibaba’s ecosystem, such as Taobao, Tmall, Alipay and Amap.
Alibaba Business Operating System is a unique solution that empowers businesses to extract new value from digital transformation in the Alibaba Digital Economy. Mainly focusing on 11 major business elements: branding, products, sales, marketing, channels, manufacturing, services, finance, logistics and supply chain, organisation, and information technology, the ABOS enables end-to-end digital operation in the new era. The operating system draws on Alibaba’s experience, capabilities and success, fully integrating its diversified business model using cloud computing and big data technologies. Besides BMW, other brand partners leveraging ABOS are Unilever, Starbucks and McDonald’s.
Starbucks expanded its reach to customers across China by introducing its mobile order and pay feature, Starbucks Now, to multiple platforms in the Alibaba Digital Economy, including Taobao, digital mapping and information provider Amap, local services app Koubei and Alipay. This allows users to pre-order and pay for their favourite Starbucks beverage and food online, as well as do a store pick-up. This service was only available through the Starbucks China mobile app previously.
“As one of the most innovative international premium automakers, BMW is an industry leader with outstanding products and services. Now BMW is once again at the forefront of digital transformation, becoming the first auto manufacturer to leverage Alibaba Business Operating System (ABOS),” Jet Jing, Vice President of Alibaba Group and Secretary General of Enterprise Service for Alibaba Digital Economy said.
“This system will help accelerate the digital operations across BMW’s business segments, aiming to provide end-to-end customer-centric services throughout the product lifecycle and high-quality growth by expanding, connecting and serving customers in a more efficient way,” Jing added.
Through Alibaba’s membership system, BMW and MINI plan to launch membership services and marketing campaigns on Alibaba’s diverse online platforms to enhance customer loyalty, increasing their level of engagement, driving business innovation and accelerating growth.
“Cross-industry collaboration and open innovation exchange are indispensable in accelerating the ongoing digital transformation of our company. As one of China’s leading tech enterprises, Alibaba has unique competencies in terms of digital technologies, large scale customer platforms and channels as well as targeted consumers operations.” Jochen Goller, President and CEO of BMW Group Region China said.
The digital economy and digital trade are thriving and changing the consumers’ expectation and consumption behaviour.
This win-win collaboration between Alibaba and BMW doesn’t just reflect the rapidly transforming business environment; it is also a milestone in the digitalisation in the auto industry that benefits both BMW dealers and Chinese consumers.
In partnership with Alibaba.