Alibaba’s Social Media Play – Experts’ Voice
The news that Alibaba acquired the microblogging servive Weibo has risen interest for the international media. Leading voices from the Chinese e-commerce market explained for www.wwd.com how Alibaba’s move is going to influence the online shopping experience in China. Franklin Yao, chief executive officer of SmithStreet, considers that this is a milestone for the Chinese consumers that might be able “to have an online shopping experience that feels like shopping in brick-and-mortar retail with friends”. And since Sina Weibo has become an engine for launching online marketing campaigns for brands and communicate with consumers about new products, watch this space in terms of multichannel experience for consumers. What does this mean? Lac Tran, Head of Digital at Web2Asia explained that shoppers in brick-and-mortar stores can use the mobile Internet to access and share information on Sina Weibo about products and this will influence purchase either online or offline. And while mobile e-commerce in China is “virtually inexistent”, according to SmithStreet’s Yao, Alibaba-Weibo alliance could create a potential platform integration between e-commerce and social networking. On the other side, Alibaba would leverage Sina Weibo’s user base to advertise sales and promotions on its e-commerce sites. And as Torsten Stocker at Monitor Deloitte points, we might see more sophisticated campaigns.
Since Alibaba has never done that well in the social area we are just wondering is the acquisition of Sina Weibo going to make history in e-commerce and social?