Alitrip, the online travel marketplace, has a significant foothold in the Chinese market. It has focused on signing up travel agencies to reach more customers with its products and services. Distinguishing itself from other brands, it plans to drive a C2B marketplace and thereby transform it into a consumer-driven business.
Sherri Wu, the Chief Strategy Officer of Alitrip, attended WIT 2015 to share her knowledge and experience of the travel industry and Alitrip. She pointed out that today most of the Chinese travellers are young, affluent, educated and independent by nature. They are ready to spend a sufficient amount of money at international destinations. Last year, Chinese tourists had spent a whopping sum of US$164 billion overseas. This clearly shows that money is not the limiting factor anymore for the modern Chinese traveller. As most of them are digital natives, they embrace technology and rely on mobile devices for their travel bookings. As a matter of fact, 70% of their travel bookings come from mobile devices alone.
Most of the businesses, especially startups, neglect storing data. Alitrip has realized its importance. It has accumulated a large amount of data over the last 16 years. With the help of this data, Alitrip wishes to create and design the best products and services according to the customer..
Social websites like Facebook, Twitter, G+ are being used extensively by many brands to reach to their customers. According to Sherri, the content on social media should be converted from user-generated content (UGC) to professional-generated content (PGC). This professional guide will be viewed as a more reliable and useful source for strategically bringing supply and demand together.
China’s Singles Day sale is believed to be biggest online shopping festival in the world. Alitrip celebrated this occasion for the first time in 2014. Giving exclusive offers to its customers, its total sales reached USD 9.3 billion in the 24-hour time period. The company had sold goods worth USD 1 billion in 17 minutes only, and touched the USD 2 billion mark in just above an hour. Its record-breaking achievement on a single day grabbed the attention of international audience.
Future of AliTrip:
Alitrip aims to further develop products and services that better meet the needs of customers. It plans to make travel a ‘natural extension’ for its customers. As described by Sherri Wu, the brand believes on ‘Innovation, Innovation and Innovation!’. Sherri quoted:
“Now the customer doesn’t even have to pay at check-in or checkout; Alitrip does it behind the scenes. It saves customers time and saves hotels front desk labor.”
Alitrip does a form of re-conciliation with the hotels through bank accounts. This is very convenient for the customers. Additionally, they have pushed out the online credit-based visa application for mainland Chinese residents to promote the enhanced offering.
Alitrip is an independent business unit of Alibaba – a giant Chinese e-commerce company and was created in October, 2014.
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