Royal Mail and Alibaba launch new services to link Chinese sellers directly with UK online shoppers


Royal Mail and Alibaba have strengthened their strategic arrangement with the launch of new services to link Chinese sellers directly with UK online shoppers.

AliExpress, Alibaba Group’s global retail marketplace for consumers, will offer Chinese exporters new Royal Mail shipping solutions, providing a fast, high quality, secure UK delivery option. Delivery is within two weeks, much faster than standard international postage, as it directly links international airfreight with Royal Mail’s UK network.

Improved service

Both AliExpress merchants in China and online shoppers in the UK will benefit from the new shipping solutions. Upon purchase and selection of the Royal Mail delivery option, items will be airfreighted to the UK to enter Royal Mail’s network for quick and reliable delivery through its Tracked 48 or First Class services.

With unrivalled coverage across the UK, Royal Mail can also offer superior tracking information to merchants on the AliExpress platform. It will supply its 2D barcode labels for AliExpress shipments. In future, this will give customers access to tracking information on their parcels as they pass through key points of the delivery journey.

Richard Snowdon, director, Royal Mail International, said: “We are focused on our strategy of growing import and export volumes, and developing e-commerce solutions is an important part of that. Faster, secure, high quality delivery options are key, as parcel transit times and tracking visibility are important to international e-retailers and consumers alike. China is Royal Mail’s largest import country partner, and Royal Mail’s new service for AliExpress further complements this important strategic partnership.”

11.11 Global Shopping Festival

The agreement comes in time for the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, China’s annual online shopping event that is larger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. In the US, during the entire five-day stretch from Thanksgiving through CyberMonday, online buying from desktop computers totalled $6.6 billion, according to comScore2. On a single day, 11 November 2014, in China’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, Alibaba Group generated $9.3 billion in GMV (Gross Merchandise Volume). This means Chinese consumers in their millions outspent their US counterparts by more than four-to-one in a single-day online shopping event. The 11.11 shopping event sees online merchants offer big discounts to consumers. This year Alibaba is allowing pre-orders on products available during the 24-hour event so shoppers can reserve items at a specific price a few weeks prior toNovember 11. UK consumers can take advantage of these discounts through AliExpress.

Joe Yan, AliExpress director of global operations, said: “Our mission is to make cross border trade enjoyable and hassle-free for the merchants and consumers that use our platform. By collaborating with Royal Mail, we are working with a trusted delivery partner in a very important market to improve the cross border shopping experience to the UK consumer.”

Launched in 2010, AliExpress is a global consumer marketplace which enables shoppers around the world to buy directly from manufacturers and exporters in China at attractive prices. AliExpress operates fifteen local language sites in countries like the UK, Russia, Brazil and Spain, and offers consumers access to an extensive variety of products, including fashion and accessories, beauty products and electronics.