UAE-based WEMART is one of the largest Asian supermarket chains in the Middle East. It was established in 2006 and is known for its high quality, fresh, affordable grocery and 24*7 convenient services. It integrates six industries, including retail, logistics, farm, e-commerce, culture, and trade, to offer value through its exceptional service, quality, and variety of products.02
The sudden outbreak of the global pandemic halted operations at various brick-and-mortar WEMART stores, which severely affected the business. Many offline businesses moved their operations to electronic retailing to offer convenience to their consumers. While WEMART’s online business volume increased sharply, it was difficult for their existing IT infrastructure to handle such huge volumes of requests. Online operations such as management of payment gateways, transaction processing, and customer membership became more complex. WEMART wanted to consolidate its online and offline resources and accelerate its digital transformation in a way that it offers convenience to its customers, handles operations efficiently, and at the same time, distinguishes its offerings from the competitors.03
Why Alibaba Cloud
To power its next phase of growth during the COVID crisis, WEMART chose Alibaba Cloud as its technology partner. Alibaba Cloud offered a comprehensive set of online-to-offline shopping solutions to digitally transform operations, making it even more convenient for consumers to shop and pay. Intelligent features based on AI and machine learning further enhanced the seamless shopping experience by narrowing down the communication gap between retailers and buyers. Alibaba Cloud’s tailored solutions for new retail are the right fit for WEMART to enhance customer experience, improve operational efficiency, and increase consumer responsiveness.04
WEMART adopted Alibaba Cloud's easy-to-use, reliable, cost-effective, and fully-managed services to ensure seamless operations and superior customer experience. The Online-to-Offline (O2O) solution from Alibaba Cloud helped WEMART facilitate easy online order placement for customers and provide convenient delivery options, including self-pickup from the nearby stores, direct delivery by stores, or deliver by warehouses. This solution enhanced the shopping experience, as well as streamlined and improved offline store and warehouse order fulfillment efficiency. Alibaba Cloud also supported easy integrations with the existing ERP, CRM, WMS, POS, and third party payment gateways to maximize product placement strategies, prioritize tasks, implement fair productivity standards, and increase logistics efficiency. Strong integration further simplified unified commodity management, transaction management, membership management, and promotion management. WEMART also leveraged Alibaba Cloud’s PolarDB for MYSQL to handle high concurrency requests by increasing response capability during peak time.
Furthermore, Alibaba Cloud's AI-based virtual assistant, AliMe Chabot, and workbench helped automate customer service tasks by handling 60-70% of consumer queries and after-sales service requests on a 24/7 basis. Additionally, WEMART leveraged Alibaba Cloud's translation service to overcome language barriers and allowed consumers to switch to different languages as per their convenience. This helped WEMART target new consumer groups apart from Chinese and Asian consumers and paved the way to carve a new customer base to increase revenue.05
Alibaba Cloud’s new retail solutions helped WEMART significantly improve its operations during unprecedented times and address the changing business demands. With its advanced solutions, Alibaba Cloud empowered WEMART to make business-critical decisions and successfully navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
After successfully implementing online-to-offline solutions in the first phase, WEMART is looking forward to exploring Alibaba Cloud’s smart store and scenario-based solutions for the next phases.