Australian winemakers are spearheading a push by Australia Post into the Chinese marketplace as part of a joint-venture with the online wholesaler 1688.com
1688.com is a Mandarin-only business-to-business (B2B) online marketplace, set up by Jack Ma’s Alibaba Group in 2010 to help foreign businesses sell wholesale into China. The site has 100 million registered users. It is the world’s largest wholesale transaction platform and third biggest overall.
Five Margaret River wineries – EVOI Wines, Flametree Wines, Happs Wines, Laurance Wines and Rosily Vineyard – are the first to sign up for the postal service’s new online “Australian pavilion” auspost.1688.com, offering 10 different wines.
Australia Post plans to include other wine regions in the coming months and hopes to expand beyond wine in 2016. MD and CEO Ahmed Fahour says the platform was a good eCommerce solution for small and medium businesses in China.
“Alongside our new storefront on Alibaba’s 1688.com, we already have an existing storefront on Alibaba’s Tmall Global business-to-consumer (B2C) marketplace – auspost.tmall.hk. This means customers who want to sell their products into China can partner with us to sell directly to consumers in China via Tmall, as well as wholesale to Chinese businesses via 1688.com.”
“When you combine these two marketplaces and Australia Post’s role as AliPay’s exclusive agent in Australia, we now offer a complete eCommerce solution that can be tailored to any local business wanting to get into the Chinese market.”
Australia Post works with the businesses on issues such as pricing, language, import licensing, customer service, marketing and logistics.
The mail business packs and sends the wine, shipping it to a bonded warehouse in Shanghai after which it can be picked up by the wholesale buyer or delivered.
Margaret River Wine Association CEO Nick Power said local producers were looking for a faster “speed-to-market” solution for Chinese exports.
“The 1688.com Australian pavilion is the culmination of many years of work to solve a major obstacle for the Australian wine industry, offering a simple avenue to sell and ship to China in bulk,” he said.
Alibaba’s regional head of business development, Michael Mang, said the partnership with Australia Post was a crucial part of the company’s cross-border trade strategy.
The online store is here.