(Yicai Global) June 7 -- Nestle SA, the world's biggest food company, has upgraded its partnership with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. [NYSE: BABA] in a bid to boost sales through e-commerce channels in China.
The upgrade in ties kicked off with a three-day 'Super Brand Day,' which ends today. Nestle has launched 15 flagship stores on Tmall selling more than 160 products under 30 brands, including items that have never been sold before in China. Tmall is the business-to-consumer platform of Alibaba, China's e-commerce heavyweight. Alibaba has more than 400 million active users every year.
Nestle Global's Executive Vice President Wan Ling Martello, the main mover behind the strategic upgrade, told Yicai Global that Alibaba is not just a new sales channel for Nestle, but a platform from which the Switzerland-based company can get a better understanding of Chinese consumers. Alibaba's big data will enable Nestle to learn about consumer needs, she said.
Alibaba will bring many benefits to Nestle, Alibaba Vice President Jing Jie told Yicai Global. Alibaba can introduce Nestle to new models for branding, channel management, product innovation and supply chain management.
Nestle's China revenue was about CHF7 billion (USD7.2 billion) last year, with online sales accounted for at least 10 percent. Half of the company's pet care products were sold through the Internet, as were 30 percent of coffee and infant nutrition items.