Business / Industries

E-membership shows strong potential in O2O business

By MENG JING ( Updated: 2014-04-09 17:08

E-membership shows strong potential in O2O business

E-membership shows strong potential in O2O business

An online membership product jointly launched by department store operator Intime Retail (Group) Co Ltd and e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has showed strong potential for developing online-to-offline business by gaining 1.7 million users within a month.

According to a press release from Intime Retail on Wednesday, the virtual membership card helped Intime gain more than 1.7 million members in 30 days. The department store operator gained about 1.3 million offline members during the past 16 years since it was founded.

The e-membership, which launched on March 8, is the first online membership product in China that allows customers at brick-and-mortar stores to make payments for offline purchases through mobile phones.

The innovative e-product named Yintaibao is integrated with customers' membership information. Members can enjoy the advantages of Intime membership by taking their smartphones to any brick-and-mortar store of the company across China, and can pay through mobile devices as well.

The e-membership product is a major move by Intime and Alibaba to develop their online-to-offline business.

Alibaba said at the end of March it had invested as much as HK$5.37 billion ($692.5 million) in Intime to develop its online-to-offline business.

The investment is expected to give Alibaba a stake in Intime of about 9.9 percent when the deal is completed. The convertible bonds are estimated to allow Alibaba to take no less than 25 percent of Intime when it converts those bonds into common stock shares within three years.


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