Alibaba Group Announces Partnership with GS1

Alibaba Group is the world’s largest online and mobile trading market, and runs various online and mobile platforms, covering Retail, Wholesale and Cloud Computing. There are 423 million active buyers on China’s retail platform of Alibaba Group. Alibaba Group, GS1 & GS1 China have announced that they will work together to standardise product information for the benefit of all supply chain participants, including consumers.

The partnership

Alibaba Group looks to expand and create more value for merchants and consumers with global brand owners. All e-Commerce trading platforms of Alibaba Group will actively expand the application scenarios of the GS1 standards and adopt the GS1 Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) as the product identifier. Further, Alibaba is encouraging its users to join the GS1 Global Data Synchronisation Network™ (GDSN®) for the standardised, online exchange of product information.

This will help brand owners that supply Alibaba Group with products to:

  • Manage their supply chain efficiently;
  • Help to provide the standard information that complies with the laws and regulations and meet the demands for consumer transparency;
  • Provide accurate and complete product information, for both upstream and downstream (supply and sales enterprises);
  • Provide consumers with access to authentic and rich product content, which helps brand integrity and improves the consumer experience in today’s global e-Commerce industry.

To promote the standardisation of product information, Alibaba Group plans to carry out the GDSN® project in stages. In stage 1, brand owners in the categories of Health food, Maternal and Child, Beauty and Make-up, Personal Care will be invited to join the project. Alibaba Group will identify the products with GTINs to obtain the product information of the international brand owners, and thereafter, by leveraging GTINs, populate all pre-packaged categories.

Relevance for NZ

In April 2016 Prime Minister Key announced a deal to assist NZ exporters to list products on Alibaba, and many exporters are considering Alibaba platforms, including Alibaba and T-Mall as channels to market. GS1’s standards for product identification and GDSN product information exchange platforms are widely deployed in NZ, across multiple sectors including food and grocery, DIY & construction, agribusiness, general merchandise and healthcare.  GS1 New Zealand has over 5,500 members, many of who are exporters.

The GDSN-compliant National Product Catalogue run by GS1 New Zealand and Australia support the trading activity of Foodstuffs, Progressive Enterprises, Mitre 10, ITM and the public healthcare system, amongst others. Alibaba’s commitment to the same suite of standards deployed in NZ and ‘talk the same language of business’ has the potential to open up many more export avenues for NZ’s products.

For more information, please contact Peter Stevens, CEO, GS1 New Zealand on 04-494-1050

For more general information on GDSN®, please visit:

http://www.gs1.org/gdsn