A platform under the Alibaba Group, Tmall Global, has launched a new “World Duty Free” service that allows Chinese tourists to prepay for their duty-free purchases before going on vacation. As a part of the launch announcement, Tmall also said that Thailand’s largest duty-free retail group, King Power, will open a duty-free storefront on the platform and become the first company to offer this service to Chinese consumers.
By launching the “World Duty Free” service, Tmall Global hopes to enhance cross-border e-commerce opportunities for global companies looking to reach Chinese shoppers when they travel.
The King Power Duty Free Store on Tmall Global allows consumers to purchase stored-value cards online before their vacation and when they visit Thailand, users can then spend the value on those cards in five King Power shops in the country, including the stores in Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport and the Suvarnabhumi Airport. Tmall Global is also working with duty-free companies in South Korea, Japan and Europe to open stores on the platform.
In the future, the “World Duty Free” service on Tmall Global will support online purchase of specific duty-free items and delivery of those items to the airport for customers to pick up. Through Tmall Global’s “World Duty Free” service, companies are able to tailor special promotional discounts for Chinese tourists and help them minimize the hassle of carrying cash and dealing with exchange rates.
According to tax rebate company, Global Blue, Chinese global shoppers accounted for nearly 30 percent of all tax-free shopping spending in the world last year. The Alibaba Group comprises 16 different entities, including Alibaba.com, the world’s largest online retailer.