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Ling Shou Tong: Alibaba’s Next Innovative Disruptor?

This piece examines Ling Shou Tong (Alibaba’s new retail inventory management platform)and looks at how it’s disrupting convenience stores and post and parcel delivery in China.

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Ling Shou Tong: Alibaba’s Next Innovative Disruptor?

  2. 2. 2Copyright © 2018 Accenture. All rights reserved. BRICK & MORTAR GOES DIGITAL LING SHOU TONG LAUNCHED IN 2014 Ling Shou Tong aims to help China’s 6 million small, independent stores improve sales and inventory management. OVER 600,000 or 10% of small, independent stores in China now operate on the Ling Shou Tong network. 40% INCREASE in Single Day sales (similar to Black Friday in the USA) in 2017 versus 2016. 22% OF STORES are expected to operate on the network by the end of 2018. Ling Shou Tong (roughly translates to “retail integrated”) is Alibaba’s new retail inventory management platform and it’s disrupting convenience stores and post and parcel delivery in China. Grocery, convenience store = originated at
  3. 3. Copyright © 2018 Accenture. All rights reserved. 3 KNOWING BEATS GUESSING Previously, convenience store owners based inventory decisions on intuition. Staying relevant has been a serious challenge. Now, store owners can use data-driven insights on the Ling Shou Tong platform to stock inventory proactively. Consumers can shop in-store or online and have items delivered directly to them, quickly.
  4. 4. ONLINE AND OFFLINE DATA Copyright © 2018 Accenture. All rights reserved. 4 The Ling Shou Tong platform is free for stores to use. In exchange, Alibaba receives consumer data via the cloud to improve its online and brick and mortar capabilities. The network also enables Alibaba to serve customers it doesn’t currently reach through its online platform.
  5. 5. RENOVATING THE SUPPLY CHAIN Copyright © 2018 Accenture. All rights reserved. 5 Brands Distributors Existing warehouses Regional warehouses City warehouses Local warehouses Small, independent stores City partners Information flow Goods flow Offline support Centralized storage and logistics Ling Shou Tong is digitizing the traditional supply chain of small, local businesses into a more efficient, data-driven network through its centralized, cloud-based platform. LING SHOU TONG Center of information exchange
  6. 6. Our research shows that there are three capabilities that Ling Shou Tong enables that will be critical in driving eCommerce growth. LAYING THE GROUNDWORK FORWARD STAGED INVENTORY LOCAL OMNICHANNEL RETAIL LOW COST RETURNS MANAGEMENT Copyright © 2018 Accenture. All rights reserved. 6
  7. 7. FORWARD STAGED INVENTORY Copyright © 2018 Accenture. All rights reserved. 7 Consumers increasingly expect fast and free delivery. There are over 600,000 stores operating with Ling Shou Tong that could become micro-distribution centers. This crowdsourced delivery network can ship packages to a customer’s door quickly and cheaply, solving the last mile challenge. It also enables Alibaba to store inventory closer to the consumer. Our research shows retailers are aggressively finding ways to forward stage inventory which changes last mile. Post and parcel organizations will be asked to provide local, faster deliveries in these new networks.
  8. 8. LOCAL OMNICHANNEL RETAIL Copyright © 2018 Accenture. All rights reserved. 81. Alibaba to open 30 new Hema stores in Beijing by year-end Ling Shou Tong-enabled stores could evolve to enable an online to offline capability in small towns and villages. These stores could adopt Hema store-like capabilities to deliver insights-driven, omnichannel retail beyond the big cities. With nearly 1.5 million residents within three kilometres of a Hema store in Beijing, imagine how many more consumers could take advantage of omnichannel ecommerce from small, local stores.1
  9. 9. LOW COST RETURNS MANAGEMENT Copyright © 2018 Accenture. All rights reserved. 9 E-commerce returns cost retailers millions of dollars. Ling Shou Tong stores can become return hubs as well as delivery hubs. Customers can easily return items to a local store, where Alibaba can track, manage and optimize the items’ next destination at a much lower cost. This creates a great opportunity for post and parcel organizations to become the first mile of a returns network, connecting local Ling Shou Tong stores with centralized returns management centers.
  10. 10. ALIBABAORAMAZON:WHOWILLWIN? Join an ecosystem or obtain full ownership The different approaches these two major retailers are taking will influence shipping cross-industry. ALIBABA AMAZON Coordinate/digitize the supply chain Combine legacy and own delivery network Enable an ecosystem Build and own Drive offline/online shopping experience Primarily online with minimal offline experimentation
  12. 12. ONE THING IS FOR SURE LAST MILE DELIVERY IS BEING DISRUPTED Copyright © 2018 Accenture. All rights reserved. 12 Digital technology is reshaping the industry. Players that are innovating, joining ecosystems and reinventing their business models to match changing consumer expectations are leading the way. FAST LOCALFREE Read more: The New Delivery Reality for Post and Parcel Players
  13. 13. ABOUT ACCENTURE Title Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions – underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network – Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With 449,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com. Copyright © 2018 Accenture All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo and High Performance Delivered are trademarks of Accenture. BRODY BUHLER Global Managing Director Accenture Post & Parcel Industry robert.b.buhler@accenture.com /brodybuhler @brodybuhler FINDOUTMORE www.accenture.com/PostandParcel