Alipay, the leading daily life services platform operated by Ant Group, today unveiled new data on how it is facilitating the digitalization of service providers via digital coupons as they continue to resume regular business operations.
The initiative, first launched on July 1, has attracted participation from over 10 million small and micro businesses across China.
Alipay’s digital coupon initiative enables merchants and shop owners to tap into the power of digital technology and embrace a more efficient way of operating and engaging with consumers. With just an Alipay QR code, micro businesses and street vendors can sign up easily to participate in the digital coupon initiative and engage mobile-savvy consumers.
Among the latest “digitalization practitioners” is “Grandma Sun,” a 75-year-old traditional snack stand owner from Hangzhou who participated in the digital coupon initiative, including by enabling her customers to get 2 yuan off for a minimal spending of 10 yuan via Alipay.
Over one million merchants also voluntarily distributed their own digital rewards via Alipay to engage consumers since the launch of the digital coupon initiative on July 1. Since March 2020, over 170 cities in China have distributed consumption coupons via Alipay to spur spending and economic growth.
Participating in this initiative can serve as an important starting point for retailer and service providers to embrace digitalization, according to Chen Guanhua, product manager for Alipay's digital coupons initiative. “Through this initiative, we hope to enable SMEs to tap into the power of digital technologies to enhance their operational efficiency and improve the customer experience,” said Chen. “We find that businesses that readily embrace digitalization are often more resilient and able to weather disruptions and challenges that may come their way.”
According to data from the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), SMEs account for over 90% of business entities in China and contribute to 80% of urban employment and 60% of Chinese GDP. Digital technology can play a pivotal role in helping small and micro businesses navigate and mitigate disruptions such as COVID-19.
The digital coupon initiative is just one of a full suite of digital solutions that service providers on Alipay can use to better engage and serve their customers. From mobile payments to mini programs, livestreaming, digital loans, and smart marketing, Alipay continues to build a one-stop digital daily life services platform aiming to support the digital transformation of 40 million service providers in the next three years.