JD.com and Alibaba are partnering with tech companies and retailers to collaborate on new ways to drive the industry forward. JD.com joined with Intel to launch a joint lab that will explore the use of the Internet of Things (IoT) in smart retail solutions, while Alibaba is working with Spanish retailer El Corte Inglés in a joint effort to complement each other’s logistics expertise.
JD.com and Intel have formed the Digitized Retail Joint lab to develop vending machines, media and advertising solutions and other retail-focused technologies. The team already has merged Intel’s RRI edge computing and OpenVINO computer vision architecture with JD’s computer vision algorithms to analyze customer traffic and in-store purchasing habits — data that can be used to improve personalization efforts.
“This lab will combine our collective strengths to develop cutting-edge solutions to bring the precision of online shopping to offline players,” said Zhi Weng, VP of JD.com and head of JD Big Data Platform in a statement. “We look forward to expanding our cooperation with Intel to deliver a best-in-class, personalized shopping experience wherever consumers shop.”
The partnership between El Corte Inglés and Alibaba will span retail, payments, cloud computing and the entire Alibaba New Retail initiative. El Corte will tap a number of Alibaba solutions, including data analytics and AI-based tools, and open a sales channel for “made-in-Spain” goods on Tmall. El Corte also will provide support for Alibaba, which could leverage the department store’s shipping capabilities and distribution centers in Spain to support AliExpress, the retailer’s international e-Commerce service, in the nation.
“This agreement will allow us to combine both the physical and online worlds, in order to offer the best shopping experience to our customers,” said Victor del Pozo, CEO of El Corte Inglés in a statement. “Together, we are writing the future and placing ourselves at the forefront of trade and technology.”
Alibaba is no stranger to working with other retailers to enhance its offerings: the retail giant partnered with Guess in July 2018 to launch a FashionAI concept store that featured Guess apparel on smart racks, smart mirrors and next-generation fitting rooms. Guess plans to introduce the technology to its own stores in the future.