Artificial intelligence (AI) and e-commerce marketing company RooLife Group (ASX: RLG) has revealed it has signed an agreement with Chinese payments giant Alipay to become a marketing partner of Alipay’s online platform and associated services.
In a statement to the market, RooLife said it has struck a marketing cooperation agreement with Alipay to provide services for businesses enabling them to list, promote and sell via Alipay’s platform.
The contract term has been set at one year and will automatically renew annually with both parties able to terminate the agreement with 30 days’ notice ahead of the annual auto-renewal.
Alipay currently operates as a leading payments platform and serves more than 1.2 billion users across the world in tandem with its e-wallet partners, as well as around 900 million users in China alone.
According to the terms of the deal, RooLife has been tasked with empowering businesses to market and sell to Chinese shoppers by working with merchants and retailers globally, with a focus in Australia.
More specifically, RooLife will deliver online store management, create and manage marketing content, activate and onboard retailers, run promotions and carry out data analysis.
To generate revenue, RooLife will actively manage merchant marketing information on Alipay’s marketing platform and connect Australian merchants to Chinese consumers.
Furthermore, as a sign of a growing economic relationship between China and Australia, the deal is forecast to bridge the divide between Western and Eastern shopping habits.
“China’s digital marketing ecosystem has developed in a vastly different way relative to the West,” RooLife managing director Bryan Carr said.
“In China, it is estimated that somewhere between 60-80% of information searches start on e-commerce platforms and expanding our engagement and reach with Alipay is a key and valuable new partnership for RooLife,” he said.
As part of the deal, Alipay vowed to “dedicate resources and incur expenses” to deliver its marketing platform to RooLife but warned that merchants, users and Alipay may charge RooLife a “platform fee in the future” while including a 90-day prior notice before the charges could come into effect.
Linking payments with retailers
RooLife currently services a wide range of brands by providing marketing and e-commerce websites and platforms for its client base with the Alipay tie-up expected to further broaden the reach and scope of its services.
According to the company, the newly signed agreement is expected to open the door for RooLife to provide digital marketing for brands seeking to engage with Chinese consumers by delivering “customised Chinese-language advertisements, promotional material and online recommendations to Alipay’s online customer base”.
Alipay country manager George Lawson, who is responsible for the firm’s operations in Australia and New Zealand, said the deal will help Australian retailers to engage with Chinese customers and thereby, improve access to the sprawling Chinese market.
“A core challenge for Australian brands is to connect and meaningfully engage with Chinese audiences in a trusted way. Alipay’s merchant and customer relationships coupled with RooLife’s experience and expertise in Chinese marketing provide a compelling proposition for businesses seeking to access the greater China market,” Mr Lawson said.
As part of the relationship, RooLife will be given access to Alipay’s marketing platform to conduct direct marketing to Chinese customers on behalf of brands and retailers connecting to Chinese shoppers who actively seek out and use coupons in mobile apps for purchases.
“It is RooLife’s role to drive digital engagement for its merchants and vendors,” Mr Lawson said.
Despite the growing amount of business currently being conducted between Australian vendors and Chinese buyers, RooLife tempered expectations by declaring it is currently unable to reliably estimate potential revenues as a result of the deal announced today.
“However, the company expects increasing demand from Chinese consumers for high quality, safe and healthy products will benefit Australian and other international businesses seeking to use the platform, which in turn will benefit the company,” it stated.
Today’s news had an immensely positive effect on RooLife’s shares, lifting prices by over 150% to $0.035 per share in morning trade.