Alibaba Launches Membership Program

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By Published On: August 14, 20180 Comments

Alibaba has announced the rollout of a premium membership program in order to retain its market share and boost consumer engagement.

Alibaba, the dominant player in China’s e-commerce market, has announced the roll out of it new 88VIP program. The premium membership program will offer exclusive benefits across online retail, entertainment and local services. It is a new tier within the 88 Membership Club which is the customer loyalty program which launched last year for Tmall and Taobao marketplace customers. Alibaba reportedly holds a 58.2 percent share of online retail in China.

Current Tmall and Taobao users can participate in the 88 Membership Club free of charge. The 88VIP package can be purchased for more extensive bargains. For users with at least 1,000 membership points, the annual fee is RMB88 (hence the name!) which is about AUD$18 and those with less than 1,000 points can be RMB888 (about AUD$175) for an upgrade.

Perks include 5 percent off Tmall Supermarket and the and the flagship stores of 88 local and international brands on Taobao and Tmall. 88VIP members are also automatically entitled to membership across various Alibaba businesses, including video-streaming platform Youku, music-streaming platform Xiami, on-demand delivery service and online ticketing portal Taopiaopiao.

“Customers always take center stage at Alibaba. With the introduction of New Retail, customers are more engaged both online and offline,” said Chris Tung, Chief Marketing Officer of Alibaba Group. “The decision to have an exclusive membership tier is not just about rewarding our most active members, it’s also about building an all-around experience our customers can enjoy every day.”

The 88 Membership Club was launched in August last year when Alibaba merged its Tmall and Taobao Marketplace loyalty programs into a single membership platform. Membership points are accumulated based not just on transaction volume, but also on the level of customer engagement.

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Heather Bone