In a recent announcement, Alibaba has proposed a vending machine for sales of vehicles in China.The Company has provided with the renders of vending machine. The innovative buildings of ‘Car Vending Machines’ will look like a bigger version of kids’ toys.
Alibaba is on a mission to put together the offline market with the online sales platform. The recent investment of USD 2.9 billion in hypermarket operator Sun Art and the publicized of this ‘gigantic vending machines’ project are prominent illustrations of its mission.
How does the Car Vending Machine work?
- A potential customer uses Alibaba’s Taobao app to scan a car that they are interested in
- The system recognizes the scanned vehicle and lets them pick a color
- The customer is then prompted to enter basic information and snap a selfie
- Then, the system arranges a car for a test-drive if it’s available
- Once the customer is all set to buy the car, they head over the unmanned vending machine facility and after showing their face (hence the earlier selfie), their order retrieves and the company dispatches the car
The customer can also buy a vehicle subsequent to a test-drive or arrange to test a diverse model via Taobao app.According to Alibaba, two stores, one in Shanghai and the other in Nanjing, will be opened in January to help out the customers in buying a car as easily as buying a can of soda. The company revealed that it is intending to open more outlets across China later in 2018.
The company’s policy, to let the potential customers to take a car for up to three days to test-drive it, is a precarious business and Alibaba is relying on its own financial resources to keep the track of borrowed vehicles. Furthermore, the company will also let the customers to test-drive as much as five vehicles in just two months which, as per Alibaba, will “increase” its potential customers.The customers will avail a free test-drive given that they’ve reached a certain score on their Zhima credit-scoring service and are also a super member of Alibaba.
This is not the first time Alibaba is taking big steps.Earlier, it had also sold other large tickets such as airplanes and expensive vehicles online. This time, with the cars’ vending machine concept, the company desires to merge online retail with physical retail.