HANGZHOU: Alibaba's consumer data models hold detailed information on an estimated 80% of Chinese consumers and now the Chinese e-commerce giant is using this data to boost conversions and provide strategic advice for offline retailers.

A Warc Exclusive report – How Alibaba uses consumer data models to drive offline conversions – reveals how the world's biggest e-commerce player is using first and third party data from Chinese consumers to fuel growth for China's offline retailers.

As the gap between online and offline retailing grows ever narrower in China, Alibaba considers itself a bridge between the two.

Danfeng Li, the company's Director of Big Data and Technology, explained at the MRMW 2016 event in Kuala Lumpur how it uses first party data harvested from smartphones and its own massive consumer data stores to help China's bricks and mortar retailers increase conversions, understand consumer behaviour and develop effective advertising.

Li explained how data collected by Alibaba's big data operations provide actionable insights so retailers can make more informed decisions around store layout, driving foot traffic, and sales promotions.

And he highlighted how Alibaba's big data capabilities helped a merchandiser with 600 stores in China solve a common retail conundrum: which store layout is most effective for driving sales?

"We used the wi-fi sniffer to measure conversion, duration, visitor engagement and integrated this with total sales versus average sales," said Li.

The store was surprised to learn that, according to the data, it would need to make changes that ran against conventional retail tactics.

Meanwhile, a Chinese furniture store also saw big increases in performance after employing Alibaba's data modelling to optimise its in-store events.

"The store had a 10% increase in shoppers, and a 19% increase in loyal shoppers. There was a 75% increase in duration of time spent, and a 12% increase in aggregate spending," Li said.

Data sourced from Warc