?Australia Post expands online stores with Alibaba deal

Australia Post will establish a marketplace within Southeast Asia following a new agreement with e-commerce network Lazada, which is majority-owned by Alibaba.

Under the deal, Australia Post will extend its online storefronts beyond China to Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, which the organisation said creates a platform for Australian businesses to sell products across the region.

Lazada provides merchants with direct access to more than 560 million consumers across six continents.

Australia Post’s executive general manager, parcels and StarTrack CEO, Bob Black, said the Southeast Asian expansion built on the company’s existing relationship with Alibaba. Since 2014, Australian organisations have been able to sell their products through Alibaba platforms Tmall Global, Global TaoBoa and 1688.com.

“International expansion can be daunting for many businesses, particularly small and medium sized enterprises,” Black said in a statement. “That’s why we are proud to have partnered with Alibaba to help give Australian businesses access to the booming e-commerce sector in China and now the lucrative Southeast Asian market.”

Black said Australia Post also planned to open storefronts on Lazada’s other sites in Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines beyond this year.

In recent years, Australia Post has been forced to expand its product offerings as customers move from physical to digital communications. The company has been progressively digitising its business with new cloud-based apps and a digital mailbox service.

In 2013, the company lost around $200 million due to declining revenues in its traditional mail business.

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