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MarketWatch has a story about how China-based Alibaba has “a vision for the future that departs from Amazon in several significant ways,” especially in how it differs from Amazon’s Prime loyalty marketing offering.

“We don’t want to simply copy the Prime model from Amazon to China,” Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang tells MarketWatch. “I think in China, we can generate our own model. And the purpose of this loyalty customer program is to enhance the stickiness of the loyalty customers and also give people a very clear road map how to be loyalty customers and so that we have more and more people to be with us.”

While Amazon has numerous bricks-and-mortar ventures in play at the moment - ranging from its still-in-beta-test Amazon Go store in Seattle to its Amazon Books stores being opened around the country to its Whole Foods division - Alibaba’s Hema format in China is seen by the company as having potential for franchising.

The prognostication about Alibaba’s future came as Alibaba, according to ,MarketWatch, “reported a fiscal second-quarter profit of $2.66 billion on sales of $8.29 billion, boasted of near-triple-digit percentage growth in its cloud-computing division along with core commerce growth of 63%. Executives also increased its revenue guidance, saying sales would grow 49% to 53%, up from 45% to 49%.”
KC's View:
To me, the idea of franchising is scary …. if only because it seems to me that it may leave too much of the experience subject to the ability of franchisees to deliver on the value proposition. I suspect that if this is where Alibaba wants to draw the line between its approach and Amazon’s, that’s just fine with Amazon.