Amazon rival ShopRunner, an online retailer, has inked a deal with Alibaba to sell and deliver goods in China. Alibaba owns 39% of the U.S. company.
This deal adds ShopRunner to marketplaces Tmall and Taobao that Alibaba already operates in China.
The venture presents U.S. retailers with fresh opportunities to launch into China without the usual risks.
Four-year-old ShopRunner sells items from several retail brands including American Eagle Outfitters, and is boldly taking on Amazon by keeping its two-day free shipping annual membership fee at Amazon’s old rate of $79. In fact, it’s sweetening the deal for Amazon Prime members who don’t renew their membership by giving them a free ShopRunner membership for a year.
While ShopRunner has been cheeky in its competitive moves against Amazon, it still operates in the e-retailer’s shadow. But this Alibaba opportunity swings the doors wide open for ShopRunner and its participating retailers to enter the huge and growing, but hard-to-conquer, Chinese retail market.