El Corte Inglés, Spain’s largest retailer by market share, has sealed a deal with Alibaba Group covering retail, logistics, and payment. While El Corte Inglés will leverage Alibaba’s data analytics and artificial intelligence-driven tools to provide customers with a more personalized experience, Alibaba will benefit from El Corte Inglés’ fulfillment capabilities.
El Corte Inglés’ digital dexterity firmly roots it in the Gifted class of Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Retail Europe, placing the Spanish retailer neck and neck with Amazon Spain. The brand exemplifies how to leverage its physical presence to compete with Amazon on a local level. With two-hour home delivery available in 56 cities, covering 40% of the population, El Corte Inglés delivers the fastest and most comprehensive fulfillment options in Spain. This starkly contrasts with Amazon Prime Now, which only provides two-hour delivery in three Spanish cities.
It’s a similar story for Prime Now two-hour delivery in France, Germany and Italy, thereby presenting a gap for traditional retailers to leverage their presence in multiple cities and make faster deliveries available on a wider scale.
Earlier this year, El Corte Inglés introduced AliPay in its stores, an expedited payment method only offered by one retailer in the Index. This is a strategic move as Spain attracted over 700,000 Chinese internationals last year, a figure that’s expected to rise to a million by 2020. Spanish retailers, take note.