- Mondelez International is taking the next step to expand its e-commerce platform by partnering with Alibaba Group, China's e-commerce leader.
- Alibaba will host a "store" for Mondelez to sell its products on Alibaba's Tmall.com platform.
- Mondelez said it will build upon its Tmall.com investment by debuting exclusive products on the platform, such as launching Oreo Colorfilled in the Chinese market after a successful run in the U.S.
Last year, Mondelez outlined a growth plan that included a goal to generate at least $1 billion in e-commerce revenues by 2020. So far, those efforts have been to introduce Oreo Colorfilled in the U.S. for the 2015 holiday season, which included a partnership with daily deals site Zulily. Mondelez also debuted "buy now" buttons in shoppable ads and appointed an e-commerce leader from Nike to its board of directors.
Expanding its e-commerce sales is crucial for Mondelez at a time when revenues continue to fall — 16.6% in the most recently reported quarter and 18% in the preceding quarter. Full-year 2015 sales dropped 13.5%.
However, if Mondelez can figure out how to make the fast-growing food and beverage e-commerce sector work for its portfolio, the company could be a step ahead of competitors. Many manufacturers are only just starting to embrace e-commerce and determine the logistics necessary to make individual online orders practical and profitable.
Some industries are struggling with logistics more than others. This is particularly true for anything that has to be kept cool, such as chocolate or frozen foods. Sending products in bulk to a grocery store via a refrigerated truck is one thing. But having to specially box an individual product that has to be kept cool can become unwieldy and expensive to ship. Mondelez, however, produces a wide range of shelf-stable products that wouldn't be as impacted by weather and shipping conditions.