How Alibaba is leveraging AI to be the leading China’s e-commerce giant

Alibaba and AI, what comes first to our mind are AI assistants — Tmall Genie and Ali Assistant. Alibaba wanted to enhance its competitive edge by leveraging the advancements in AI. One of the most powerful chatbots is owned by Alibaba where in it’s customer service chatbot processes 95 percent of customer inquiries, both written and spoken ones. Furthermore, Alibaba claims that AI algorithms help to drive internal and customer service operations including smart product and search recommendations. Also, Alibaba uses AI to help map the most efficient delivery routes which also has been a successful implementation of the artificial intelligence technologies. Alibaba uses smart logistics which has resulted in a 10 percent reduction in vehicle use and a 30% reduction in travel distances.

Here are some detailed use cases of AI by Alibaba Group -

Tmall Smart Selection:

This AI-powered algorithm backed by deep learning and natural language processing helps recommend products to shoppers and then communicates to the retailers to increase inventory to keep up with the demand.
Online merchants are always striving to better engage with customers, thereby increasing click-through rates and ultimately conversion rates (sales). Alibaba is helping them achieve this through highly targeted, AI-assisted marketing. Merchants selling on Tmall and Taobao are able to personalize their virtual storefronts for individual visitors, offering real-time, tailored product recommendations based on purchase histories, age, gender, geographic locations and a host of other data points.

Dian Xiaomi:

This AI-powered chatbot can understand more than 90 percent of customer’s queries according to Alibaba and serves more than 3.5 million users a day. The latest version of the chatbot can understand a customer’s emotion and can prioritize and alert human customer service agents to intervene. The technology is proving so successful, a text-based, customizable version of the chatbot is being offered free to all merchants on Alibaba platforms so they can automate their own customer service departments.

Robots to pack:

Drones to deliver: More than 200 robots in automated warehouses can process 1 million shipments each day. Once the robots received the orders on Singles’ Day, they packaged and shipped the goods, and, in some cases, their efficiency allowed same-day shipment. Alibaba also used drones for some deliveries.

As China’s largest R&D spender, Alibaba is the largest single investor in SenseTime; an AI start-up known for its facial-recognition technology, that launched an AI lab in Hong Kong. The lab hopes to “advance the frontier of AI” by supporting other start-ups as they commercialize their AI tech and develop ideas and products. Researchers and other industry participants can also collaborate with start-ups in the lab.

With its City Brain project, Alibaba hopes to help cities run their operations by artificial intelligence. Already improving traffic issues, City Brain uses a cloud-based system where data about a city and everyone in it is stored and processed through AI algorithms. The project’s success in reducing traffic jams by 15% was achieved by monitoring every vehicle in the city. Already successful in Hangzhou, City Brain is going to Malaysia next.

To upgrade supply chain management, Alibaba has developed what it calls the Ali Smart Supply Chain (ASSC), which applies AI to help online and offline merchants forecast product demand; prepare, replenish and allocate inventory for optimal turnover; determine the right products to offer; and choose appropriate pricing strategies.

Thus, AI has been a leading technology at Alibaba and they are transforming every domain with it, setting examples of leveraging the technology successfully.




A tech enthusiast pursuing B.Tech from BMSIT, Bangalore. A keen learner of new technologies and exploring use cases to create an impact in the society.

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Suryansh Shrivastava

Suryansh Shrivastava

A tech enthusiast pursuing B.Tech from BMSIT, Bangalore. A keen learner of new technologies and exploring use cases to create an impact in the society.

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