Alibaba keeps the hits coming in the run-up to its U.S. IPO scheduled for some time later in 2014. It has now released Mashang Tao, a platform that allows brands and merchants to make QR codes that in turn can be used for in-store and online purchasing—as well as from printed adds with scanable codes embedded on them.
The new services is really five services rolled into a single package—with specific QR codes for each service—be it embedding in a print add, placement on a “real world’ in-store object, placement on a shippable item or for use directing customers to other goods and services.
The five services are Shangpin Ma (a type of QR codes that are set to be featured on offline merchandise, enabling customers to scan the code to connect with the relevant Alibaba mobile commerce site); Mashang Dian (merchants QR codes in brick and mortar stores that direct customers to their website); Meiti Ma (QR codes for printing on traditional print media); Fuwu Ma (QR codes for delivery packages that allow consumers to accept deliveries and to access after sales support), and Hudong Ma (the redirect codes that move consumers onto other items and games.)
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