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Baidu invests $20bn to develop O2O services

Baidu has revealed ambitious plans to invest RMB20 billion over the next three years to expand its life services platform Nuomi.

Baidu Nuomi has introduced “Membership Plus” strategy to help merchants establish their own marketing platforms to increase user retention rates and consumption frequency.

It will integrate Nuomi’s membership system with merchants’ own CRM systems through members-only prepaid cards, a “payment after service” offer and a commission-based promotional app BaiNuoLian, providing merchants with big data-driven tools for behavioural analytics and assisting them in making optimal decisions and acquiring loyal users online.

Users who have reached certain spending levels will automatically become VIP members and then enjoy double discounts – from Nuomi itself and from the merchants’ member clubs.

“Baidu has been indexing the real world and connecting people with services in the mobile era through its technology-based products and its ecosystem build-out,” said Robin Li, Baidu’s chairman and CEO.

Li emphasised that Baidu’s O2O strategy will fully leverage the company’s strengths in technology – from voice and image recognition to Natural Language Processing to Big Data and Deep Learning.

Nuomi has been testing its “Membership Plus” strategy this year in two key categories – restaurants and movie tickets – by launching prepaid cards and membership cards.

Baidu claimed that Nuomi now has 650,000 online stores across more than 330 Chinese cities with nearly RMB2 billion in monthly turnovers.

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