Fliggy, the online travel platform owned by Alibaba, launches its own shopping portal

“Window shopping” may soon be an antiquated term.

Idle spaces in shopping malls haven't been fully tapped into. Image credit to 123rf.com.cn

Alibaba’s online travel agency platform, Fliggy, has debuted an e-commerce portal to make the shopping experiences of Chinese tourists a little easier, Sohu reports.

The shopping tab exists on the opening screen of the Fliggy app, just below the customary booking services for transportation, lodging, and tourist sites.

Users can browse and select products, then set a preferred time and location to pick up the goods. They have the option of paying upfront to guarantee their purchase and avoid queues.

The feature could improve the shopping experience for Chinese traveling by sidestepping language barriers.

Partnering retail stores, meanwhile, will have new opportunities to reach large numbers of Chinese tourists. Fliggy counts more than 200 million registered users, and Chinese outbound tourists reached nearly 150 million last year, according to public data cited by Sohu.

At launch, the shopping feature is connected with several store locations in Japan’s largest duty-free retailer, Loax, and will also soon be connected with the duty-free store at the Shanghai Port.

In the future, Fliggy plans to expand the product to a wider range of shops and categories, such as high-end luxury brands, home appliances, and convenience stores. The company also plans to run promotions and highlight select products to meet the preferences of Chinese travelers.