What is Taobao?
Taobao is a leading online shopping website founded by Jack Ma’s Alibaba Group in 2003. Taobao is a platform that was designed primarily for consumer-to-consumer retail.
It encourages young entrepreneurs and small businesses to connect with consumers from the Greater China Region, which includes Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
By 2010 Taobao was able to dominate around 80% of the Chinese online shopping market. Apart from fixed priced products, auctions contributed to a small part of the transactions.
The websites also helps consumers cross-research products to help them make their shopping decisions as it has the seller’s information, comments, complaints and ratings.
One of the visions of Taobao is Chinese self-empowerment and to understand the Chinese consumer’s needs.
Read more at: Everything You Need to Know About E-commerce in China
How does Taobao attract consumers?
Taobao is a leading online shopping website that creates a sense of excitement for consumers. Taobao’s website has vibrant colours, photos of happy faces and creative layouts. These aspects are very attractive to consumers, thus help lock in the consumer’s focus.
Their app is in Chinese, therefore they are able to condense their information into smaller spaces. Unlike English, Chinese takes up less space horizontally as the characters are denser.
Therefore, they can pack more information in a smaller horizontal space to make the information less clustered. The user experience is often very well done, allowing users to navigate to categories that interest them the most with ease.
Deals in Taobao help escalate the excitement of consumers about online shopping. By generating a sense of urgency through deals consumers are compelled to react quickly.
The feel of missing out on a great product on sale will force them to make a purchase. Tobao uses phrases such as “wow, what a steal” instead of sale to grab the consumers attention.
There also clocks for certain products ticking till the sale is over to emphasize the urgency. Similarly, there is also a count of how many products have been sold and how many are still left.
The most intense deal is known as “instant kill”, where very limited units are sold at a crazy low price due to huge discounts. These deals usually only last for a few hours as the prices are so compelling that the vendors quickly sell out.
Things offered for purchase:
Taobao is a leading online shopping website as it focuses on many different kinds of products in order to have something for nearly every type of consumer. Consumers are given an idea that you can come find anything that you are in need of in their platform.
Therefore, they are able to satisfy most of consumers’ needs and build the brand of the platform itself. While Taobao is known for it’s wide range of products and competitive pricing, they are also known for hosting sales of limited edition and rare products. Sometimes you can get auctions for some rare products such as cultural artifacts, gemstone and many more.
Social media feed:
The pictures that fashionable stars in Taobao post on their social media are becoming a major aspect of the Taobao content experience.
Celebrities are willing to collaborate with sellers on the Taobao platform where they can showcase their own choices of brands rather than speaking on behalf of other brands. This can be incredibly effective for driving sales, as it doesn’t take the traditional path of celebrity endorsement. Celebrities simply showcase their tastes and consumers attempt to replicate their style to stay on top of the latest fashion trends.
The new inclusion of a live stream has further increased the convenience in purchasing for consumers. Taobao users can watch lives streams where KOLs and celebrities are directly interacting with a product or showcasing its features. These live streams often include a link where the users can purchase the item directly. From watching the live stream to making a purchase only requires a few clicks reducing friction in the buying process for those featured products.
Apart from that, the KOLs/celebrities can also answers some common questions of the consumers viewing their live stream, as their is a chat panel where they can message the streamer in real time.
What are Taobao’s competitive advantages:
Taobao dominates in Chinese e-commerce, which plays a key role in their achievements. Taobao is considered to be one of the best choices for small businesses as they can feed off Taobao’s strong platform. It handles half the retail market therefore, it is big enough to dominate the competition.
Taobao is a leading online shopping website because Taobao also understands that competition is fierce in a market as large as China. Taobao knows it must constantly innovate and carve out a niche in order to fight competition with their close competitors such as JD.com.
It is similar to Amazon but its a lot bigger and more exciting for consumers. Taobao is filled with vibrant pictures, cool videos and funny memes to further attract consumer attention.
Furthermore, Taobao makes a clear statement that it is here to sell. Consumers can adjust their expectations accordingly.
What is T-mall?
It is a trade site based on the Tаоbао platform. It operates on a business-to-consumer system. Sellers must be a legal entity offering their goods and services to end consumers (individuals). Tmall positions itself as the higher end platform in the Chinese e-commerce landscape.
For opening a shop on Tmall, the legal entity needs to provide all appropriate documentations to confirm reliability and proof existence of the company or brand.
This is to eliminate the risk that an unreliable seller with products of bad quality will trade on Tmall, which helps to preserve the brand image of Tmall.
Taobao guarantees its consumers that all goods sold on Tmall are official and reliable. On each seller’s page, you can see certificates of quality.
Comparing Tmall and Taobao:
Taobao and Tmall are not competitors because they cater to different consumers’ shopping needs. If you need authentic goods with various guarantees from official sellers, then we strongly advise you to shop on Tmall.
Tmall sellers put guaranteed deposits on Tmall; pay and use Taobao’s quality infrastructure and logistics; invest in marketing and providing quality services, etc. This results in far fewer mistakes, unsatisfactory services, or bad quality products.
Therefore, prices tend to be much higher on Tmall than on Taobao. However to save money on purchases, you can check out special sales and promotions with different Tmall sellers. Even without discounts and promotions, the prices on Tmall are usually still cheaper than in usual shops.
Taobao is a leading online shopping website because the demand for Taobao is rapidly increasing over the time as more and more users are attracted to the network. This presents strong network effects that increase the value for Toabao’s brand.
The fact that anyone can buy almost anything on Taobao is highly appealing to consumers. Making online shopping equally as fun as actual shopping is Taobao’s main focus.
In order to make it fun they have offer many different marketing tools, such as hot deals and sales that have time limits. All these aspects coherently make Taobao a leading shopping website.
Relevant article you may have interests: What is Tmall Global – A guide of How To Open Your Store