In this article, we will tell you about the features of the Taobao app that can help you attract potential buyers and ensure a significant increase in sales of your branded products in China.
Today, the Chinese e-commerce market continues to increase its share of the retail market. According to Statista, the GAGR in 2023-2027 will be 12.17%, and user penetration will reach 93.4% in 2027 from 2023.
In addition, China's e-commerce market is now the largest in the world, reaching $1535 billion in 2022, while the U.S. e-commerce sector is only $875 bn.
Top 10 countries by e-commerce sales (2022)
COVID-19 stimulated online shopping in China, but after the pandemic recovery, this sector has continued to grow rapidly. According to the NBS, it grew by 11.8% in 1-2Q 2022, while total retail sales grew by only 7.9%.
Today, shopping online in mainland China has become a real alternative to large brick-and-mortar stores.
China is a leader in the development of online marketplaces. Today, social media platforms such as WeChat, Douyin and Kuaishou are actively developing social commerce, which combines social media and e-commerce options.
However, in terms of the online retail sector, Taobao is the leader among other e-commerce marketplaces in the Chinese market. It is the most attractive platform for brands interested in driving sales in China.
Top Chinese platforms related to e-commerce by MAU (2022)
Taobao, launched by Alibaba Group in 2003, was one of the first e-commerce platforms in China. Today, Taobao is a leading C2C/B2C online shopping platform for a wide range of product categories, ensuring a personalized shopping experience.
Online shops on Taobao are related to different products: you can find clothes, cosmetics, electronics, sports goods and many others. Taobao is especially popular with small businesses, but big brands can also use the platform to increase sales and brand awareness.
Many consumers who use Taobao live in lower-tier Chinese cities, so luxury products are more actively sold on JD or Tmall, which are more relevant to luxury brands. Foreign brands can also work with Tmall Global, which allows sellers to avoid registering a legal entity in China.
Taobao user portrait
In addition, Taobao is popular with all age groups of Chinese consumers, from young people to the elderly. This fact makes it a universal platform, which creates a lot of opportunities for sellers in China.
Age distribution of users on Taobao
You can use Taobao on your desktop or mobile device. On Taobao.com, you can register an account, find and sort products online, read reviews, and more.
Mobile version is more convenient for Chinese customers on Taobao, here you can find recommendations (推荐), products at special prices (特价).
Click on 发现 and you will find an interactive platform based on social media elements that help brands and sellers support brand image and stimulate consumers to purchase your products.
Besides, you can face that some product cards contain detailed information and comments like天猫 (Tmall), because some products are also available on Tmall. The fact is that Taobao and some other platforms such as Tmall operated by Alibaba Group are connected to each other and let sellers easily create effective marketing and sales infrastructure, allowing brands to simplify business in China.
The Taobao app offers a wealth of online shopping opportunities, encompassing an extensive range of products and categories. Users can access an eclectic mix of fashion, electronics, handmade crafts, and rare collectibles, all within the same platform.
Its user-friendly interface streamlines product discovery and facilitates price comparisons, ensuring customers can make informed decisions.
Furthermore, the Taobao app opens doors for young entrepreneurs, allowing users to become sellers and showcase their goods to a global audience. This multifaceted platform caters to the diverse needs of shoppers and budding business owners, creating a vibrant and inclusive online shopping ecosystem.
Promotion on the Taobao platform is a dynamic and essential aspect of its ecosystem. Sellers have various tools at their disposal to enhance visibility, such as running different types of ads on the Alimama platform, offering discounts, and participating in special events like the Double 11 shopping festival.
These strategies not only attract more customers but also foster brand loyalty. Taobao's robust advertising options, including banner ads and sponsored listings, further enable businesses to reach their target audience effectively.
This comprehensive promotion ecosystem on Taobao ensures sellers have ample opportunities to boost their sales and establish a strong online presence.
Foreign companies can not directly register a Taobao store, you need either a representative in China, or a Chinese legal entity.
For the first method, you need a Chinese ID of your representative and an Alipay account, which ensures secure payments in China. To register through a legal entity, you need a Chinese business license, an Alipay account and a Chinese bank account, the registration fee is 1000 CNY.
You have a lot of options to promote your shop and products among potential customers on the Taobao app. They are both available for Taobao and Tmall. Major of them we will describe below.
Banner ads offer the flexibility to finely tune audience targeting and provide a range of placement options, from prime spots to the shopping cart section. They operate on a cost-per-click (CPC) pricing model, making them the priciest ad format on Taobao and Tmall.
Nevertheless, they can prove highly effective if your budget permits you to run test campaigns to pinpoint the banner elements that resonate with your audience.
Search advertising stands out as the most popular and user-friendly service for promoting products on Taobao. It operates on an auction system where sellers bid to influence their product's position in the search engine results for specific keywords.
This advertising model relies on cost-per-click (CPC) payments. When users conduct searches, they not only see organic results but also encounter advertisements alongside them.
Super Recommendations is Taobao's primary advertising product. It is powered by an algorithm that suggests products to users based on their actions within the app. Consumers are segmented according to their product preferences and past activities, such as store visits, adding products to their cart, and making orders, among others.
It operates on an auction-style bidding system, with payment determined by the number of clicks to the product page. Super Recommendations can appear on the main page, below your shopping cart, in the saved items section, and even on the checkout page.
This service offers affiliate marketing tools. With Taobaoke, store owners can generate unique links to their product pages in AliMama's advertising dashboard. Anyone can copy and share these links, earning a percentage of the revenue generated from them.
Another popular option which you can use for marketing and promotion is streaming sessions on Taobao Live. Live streaming is an increasingly popular way of attracting online shoppers in China. According to Totem, live streaming market size in China in 2022 was $479.5 bn (17% of retail market), and is expected to grow to $623.3 bn by the end of 2023.
Taobao Live is a dynamic live streaming platform integrated with China's e-commerce giant, Taobao. Brands can can launch a live stream on the platform and leverage its features to significantly increase revenue and brand awareness in China based on the following advantages:
Real-Time Interaction: Taobao Live allows direct interaction with customers. Brands can answer questions, provide product demonstrations, and engage in chats with real-time feedback, fostering a sense of community and trust.
Exclusive Promotions: Brands can offer exclusive discounts, limited-time offers, and special promotions during live broadcasts, creating a sense of urgency and enticing viewers to make immediate purchases.
Celebrity Collaborations: Partnering with influencers and celebrities for live-streaming events can significantly expand a brand's reach and credibility.
Product Launches: Brands can use Taobao Live to launch new products, allowing viewers to be the first to see and purchase them.
Data Insights: The platform provides valuable data and analytics, helping brands tailor their marketing strategies for better results.
By harnessing these features, brands can tap into a vast audience, boost sales, and establish a strong presence in the competitive Chinese market.
Collaborating with key opinion leaders (KOLs), both real and virtual, on Taobao Live can be a game-changer for brands. Real KOLs, often social media influencers or celebrities, bring their loyal fanbase and credibility to live-streamed events. They can effectively showcase products, provide endorsements, and engage with viewers, boosting sales and brand recognition.
Virtual KOLs, powered by AI and CG technology, offer a unique opportunity to tap into the virtual influencer trend. These digital personas can provide a fresh and futuristic angle to product presentations. They are customizable and do not rely on human schedules or availability, making them a versatile choice for live-streaming campaigns.
Working with KOLs, whether real or virtual, helps brands reach a broader audience, establish trust, and create memorable shopping experiences on Taobao Live, ultimately driving sales and brand awareness to new heights.
In summary, the Taobao app offers a wealth of powerful features to drive revenues for brands and businesses. Two outstanding options are its versatile advertising capabilities and the innovative Taobao Live platform.
First, advertising on the Taobao app allows brands to target their audience with precision by utilizing advanced data analysis and audience segmentation. Whether it is sponsored products, banners or search ads, Taobao provides an effective channel to reach potential customers and increase visibility in a competitive Chinese e-commerce marketplace.
Second, Taobao Live is a game changer for Chinese Internet commerce. This real-time streaming platform enables brands to connect directly with consumers, showcase products and engage in live interactions. It creates a dynamic shopping experience that builds trust and increases conversion rates.
China Digital Marketing Agency can help you to succeed on Taobao. Our expert team specializes in helping businesses navigate the complex world of e-commerce in China. We offer tailored solutions for sellers looking to establish a presence on Taobao, from store setup and optimization to targeted marketing strategies. With our in-depth knowledge of the Chinese market, we can maximize your visibility and sales potential on this leading platform. Partner with us and unlock the full potential of Taobao for your business!
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