Taobao.com, part of the Alibaba Group, is the largest online C2C/B2C e-commerce platform in China. Taobao recently released its 2011 annual consumer data report that summarizes its user behavior and their transaction activities.
In 2011 the number of daily unique visitors on Taobao reached 120 million – an increase of 120% from 2010. According to the report, 2,358 pieces of clothing are sold every minute on Taobao – the total length of all clothing sold is equivalent to a roundtrip from the earth to the moon. Other items sold on Taobao in 2011 include home electronics (310 million), personal accessories (130 million) and toys (83.64 million).
Interestingly, Taobao users are gradually adopting new technologies to purchase goods. In 2011 the number of mobile transactions increased six times year-over-year reaching 10.8 billion yuan, with average daily transactions of 200 million yuan.
Marketers in particular should keep an eye on the growing number of branded Taobao Tian Mao (formerly called Tmall) stores that have emerged. Companies across a wide-range of industries are turning to Taobao to serve Chinese consumers rather than investing in their own independent online stores. See a few examples below:
- Cosmetics & Beauty: L’Oreal, Olay
- Clothing & Accessories: Gap, Ray-Ban
- Consumer Electronics: Samsung, Microsoft, Toshiba, Philips, HP, Motorola, Dell
- Automotive: Chevrolet
The China Observer View
Marketers seeking to sell their products online in China should think twice before investing in independent online shopping portals. Taobao is where Chinese consumers prefer to shop online – rather than try to convince them to shop on your site, consider opening a branded online store on Tian Mao where consumers are already shopping.
Additionally, marketers should keep an eye on the rise of mobile e-commerce in China. “M-commerce” will continue to grow in importance in the coming years; however, for now it is a form of payment limited to relative early adopters.