Alibaba has launched its Taobao Makers Festival once again, in order to create an offline celebration of the innovation of its merchants and creative sellers.
Held at the West Lake area of Hangzhou for the first time, the event allows 200 of Taobao’s merchants to exhibit themselves offline. According to Alibaba, the idea behind the event is to bring to life the ‘values of innovation, diversity and playfulness’.
A key element to the event is to also highlight the business opportunity Taobao brings to young entrepreneurs and small business owners in China. Citing CBNData, Alibaba says 77% of the independent designers on Taobao were aged 33 years or younger, or millennials.
Chris Tung, chief marketing officer of Alibaba Group, said: “Taobao has always been a pioneer in retail revolution. When we created Taobao 15 years ago, the idea was to give customers a joyful shopping experience by uncovering their favorite items from a wide range of choices. Today, logging onto Taobao is a daily activity for many of us and the term Taobao has come to represent online shopping. What is fueling this dynamic community is the creativity of our merchants. They introduce new products, develop innovative ways of marketing their ideas to customers, and reinvent traditional products to give them new lives. Taobao Maker Festival is an occasion to celebrate the spirit of our merchants and thank them for bringing to life endless ways to make shopping more enjoyable for our customers.”
The showcase will be split into ‘zones’ which consist of themes on innovation, anime, intangible cultural legacy, vintage, pets and gourmet.
Outside of the smaller businesses, there will also be a fashion show for top 20 designers. Much like during Alibaba’s 11.11 festival, the fashion show will be streamed on Taobao and Youkou, with all items available to buy from the stream.
Fan Jiang, president of Taobao Marketplace, said: “Innovation and ‘maker spirit’ are the most important qualities of Taobao. To attract like-minded merchants, we will on one hand empower merchants to innovate on our platform and on the other hand help them create business value. This year, innovation prizes will be awarded for the first time to recognize the achievements of the young entrepreneurs on our platform. We will continue to enable passionate and aspirational young entrepreneurs to thrive on Taobao.”