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How China’s leading mobile commerce destination Taobao Live is getting future-ready

Livestreamers leveraging Taobao Live with fans

Taobao Marketplace, China’s leading mobile commerce destination and part of the Alibaba Group business, is all set to become more data-led and sharpen its tech deployment while increasing its footprint as an inclusive brand for all.

The platform plans to continue investing in technology upgrades, online and offline resources and physical livestream centers in its bid to remain competitive, even as it boosts its strong partner ecosystem. Yu Feng, Alibaba Group vice-president, who is overseeing Taobao’s content e-commerce, said: “The m-commerce player intends to support 2,000 livestream channels and 200 partners in reaching an annual sale of RMB100m (US$15.4m) each.”

In a tumultuous business climate globally, Taobao Live has managed to have a good year, achieving strong growth in user acquisition and stickiness. According to the data shared “the number of loyal users who watched livestream sessions six times per day as of December 31 2020 and placed an average of more than 10 orders per month increased by 150% compared with the start of 2020”.

What is in store?

  • Going forward, Taobao Live plans to deploy even more advanced data capabilities to its offerings, along with upgrading its platform tools and leveraging cutting-edge technologies for better productivity and efficiency.

  • Towards this end, the platform has announced two new tools for customer engagement and content marketing that includes a CRM tool to better support sellers, and KOLs (key opinion leaders) to manage livestream content, sales, products and fan engagement via store-level private domains. Also being launched is a new open and centralized portal to connect and match products, merchants and livestreamers for business opportunities.

  • In addition, the platform has also adopted DAMO Academy’s AI algorithms to provide accurate recommendations to customers as well as deploy the academy’s AI-powered virtual livestream-hosting technology to enhance user engagement. DAMO Academy, owned by Alibaba, has been working on future-ready scientific and technological research and innovation.

  • It is not all going to be virtual though. Taobao Live is also planning to invest in developing 300 physical livestream centers this year to bring even more relevant and interesting content to consumers. These centers are going to be equipped with the workspace, livestream studios and equipment to facilitate small and medium-sized brands, merchants and KOLs to collaborate and incubate ideas, as well as look for quick and easy access to use livestream technology to promote their goods and services.

Why Taobao Live is important for brands and merchants

  • Taobao Live has been positioned as an easy-to-use tool that can be used by anyone. All they need is a mobile phone and internet access to start using this platform.

  • The platform has so far helped generate more than 1.7 million jobs and has also launched 102 training centres for farmers in 23 provinces across China.

  • The tool has become an integral part of many merchants’ daily operations and marketing strategies, with more than 60% of Taobao Live sessions currently being broadcasted from the official stores of brands and sellers.

  • Not just that, it is also a popular medium among new brands to build new customer followings.

  • Over 90% of new brands have leveraged the tool to build up their presence.