Staff Writer
May 29, 2023

Taobao Tmall Group in 2023 and beyond: Thriving in the new era of e-commerce

As Taobao marks its 20th anniversary, the Chinese e-commerce giant is tapping into its rich ecosystem and technology-driven background to continue delivering for both merchants and consumers.

Taobao Tmall Group in 2023 and beyond: Thriving in the new era of e-commerce
With advanced digital technology like AI emerging and the retail landscape constantly evolving, the e-commerce industry is entering a new era. It has never been more important for e-commerce players to drive innovations and adapt to exciting new changes to engage and serve customers.
As Taobao marks its 20th anniversary, Trudy Dai, CEO of Taobao Tmall Commerce Group, outlined three key strategies for the years to come — putting users first, building a prosperous ecosystem, and realising technology-driven innovation. 
Doubling down on user experience
One of Taobao Tmall’s key areas of focus over the next few years is to enhance the overall user experience and attract customers for merchants on its digital marketplaces. According to a 2022 survey conducted by Salesforce, nearly 90% of buyers said that the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services.1 Superior customer experiences create a critical bond between customers and the brands and businesses they engage with, and this also applies to e-commerce platforms. 
With the aim of creating a seamless and smart experience for all, Taobao Tmall is set to make sustained, large-scale investments, including the creation of new products and services for users and merchants, as well as the optimisation of logistics and customer services. 
In April, Taobao also started testing a new interface for its app, which increased front-page exposure to channels for livestreaming, price-competitive products, and neighbourhood shopping categories to satisfy users’ diverse needs. Taobao continues to improve the customer value proposition of its app by continuing to invest to meet users’ demands on a broader range of diverse content beyond shopping.
In past years, content marketing has proven to be an effective channel for Taobao to engage with users and help merchants build and expand a loyal and active consumer base. Taobao Live, Taobao’s livestreaming channel, has experienced an increase in its broadcast users by over 70% between April 1 and May 8, compared to the same period last year. Additionally, the number of people visiting stores recommended by livestreams has nearly doubled during the same period year-on-year. 
As Taobao Live gains popularity, Taobao Tmall is increasingly focused on creating richer and more differentiated content. During this year’s 6.18 Mid-year Shopping Festival, Taobao Tmall will be delivering high-quality content in appealing formats such as short videos and livestreaming sessions to more directly engage users. The festival will introduce more than 50,000 new presenters into 6.18 broadcasts to deliver new streams of content and fresh experiences for users and showcase new segments ranging from new interest-based cultures to novel ways of life.
Building an inclusive community for all
For years, Taobao and Tmall have acted as gateways through which global brands and merchants are able to connect with and tap the growth opportunities in China. 
Dai emphasised that the two platforms are well-positioned for an inclusive community, aiming to bring together hundreds of millions of merchants, content creators, and service providers over the next five years. This reaffirms Taobao Tmall’s dedication towards forming new partnerships and enriching its ecosystem in the long term to enable its partners to grow as Taobao Tmall grows. 
Taobao Tmall has made organisational upgrades by establishing two new initiatives, the Brand Business Development Centre and SME Development Centre, this year in order to roll out more targeted supportive measures for merchants and brands of all sizes. The Brand Business Development Centre focuses on assisting larger brand-focused companies with the full cycle of brand development, from brand incubation to engaging loyal customers. The SME Development Centre will set its sights on developing over 200,000 specialty stores, and helping start-ups and SMEs contribute more diversified suppliers on the platform in order to reach and cultivate more customers online.
Taobao Tmall will also offer various discounts and subsidies to merchants to help them further cut operating costs moving forward. During this year’s 6.18 campaign, for example, the group will provide subsidies to merchants who offer home delivery and reduce warehouse rental fees for merchants participating in 6.18 for the first time. 
More AI-powered tools to drive transformational changes
Taobao Tmall is particularly focused on increasing the adoption of AI-powered solutions and other cutting-edge technologies to create a more innovative experience for consumers and merchants alike. 
“Taobao has always been technology-driven. The next step is to make AI-powered tools for merchants accessible and inclusive,” said CEO Trudy Dai. She believes that AI technology applied across Taobao Tmall’s platforms will be transformed into a driving force to reshape the ecommerce experience.”
The group has been driving progress in integrating new technology across its platforms to create new offerings that generate unique value for users. For example, Tmall Luxury Pavilion recently launched an AI-powered digital assistant to help customers pick gifts. The tool works as a one-on-one conversation between the user and the assistant, which presents recommendations in a chat on the platform’s mobile app. The assistant draws gift suggestions from a database of hundreds of thousands of products from all merchants and brands. According to Tmall Luxury Pavilion, a daily average of 10,000 shoppers have used the service since its launch. 
Drawing on the digital and technological capabilities of the entire Alibaba ecosystem, Taobao Tmall will also upgrade merchants’ tools through integration with AI-powered products and services for consumers. This year, the group is waiving fees for merchants on more than 10 new private domain tools covering new customers, regular customers, members and fans. Looking ahead, Taobao Tmall will equip all merchants with intelligent operational tools to improve efficiency and productivity. 
Campaign Asia

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