Taobao Live announced today that it would supercharge its ecosystem to yield further success for merchants, brands and KOLs on the platform. It targets to support 2,000 livestream channels and 200 partners in reaching an annual sales of RMB100 million (US$15.4 million)1 each. Taobao Live will continue to invest in technology upgrades, online and offline resources and physical livestream centers to create value for partners and stay competitive.
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Taobao live streamer Wang Chunxiang who lived in Heibei Province used Taobao Live to sell apparel and engaged with consumers. (Photo: Business Wire)
Taobao Live achieved strong growth in user acquisition and stickiness over the past year. For calendar year 2020, it saw 100% year-on-year growth of its daily active users (DAU). As of 31 December 2020, the number of loyal users who watched livestream sessions six times per day and placed an average of more than 10 orders per month increased by 150% compared with the start of 2020. The average monthly spend of these loyal users is in excess of RMB1,500 (US$230) monthly.
“Taobao Live delivered another solid year together with partners across the network. We kept the momentum going through a dedication towards driving unique value propositions for long-term engagement and business opportunities for the ecosystem,” said Yu Feng, Alibaba Group Vice President, who oversees Taobao’s content e-commerce. “Looking ahead, we are committed to further investing in and developing innovative technologies and services to better support our partners.”
Due to the depth and breadth of its features, Taobao Live has become an integral part of merchants’ day-to-day operations and marketing strategies, with more than 60% of Taobao Live sessions currently being broadcast from the official stores of brands and sellers. For the 12 months ended March 31, 2021, more than 1,000 Taobao Live channels generated more than RMB100 million (US$15.4 million) in transactions. Among these, 55% were operated by merchants on the platform. Taobao Live is a popular medium among new brands to build new customer followings. Over 90% of new brands2 have leveraged the tool to build up their presence.
Taobao Live maintained a strong momentum and generated over RMB400 billion (US$ 61.6 billion) in GMV for the 12 months ended December 31, 2020.
New Online and Offline Services for Brands and Merchants
In the coming year, Taobao Live aims to upgrade its platform tools and leverage cutting-edge technologies to enhance its partners’ productivity and efficiency.
At its annual summit today, Taobao Live announced two new tools for customer engagement and content marketing. A CRM tool will better support sellers and KOLs to manage livestream content, sales, products and fan engagement via store-level private domains while a new open and centralized portal serves to efficiently connect and match products, merchants and livestreamers for business opportunities.
Taobao Live has also adopted DAMO Academy’s AI algorithms to provide accurate recommendations to customers and has tapped the academy’s AI-powered virtual livestream hosting technology to enhance user engagement.
It is working with DAMO to develop an intelligent livestreaming camera that will enable real-time feedback to anchors during broadcasts to improve the livestream experience. The device leverages DAMO’s multimodal algorithms, including speech, natural language processing, and visual and hand gestures, so that livestream hosts can interact with viewers more vividly. It also presents real-time updates of livestream statistics, such as click rates, sales numbers during promotions as well as the number of “thumbs up” feedback from viewers.
To bring even more interesting content to consumers, Taobao Live plans to invest in the resources needed to develop 300 physical livestream centers this year. These centers will 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 looking for a quick and easy access to use livestream technology to promote their goods and services.
Inclusive Platform for the Livestream Commerce Ecosystem
Taobao Live is an inclusive tool that can be easily used by anyone.Livestream hosts only need 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 the number of livestreamers on Taobao Live continues to grow every year, increasing by 661% from 2019 to 2020.
Taobao Live has also launched 102 training centers for farmers in 23 provinces across China and has cultivated more than 10,000 new agricultural livestreamers. For the 12 months ended March 31, 2021, over 100,000 farmers carried out 2.52 million Taobao Live sessions.
About Taobao Marketplace
Launched in 2003, Taobao Marketplace (www.taobao.com) provides consumers from both large cities and less developed areas with an engaging, personalized shopping experience, optimized by big-data analytics and technology. Through highly relevant and engaging content and real-time updates from merchants, consumers can learn about products and new trends. They can also interact with each other and their favorite merchants and key opinion leaders. Merchants on Taobao Marketplace are primarily individuals and small businesses. According to Analysys, Taobao Marketplace was China’s leading mobile commerce destination with a large and growing social community, in terms of GMV for the 12 months ended March 31, 2020. Taobao Marketplace is a business of Alibaba Group.
1All translations of RMB into US$ were made at RMB6.48 to US$1.00, the exchange rate on April 27, 2021
2“New brands” refers to brands that have been on Tmall for less than three years