Translating Taobao Live’s Success for Global Brands
Taobao is China’s largest social commerce platform3 and the sixth most visited website on the planet, according to Alexa Internet, Inc. In 2019, the Taobao mobile app reached 755 million monthly active users. A report by Statistica reveals that Taobao’s gross merchandise volume (GMV) approached 3.39 trillion yuan (approximately $532 billion) in 2020. Taobao’s “community-based, content-driven and technology-enabled” approach to eCommerce is a major contributor to the company’s rapid growth. Taobao’s platform enables merchants to use short-form and live streaming videos to create “phygital” shopping experiences that feel more authentic than pre-recorded advertisements. Taobao Live, Taobao’s live streaming platform, now contributes $76 billion in GMV annually—up 90%+ year-over-year.
Brands, merchants, and “key opinion leaders” (KOLs) are cashing in live streaming’s explosive growth on Taobao.
For example, according to Bloomberg, live streamer Li Jiaqi sold $1.9 billion in merchandise on Taobao—in a single day. The same article revealed that live streamers Viya and Cherie each sold more than 1 billion yuan worth of goods on the same day.
Taobao’s success has accelerated live streaming adoption in China, which, according to McKinsey & Company, has turned Chinese live commerce into a $171 billion industry—an industry that’s expected to reach $423 billion in 2022. Differentiating between “public” and “private” domains is essential for comparing live commerce in China and the United States.
Another way to think about private and public domains is to think of who owns the traffic, data, and control. Public domains are platform-owned, like Taobao and Tmall in China, or the social media giants in the west.
This means that brands advertising and selling on those public domains cede a majority of control to the platform.
In this free guide, you’ll learn:
- Foreword by Rick Zhuang, Firework CTO and founder of Taobao Live.
- How Chinese brands have used live streams to “flip the funnel” and turn engaged customers into loyal brand ambassadors
- A breakdown of private and public domains, and a guide to what your brand needs to be investing in.