China's largest consumer e-commerce platform to share access to its aggregate consumer transactions data
SHANGHAI, March 31, 2010 – Taobao, the largest online retail destination in China, is launching an initiative to help small businesses harness the power of data-mining to make sound strategic growth decisions by offering for the first time access to its database of aggregate consumer transaction records. Taobao hopes that this new data sharing service, the most extensive of any e-commerce platform in the world, will empower its small business customers to gain additional insight into important aspects of their businesses such as inventory, product design and offerings.
"We will be sharing raw aggregate data with customers and users as we believe they will find this information extremely valuable in terms of planning and business growth efforts," said Jonathan Lu, president and CEO of Taobao. "As a data-driven company, Taobao uses extensive data-mining to continuously improve the user experience on our platform. Today we want to share this valuable resource with everyone, particularly the small businesses on Taobao, to help people make smarter decisions in managing their businesses, which will also lead to greater job creation and economic growth."
"With better data, consumers will be able to shop more intelligently while manufacturers will be able to better customize product offerings to suit consumer needs," says Zeng Ming, chief strategy officer of Alibaba Group. "As part of our commitment to ushering in an e-commerce-driven new business paradigm founded in openness, transparency, sharing and responsibility, we believe data like this is meant to be shared."
Data access is guided by two key principles: data will only be shared in the aggregate and personally identifiable information will not be disclosed; and access will be offered in various tiers. For example, industry macro-data and the latest consumption trend data can be accessed free of charge while business data related to industry market conditions and consumer behavior research will be made available through a fee arrangement.
Through the Taobao Data Cube platform (http://data.taobao.com), a small business will be able to obtain direct insight such as macro-level industry trends, a market survey of its own brand, and a survey of consumer behavior. However, data of specific competitors will not be provided. In addition to obtaining data directly, small businesses can also contract directly with third-party research consultancies to commission data analysis that will help inform better business decisions such as merchandising, advertisement strategies and inventory.
Launched in 2003, Taobao (www.taobao.com) is the largest Internet retail website in China. It provides the most comprehensive product offering and serves more than 170 million registered users as of the end of December 2009. Transaction volume on Taobao (gross merchandise volume or GMV) exceeded RMB200 billion (US$29 billion) in 2009. According to government statistics, online retail equaled approximately 1.98 percent of China's total retail trade in 2009. Taobao is the primary online shopping destination for the largest online population in the world*.
* According to China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), China had 384 million Internet users as of December 31, 2009.
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