Taobao Mall B2C transaction volume up four-fold year-on-year
BEIJING, January 6, 2011 – Taobao, China’s largest online retail platform, last year deepened its relationship with Chinese consumers, selling an average of 48,000 items every minute, with apparel and cosmetics remaining the most popular categories. The average number of transactions per user grew by 35 percent year-on-year with sales of home furnishings and food, normally thought of as offline purchases, surging last year by 120 percent and 95 percent respectively. Taobao revealed these insights into major online shopping metrics and trends of 2010 based on aggregate consumer data Thursday at its inaugural Taobao e-commerce data sharing event in Beijing.
In addition to strong increases in online retail, mobile shopping demonstrated strong potential, registering a single-day high gross merchandise value (GMV or the value of merchandise sold across the platform) of RMB37 million (US$5.58 million) and 17 million daily unique visitors. Taobao data also showed that retail e-commerce is growing strongly across China. While coastal regions continued to have the highest GMV totals, provinces in the central and western regions saw the biggest year-on-year GMV growth in 2010. Taobao also noted strong growth in demand for branded goods, as transaction volume on Taobao Mall, Taobao’s dedicated B2C platform, quadrupled in 2010 compared with the prior year.
“E-commerce has brought about changes in people’s lifestyles and eliminated the boundaries of traditional distribution channels. Consumers all over China, even in the most remote inland areas, have access to the more than 800 million product listings on Taobao and they are taking advantage of this medium to meet an increasingly greater proportion of their shopping needs,” said Jonathan Luk, CEO and president of Taobao. “2010 was the year of the consumer and the series of consumer protection measures that were launched was a key catalyst to the growth in transaction volume. Moving forward, we will continue our focus on improving the consumer experience.”
Aggregate data indicated that the 48,000 items sold every minute on Taobao in 2010 included 864 pieces of clothing, 880 cosmetic products, 85 books, 53 packs of diapers, 36 mobile phones and 13 light fixtures.
In 2010, while men made up the greater proportion of total online shoppers (54 percent) and were the bigger spenders, women bought more items. Men tended to purchase goods with higher price points such as consumer electronics, household appliances and sports shoes while women tended to purchase goods on the lower end of the pricing scale such as clothing, food and accessories, according to Taobao data analysis. Even within the same product category, such as clothing, average spending by men was higher than women, according to the Taobao data analysis.
Shopping on Taobao via mobile phones gained substantial traction in 2010. Mobile shopping is notably more popular among men, who made up two-thirds of the user population during the year. The Yangtze River Delta region had the highest concentration of users, snagging 15 percent of total Taobao mobile shopping accounts. Three-quarters of users are between ages 19 to 28. The top 10 best-selling items on Taobao mobile shopping were, in descending order: mobile phone credit; women’s clothing; consumer electronics; men’s clothing; online gaming cards; skincare products; snacks and other dry food items; sports shoes and bags; car accessories; and books and magazines. These top 10 product categories made up 73 percent of all mobile shopping transactions.
Coastal provinces still dominated the top 10 GMV list, but inland areas in China demonstrated the biggest year-on-year GMV growth. Zhejiang province showed the biggest year-on-year GMV gain (52 percent) immediately followed by Shandong province and Hubei province, which grew by 46 percent and 37 percent respectively. The top 10 areas with the highest GMV in 2010 were, in descending order: Guangdong province; Zhejiang province; Shanghai; Jiangsu province; Beijing; Shandong province; Fujian province; Sichuan province; Liaoning province; and Hubei province.
As of year’s end, Taobao hosted more than 3.65 million stores and facilitated the creation of 1.82 million direct employment opportunities. Of those enjoying the new jobs, more than half are between the ages of 20 to 32 and many are college students who founded their own businesses online. According to research by IDC, for every direct job opportunity created on Taobao, 2.85 indirect jobs in related industries such as storage and logistics are also created, meaning Taobao has helped to create more than 5 million new jobs since it was launched in 2003.
Ten days following the announcement of Taobao Mall’s independent web domain (www.tmall.com), Taobao Mall set a record for highest single-day transaction volume during a special “Singles Day” promotion on November 11, 2010. On Taobao Mall alone, goods totaling RMB936 million (US$141.17 million) were sold that day, meaning an average of more than RMB10,000 (US$1508.292) per second. Following its launch, Tmall.com was almost immediately ranked 24th among all of mainland China’s websites and number one among all mainland Chinese B2C websites, according to Alexa.
Launched in 2003, Taobao (www.taobao.com) is the largest online retail website in China, offering both C2C and B2C shopping platforms as well as a variety of features and services aimed at creating a holistic shopping experience. The company’s mission is to foster a comprehensive e-commerce ecosystem that will provide partners and consumers with the best user experience possible. Taobao currently has more than 800 million product listings at any given time and serves more than 370 million registered users. It receives more than 50 million unique visitors daily and is one of the top 20 most visited websites in the world according to Alexa. Taobao Mall (www.tmall.com), a dedicated B2C platform introduced by Taobao in 2008 with more than 30,000 local and global brands, features product verticals including Consumer Electronics Mall, Taiwan Mall, Hong Kong Design Gallery Mall, Designer Footwear Mall, Home Furnishing Mall and Beauty Mall. Taobao is wholly owned by Alibaba Group.
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