Millennial chasing Taobao must become younger, says Alibaba CEO

Millennial chasing Taobao must become younger, says Alibaba CEO

Chinese e-commerce platform, Taobao, has laid out plans to keep pace with Millennials’ demand for niche brands.

During its annual Merchants Summit in Hangzhou last week, the Alibaba Group-owned venture said it would increase the number of hip, independent storefronts to 500,000 from the 100,000 currently on the platform, incentivise and help merchants to scale their Taobao businesses and foster an environment that encourages creativity.

“Taobao is undergoing a major change, and [its user base] is getting younger and younger…This means the platform needs to become ‘younger’ as well, to serve the next generation of merchants and buyers,” Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang said during his keynote speech at the summit. “The key to ensuring Taobao’s vibrancy and sustainability is continuing to generate new, cutting-edge ideas and reducing the barriers for innovation.”

Merchants will able to tap into a range of promotional events, content-marketing resourcesand consumer analytics to better target their customers. In addition, they will benefit from Taobao’s goal to grow sales for 2,000 designated categories, including plus-sized fashion, children’s furniture, handicrafts and athletic gear. It will also help grow consumer loyalty to these merchants through targeted membership strategies, though details of the strategies were not announced. Improvements will be made to the platform’s community-management tools as well, such as the instant messaging feature Taobao Groups, which allows merchants to chat with consumers, get real-time feedback, build relationships with their top customers and sell their products within the groups.

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