Alibaba’s Taobao blends e-commerce & social networking

China’s largest e-commerce app Mobile Taobao drives impressive consumer engagement by enabling its users to do more than just shop online.

During Alibaba’s earnings call earlier this month the group’s CEO Daniel Zhang shared the impressive accomplishment that users launch the Taobao app an average of 7 times each day for more than a total of 25 minutes. That’s an remarkable contact rate for just about any app. For comparison, Amazon mobile app users average 9 minutes while Twitter’s app averages 16 minutes on days when users visit. So how did they accomplish that?

Doing more with Taoboa mobile app
The answer is social. Alibaba has added a number of social features to the Taobao app to keep people on the app longer, increasing the chance they’ll buy products. Users can share products and product recommendations with each other. They can ask and answer questions with each other. They can participate in live streams with each other. And the addition of more social features that leads to more sales are in the making.

The creation of that social consumer network has helped more than double mobile revenue in the most recent quarter. With 427 million active monthly mobile users, mobile revenue jumped to US$2.6bn in the June quarter.

Personalization drives engagement
Of course, it’s not all just social. While social changes propelled the rise in how often users open the Taobao app, good automated product discovery features creates value for the user.

According to Zang, “We see users responding very well to a highly personalized experience on mobile Taobao. Product recommendations and the banner displays are automatically customized in accordance with individual user profiles. Merchants have also been empowered with a capability to customize the in-store displays by individual user profiles.”

Check out this interview with Bloomberg’s Asia Tech Editor, Edwin Chan to learn more about Alibaba’s social media approach to e-commerce

Source: Bloomberg

Tags: Alibaba, Mobile, Social, User Experience

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