Happy birthday Alibaba! 22 years ago today, Alibaba Group opened its global wholesale marketplace Alibaba.com in the belief that technology and innovation could help small to medium-sized enterprises grow internationally. Since then, Alibaba has grown into the digital ecosystem that we all know today, with businesses spanning e-commerce, cloud computing, smart logistics, entertainment and more.
With the group’s anniversary in mind, we look at how Alibaba continues to innovate and support businesses on Alibaba.com through ever-more efficient sourcing and shipping. We also highlight how e-commerce livestreaming channel Taobao Live has helped some farmers double their income through livestreaming via roughly RMB5 billion (US$780 million) worth of agricultural sales since the platform’s launch in 2018.
Also, we bring you emerging consumption trends on China’s leading B2C marketplace Tmall, as well as news on annual 9.9 shopping festival from Lazada, Alibaba’s flagship e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia. Finally, to get you in the holiday mood, take a look at how many millennials are booking domestic travel packages for mainland China’s Mid-Autumn Festival on Sept 21.
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Alibaba.com Launched End-of-Year Sale with New Dropshipping Solution and More
Alibaba.com on Tuesday launched a new dropshipping solution and a US$500,000 grant program to enhance SMEs’ e-commerce capabilities. Dropshipping is a type of retail fulfillment model used for online stores. Instead of warehousing inventory, merchants purchase products from third-party suppliers that can ship products directly to the consumer. This model can help SMEs boost operational efficiency, avoid overstocking and speed up delivery to consumers.
The news comes as the U.S. market is seeing a rising class of digital entrepreneurs, a term coined by the National Bureau of Economic Research to describe individuals and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) looking to get involved in e-commerce by launching B2C stores. Aliababa.com’s new one-stop dropshipping solution enables users to test new products from platform-vetted merchants, provide shipping transparency and assistance in customer support.
The platform has recently upgraded its delivery services, product search capability and its livestreaming feature in time for its biggest sales event of the year, Super September. The platform also partnered with Hello Alice, a resource platform for U.S. SMBs, to launch a competition to find businesses with the most innovative product ideas or strategies. The winner could take home US$500,000 in cash.
Farmers in China Livestream to Attract Urban Consumers and Boost Income
More than 110,000 rural farmers have turned to livestreaming to reach urban consumers on Alibaba’s Taobao Live, the company said this week. Since its launch three years ago, Taobao Live has enabled farmers to sell directly to younger consumers in China. So far, the channel has hosted over 2.3 million livestream sessions resulting in roughly RMB5 billion worth of agricultural sales. The company said such direct-to-consumer channels have helped farmers in China double or even triple their annual income.
Emerging Consumption Trends to Watch on Tmall
Tmall shared four emerging consumption trends spotted at the 58th China International Beauty Expo (CIBE) hosted in Guangzhou earlier this week:
- Male Beauty: Male cosmetics are rapidly growing in popularity among China’s younger generation. They recorded a three-digit growth number year-on-year on Tmall during Alibaba’s biggest shopping festival 11.11 last year.
- Perfumes and Fragrances: More and more Chinese consumers are using scent as a way to express and define who they are. Categories like perfumes and diffusers are a couple of the fastest-growing categories seen on Tmall, with fragrances to keep your car smelling sweet being a noticeably popular subcategory among shoppers in China.
- Designer Toys, Games and Collectibles: China’s designer toy collectible market has exploded over the past decade, with brands like Pop-Mart entering the marketplace. Lucky boxes or mystery bags are the latest fads, adding an element of excitement when shopping for collectible toys.
- Pets: China’s pet market has exceeded RMB30 billion in the past year, according to estimates from Alibaba’s marketing platform Alimama. Between 2017 to 2020, pet products and pet food sales grew by double digits year on year.
Check out this article for more trends that are grabbing the attention of China’s affluent young urbanites.
Lazada’s LazMall Kicks Off Biggest Brand Sale 9.9 in Southeast Asia
Lazada’s virtual shopping mall LazMall celebrated its largest shopping festival of the year on Thursday. More than 32,000 brands and retailers feature on LazMall, which was launched by Lazada three years ago. Lazada said shoppers can access multiple premium services, including discounts on specific brands, flash sales and free delivery until Saturday.
China’s Millennials and Zoomers Account for 70% of Domestic Travel Booking on Fliggy for Mid-Autumn Festival
A rising class of affluent millennial and Gen-Z consumers in China accounted for 70% of domestic travel bookings on travel app Fliggy in the run-up to China’s Mid-Autumn Festival this year. The number of bookings for flights, hotels and car rentals doubled from the previous week, with country house rentals rising by more than 310% compared to last month. Fliggy said activities like stargazing, camping, and indoor skiing are popular among younger generations. Destination hot spots include Zhoushan, Xiamen and Dali among rural areas and Beijing, Hangzhou and Chongqing for big cities.