Alibaba Overhauls Taobao Website Ahead of Revamped 6.18 Sale

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Alibaba Overhauls Taobao Website Ahead of Revamped 6.18 Sale

  • Consumers will find it easier to stay logged in, keep track of coupons and more on
  • 6.18 pre-sales have been cancelled and replaced with two shopping windows between May 20 and June 20

Photo credit: Alibaba Group

The website of Alibaba Group’s consumer-to-consumer marketplace Taobao received its biggest update in seven years as the business gears up for an improved 6.18 Shopping Festival starting later this month.

Consumers who browse now will notice a simplified sales experience, from staying logged in longer to seeing coupons and product details in their shopping carts, platform executives shared in a news announcement this week.

Merchants will also find it easier to decorate their store pages, while corporate purchasing users can now access payment and invoice functions from

“The ultimate goal is to make users browse Taobao more happily and smoothly at any time and place,” said Kong Wu, who leads Taobao’s website business department.

Since launching in 2003, the platform has become the go-to destination for millions of Chinese consumers who want to buy anything from toothpaste to football jerseys.

Some features included in the latest update hearken back to Taobao’s earliest days as a website-based business before smartphone apps became the primary arena for Chinese e-commerce activity.

For instance, has revived its user forum Taojianghu, which launched in 2009 as a venue for consumers to share product feedback but was eventually shuttered.

Improving user experience lies at the heart of these changes.

Earlier this year, Taobao leadership announced it would invest more heavily in content e-commerce, such as livestreaming, with the goal of doubling users year-on-year.

“Constant growth has always been our unique advantage,” said Mu Shan, General Manager of FMCG at Taobao and Tmall Group. The group consists of Taobao and business-to-consumer retail site Tmall, as well as wholesale marketplace and other businesses.

A New and Improved 6.18’s revamp lands in the midst of preparations for China’s second-largest shopping festival, which has had a facelift of its own on Taobao and Tmall.

There will be no pre-sales during this 6.18, and the promotional period will instead be divided into two waves of purchasing windows: the first in late May and the second extending until June 20.

A simplified merchant registration process means brands that meet platform conditions can apply from this week onwards for their products to be included in the sales, while consumers can rest easy thanks to full price guarantees from the time of payment until July 5.

Real estate investment trust Simon and Shop Premium Outlets leveraged Taobao to bring discounted designer goods to Chinese consumers during last year’s 6.18

Taobao and Tmall will provide free shipping on eligible products and freight insurance, and merchants during this year’s 6.18 will also benefit from a wider range of marketing tools and venues on the platforms, from flash sales to surprise product drops.

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6.18 Mid-Year Shopping FestivalTaobao
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