Taobao Engages Young Consumers Via Web-Star Video

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Taobao Engages Young Consumers Via Web-Star Video

Taobao Marketplace, China’s largest C2C shopping website, is going after younger users in an attempt to engage more fully with a generation of consumers that analysts predict will figure heavily in the ongoing growth of e-commerce.

During Taobao’s recently concluded iFashion Week, the Alibaba Group-owned site rolled out a viral video aimed at the post-90s generation. Consumption among younger, Internet-savvy consumers under age 35 is growing 14 percent annually, double the rate of Chinese consumers over 35, according to Boston Consulting Group.

The 90-second video, entitled “Watch Me,” features quick shots of 90 young Chinese, most of them prominent bloggers and other “cyber-celebrities” born after 1990 and all of them expressing various attitudes highlighting their individuality.

“Members of the post-90s generation don’t like being represented by others, so we gave them the chance to speak for themselves,” said Yang Yuanyuan, who managedTaobao’s campaign for iFashion Week, a seasonal event during whichthe sitepromotes rising apparel designers and online shops.

During a recent Taobao merchants summit in Hangzhou, Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang highlighted how Alibaba is increasingly positioning its retail marketplaces as lifestyle destinations rather than just places to shop, in part by addressing targeted communities of consumers through social media and the creation of engaging content such as the iFashion Week video.

“Fundamentally, Taobao should be young, so we should create content and use the language of young people to communicate with them” said Yang. Promoted on Alibaba mobile apps, third-party mobile apps, and social media channels, the video was viewed some 100 million times on popular Chinese video-streaming sites Youku and iQIYI, and generated 360 million views and 83,000 comments on microblog site Sina Weibo.

Noteworthy young Chinese who appeared in the video included Zhang Dayi, a model who has 4.23 million Sina Weibo followers and owns one of the top-selling Taobao shops; Jiang Fangzhou, a writer who has been publishing books since childhood, and Aikelili, a photographer and opinion leader who has 6.33 million Sina Weibo followers.

CelebritiesDigital MarketingTaobaoTaobao LiveYoung Designers
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