Taobao Mall, Alibaba’s dedicated business-to-consumer (B2C) platform, announced Monday that it will partner with 38 online retailers in a move that Alibaba reps said will double transaction volume on the e-marketplace platform over the next year.
The agreement to host retail sites for three-dozen smaller rivals represents a shift in Alibaba’s growth strategy–one that’s favorable to businesses looking to export. The move signals Taobao Mall’s willingness to host specialized retailers in addition to big-name players.
Companies that use Tmall to access the ballooning number of online Chinese consumers will benefit from decreased marketing costs and increased exposure. The online traffic generated by Tmall – which currently occupies half of the Chinese online retail market – provides an effective medium through which businesses can access Chinese consumers.
With the total transaction value of China’s online retail industry up 77% from the same period in 2010, the popularity of doing business online is increasing at a rate that U.S. businesses can’t ignore. Fortunately, this move by Tmall will provide even greater assurance to foreign companies that businesses of all types and sizes can participate and succeed in China’s booming e-commerce industry.