Taobao offers free analytics to small merchants

Chinese e-commerce giant will provide free data analytics tools to help smaller vendors better tout their wares to online shoppers.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor
Taobao wants small, but unique vendors to start selling on its site.

China's largest consumer-to-consumer e-commerce platform, Taobao Marketplace, is offering free data analytics to small vendors so they can better tout their wares to online shoppers. 

Smaller merchants on the site can tap Taobao's analytics tools to target their products and offer discounts to the right audience, according to a Xinhua report, which said there were some 7 million vendors on the e-commerce site. Offering these tools for free would help Taobao build a base of 1 million small vendors, contributing 1 million yuan (US$164,000) in annual sales by end-2014. 

The tools would also support smaller merchants that have unique selling points. "Our target is to allow more small but high quality vendors to grow on our platform," Zhang Yu, president of Taobao.com, said in the report.

A China Daily report noted that a Taobao marketing tool, which has been downloaded by over 1 million vendors since October, allows sellers to identify popular items that are frequently added to online shopping carts. The merchants can then use the data to offer discounts to entice more buyers. 

The e-commerce site added that it will offer various discounts in a sales blitz on December 12, a month after it clocked record sales during China's November 11 "Cyber Monday" shopping festival. Taobao Marketplace and Tmall, both of which are owned by e-commerce giant Alibaba, raked in 30 billion yuan (US$4.9 billion) in under 22 hours. Sales hit over 1 billion yuan in just six minutes, compared to 37 minutes last year, according to Alibaba.

Taobao in September opened an office in Singapore to serve as the company's Southeast Asia hub, supporting its customers and presence in this region. The site has over 280,000 registered users in Singapore and another 210,000 across the border in Malaysia. Worldwide, Taobao Marketplace has over 500 million registered users.


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