Taobao strengthens consumer-to-manufacturer services
Alibaba's retail site Taobao announced a refreshed initiative to leverage its comprehensive consumer-to-manufacturer system to help traditional factories digitize their operations.
A new mobile app, Taobao Special Offer Edition, has been officially launched for shoppers and aims to bring 10 billion new orders to manufacturers across China over the next three years.
“Stepping up our made-to-order strategy is an ongoing Taobao initiative to diversify product supplies to meet demand from our consumers and help manufacturers lagging in the digital race use technology to transform their processes," said Taobao C2M Business Unit General Manager Wang Hai.
It also hopes to foster 1,000 manufacturers as “Super Factories,” each with annual output exceeding 100 million yuan (US$14.16 million), as well as 10 manufacturing industry clusters with more than 10 billion yuan in output.
Manufacturers are expected to benefit from increased efficiency and reduced costs.
Taobao's move to forge links with manufacturers would also allow it to offer value-for-money deals to shoppers by cutting distribution costs.
The move appears to be aimed at rival Pinduoduo, which has been particularly successful at attracting shoppers in lower tier cities, market watchers said.
Pinduoduo also has a similar program where it helps factories enhance their supply-chain efficiency.
According to market watchers, e-tailers are increasingly moving to help manufacturers find potential buyers and bring supply and demand into more direct contact.