Taobao and TMall, the Massive and Fast Growing Online Retail Ecosystem in China

Alibaba provides the largest retail commerce business in the world in terms of GMV 2020, which is up to US 1 trillion in terms of GMV. Alibaba operate China retail marketplaces, consisting of Taobao Marketplace, China’s largest mobile commerce with a large and growing social community, and Tmall, the world’s largest third-party online and mobile commerce platform for brands and retailers. 

As I have said Alibaba aims to build the operating system for commerce, and provides a bundle of services to make it easy to do business anywhere. In 2020, approximately 65% of whole Alibaba group revenue was generated from retail commerce business in China,Taobao and Tmall are the cornerstone of Alibaba group businesses.


Taobao means “search for treasure” in Chinese. Through the Taobao app and the website at, Taobao is positioned as the starting point and destination portal for the shopping journey. Consumers from both large cities and less developed areas come to Taobao Marketplace to enjoy an engaging, personalized shopping experience, optimized by big data analytics and technology. Through highly relevant and engaging content and real-time updates from merchants, consumers can learn about products and new trends. They can also interact with each other and their favorite merchants and key opinion leaders. Taobao Marketplace has a broad offering of interactive features such as live broadcast and short-form videos. Taobao Marketplace is China’s largest mobile commerce destination with a large and growing social community, in terms of GMV  2020, according to Analysys.

Taobao Marketplace provides a top-level traffic funnel that directs users to the various marketplaces, channels and features within Alibaba digital economy. For example, a search result on Taobao Marketplace displays listings not only from Taobao Marketplace merchants but also from Tmall merchants and brands, thereby generating traffic for Tmall. Through Taobao Marketplace, consumers can also access platforms that focus on offering products at attractive price points, such as Juhuasuan, which is a platform dedicated to offering value-for-money branded products. In addition to general merchandise, through Taobao Marketplace consumers can also enter Idle Fish as well as other products and consumer services platforms, which may also be accessed through their respective independent mobile apps.

Merchants on Taobao Marketplace are primarily individuals and small businesses. Merchants can create storefronts and listings on Taobao Marketplace free of charge. The escrow payment services provided by Alipay are free of charge to consumers and merchants unless payment is funded through a credit product such as a credit card, in which case Alipay charges a fee to the merchant based on the related bank fees charged to Alipay. Taobao Marketplace merchants can purchase P4P, in-feed marketing and display marketing services to direct traffic to their storefronts. In addition, merchants can acquire additional traffic from third-party marketing affiliates. Taobao Marketplace merchants can also pay for advanced storefront software that helps to upgrade, decorate and manage their online storefronts.


Tmall caters to consumers’ ever-growing demand for high-quality products and premium shopping experience. A large number of international and Chinese brands and retailers have established storefronts on Tmall. Tmall is positioned as a trusted platform for consumers in China and overseas to buy both homegrown and international branded products as well as products not available in traditional retail outlets. As the brands and offerings on Tmall continue to grow and diversify, Tmall still strives to accurately target and meet different consumer demands. In 2020, Tmall was the largest third party online and mobile commerce platform for brands and retailers in the world in terms of GMV, according to Analysys, and continues to grow quickly. Tmall online physical goods GMV, excluding unpaid orders, grew 23% year-over-year in the year ended March 31, 2020.

In 2009, Tmall pioneered the 11.11 global shopping festival. 11.11 has become the most important shopping event in China and we believe it generated the highest one-day retail sales volume in the world in 2019. On November 11, 2019,  Lazada, AliExpress, Kaola, New Retail and consumer services platforms generated GMV of RMB268.4 billion settled through Alipay within a 24- hour period, reflecting the strength of Alibaba infrastructure and the scale of our entire digital economy in China and around the world.

Tmall is the partner of choice for brands. Brands and retailers operate their own storefronts on the Tmall platform with unique brand identities and look and feel, accompanied by full control over their own branding and merchandising. As of March 31, 2020, there were over 250,000 brands and merchants on Tmall, including 80% of the consumer brands ranked in the Forbes Top 100 World’s Most Valuable Brands for 2019. Because of the presence of a large number of global brands and the stringent standards required for merchants, brands and retailers to join and operate on Tmall, a presence on Tmall has become a validation of quality, allowing merchants, brands and retailers to take advantage of our significant traffic to extend and build brand awareness and customer engagement. Major international brands that have physical operations in China are well represented on Tmall.

Brands and retailers turn to Tmall not only for its broad user base, but also for its data insights and technology. Tmall has driven the digitalization and transformation of brands and retailers by enabling them to digitalize their operations, engage, acquire and retain consumers, increase brand recognition, innovate product offerings, manage supply chains and enhance operational efficiency. In particular, Tmall offers a variety of one-stop brand marketing and promotional products to help brands and retailers quickly acquire new users, enhance brand awareness and launch new products.

Alibaba also seek to build our mind-share among consumers to position Tmall as the premier shopping destination for everyday items, highlighting value and convenience. Apparel, consumer electronics and FMCG are among Tmall’s most popular product categories, which continue to grow quickly. Alibaba have also strengthened consumer recognition of Tmall’s value proposition in consumer electronics and home appliances through promotional events and strategic partnerships.

Like merchants on Taobao Marketplace, brands and merchants on Tmall have access to P4P, in-feed marketing and display marketing services as well as storefront software, which they can use to fully engineer, customize, and even code the software behind their storefronts.

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2. Ant Group, Building Payment and Financial Services Infrastructure through Technology Innovation