The outdoor bazaar houses more than 200 exhibitors, a fashion show, concerts and a look back at 15 years of Taobao
Taobao, China’s largest mobile commerce destination, developed by Alibaba Group, has opened the third Taobao Maker Festival in Hangzhou, China. For the first time, the four-day festival is being held outdoors in the famous West Lake area. It is also the largest event in Taobao’s history, housing more than 200 exhibitors who embody the Taobao values of innovation, diversity and playfulness.
This year’s festival features the most creative young entrepreneurs in the themed zones of innovation, anime, intangible cultural legacy, vintage, pets and gourmet. Visitors are able to participate in interactive activities, forest-themed concerts and try out the latest technologies. A night market is opened for the first time to extend the excitement into the evening.
According to the latest CBNData report, 77% of the independent designers on Taobao were aged 33 years or younger. Taobao Maker Festival, which receives a huge number of visitors every year, is the perfect stage for these young creators to experiment and commercialize their original ideas.
Chris Tung, Chief Marketing Officer of Alibaba Group, said, “Taobao has always been a pioneer in retail revolution. When we created Taobao 15 years ago, the idea was to give customers a joyful shopping experience by uncovering their favorite items from a wide range of choices. Today, logging onto Taobao is a daily activity for many of us and the term Taobao has come to represent online shopping. What is fueling this dynamic community is the creativity of our merchants. They introduce new products, develop innovative ways of marketing their ideas to customers, and reinvent traditional products to give them new lives. Taobao Maker Festival is an occasion to celebrate the spirit of our merchants and thank them for bringing to life endless ways to make shopping more enjoyable for our customers.”
Growing with Taobao is the aspiration of Chinese consumers seeking better quality and stronger personality in the things they buy. In the fourth quarter of 2017 alone, ‘original design’ appeared 170 million times in keyword searches on Taobao.
Providing China’s designers, creators and craftsmen with a platform to reach a wider audience, and the technology and consumer insights for them to reach their precise target customers has increasingly become Taobao’s mission.
A feature event of this year’s Festival, Taobao invited 20 top designers in China to show their original works at the first-of-its-kind Fashion Show on West Lake’s Snow-covered Bridge in the evening of September 13. The show was live-streamed on mobile Taobao App and Youku, and audience members could buy what they saw on the show instantly.
Over the past 15 years, Taobao has grown side-by-side with the phenomenal rise of China’s economy, becoming the country’s largest platform for entrepreneurial innovation. To mark its 15 years of development, a Taobao Museum is set up during the festival to take visitors on a journey back in time.
Fan Jiang, President of Taobao Marketplace, said, “Innovation and ‘maker spirit’ are the most important qualities of Taobao. To attract like-minded merchants, we will on one hand empower merchants to innovate on our platform and on the other hand help them create business value. This year, innovation prizes will be awarded for the first time to recognize the achievements of the young entrepreneurs on our platform. We will continue to enable passionate and aspirational young entrepreneurs to thrive on Taobao.”