Building connections off-screen: How Taobao support pure-play brands find success offline

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Taobao have teamed up with local retailers to launch a multi-labelled physical store to host independent clothing brands that sell on the Alibaba Group-owned online marketplace.

The move sees Taobao embracing the omnichannel model by supporting pure-play brands debut their offering in the offline world.

Piloting at the Hangzhou Kerry Center shopping mall, the “Taostyle” store currently offers about 350 items from a rotating selection of 20-plus brands. The first batch of partners features some of the most popular and fastest-growing brands on the ecommerce site, such as Lamps, Roaringwild, Ayuko and THESSNCE.

Taostyle’s fashion buyers determine which brands and products to sell based on a mix of market knowledge and consumers insights drawn from Alibaba’s platforms, refreshing offerings and introducing new products at least twice a month.

Most of the showcased brands either got their start on Taobao or scaled up thanks to the platform. Taostyle offer them an offline channel to improve the experience for existing fans and reach new customers, as well as the chance to test the waters before committing to their own brick-and-mortar stores.

“Without strong interactions, it is difficult for brands to build emotional connections with consumers through a screen.”
– Xia Yu, general manager of Hangzhou Shunhong, Taostyle.

This news serves as a wider move of marketplaces giving brands a new taste of trading in an offline environment.

Last week saw Amazon announcing a recruitment process to show off their brands’ offering in the soon-to-launched pop-up stores in the UK as the marketplace are embracing the omnichannel approach with the opening of a pop-up shop in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Amazon are planning to plant seven pop-up shops across the country and inviting businesses to exhibit their products by applying as a seller here.

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