Alibaba lowers entry barriers

Date : 11 May 2021

Jiong-Jiong Yu

Senior Retail Analyst

The company has rolled out a new set of measures to benefit merchants and sellers on its online marketplaces, Tmall and Taobao, after record anti-trust fine.     

Offering services free or at lower costs, supported by technological improvements

Alibaba Group Chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang said that ongoing technological improvements and upgrades have enabled the company to expand its portfolio of sophisticated services, offering them for free or at lower costs than before to merchants and partners.

The company has said it will invest more in merchants’ training and optimise their back-end workstations to improve operational efficiency. In addition, the company has earmarked billions of RMB in additional annual spending to support merchants in the coming years.

Onboarding new merchants: opening a store takes less than five minutes

  • Tmall simplified the verification process for businesses looking to launch their stores on the platform
  • Opening a store takes less than five minutes, or just by one click, on the Taobao mobile app
  • Starting April 19, merchants from the cosmetics, personal care, household supplies and mother and child sectors, can open official Tmall stores passing a seven-month operation-capability assessment

Reducing merchant costs: waive the deposit fees

  • Taobao will waive the deposit fees for new merchants and existing sellers will receive a refund on their deposits
  • Tmall merchants with high credit scores can apply to reallocate up to 50% of their deposit for daily operational use
  • Both platforms will waive the premium on a range of marketing tools and services designed to improve merchants’ marketing and business analytics capabilities
  • Merchants’ logistics costs, such as those related to customer returns, are also set to be lowered.

Enhancing efficiency: offering one-on-one customer support

  • Tmall and Taobao started offering one-on-one customer support service to their merchants
  • Taobao merchants can visit Taobao business operation centres to receive local support
  • More centres are opening across China, including Huzhou, Zhejiang Province, Nantong, Jiangsu Province, Xiamen, Fujian Province and Huizhou, Guangdong Province, for better support