Taobao rolled out a Wechat-like CRM service Weitao in April, as one of its major moves to transform the Mobile Taobao. Only two months later it claims that subscribers have amounted to more than 60 million (source in Chinese) since the closed beta test. The number of official accounts run by Taobao sellers, shopping guides and public media has broken through 3,000 during the same period. The sales of some Weitao clients surged 30 percent to 40 percent thanks to the popularity of this service.
“Sanmozhanfang” is among the first batch of Taobao retailers who were invited to join Weitao. Driven by this service, its turnover as a percentage conducted via mobile terminals soared to 33.51 percent in May from 14.92 percent in March.
Shang Wen, staff of Mobile Taobao, said that Weitao will redefine e-commerce in the mobile Internet era. “We aim to offer retailers customized user experience by enabling them to subscribe to contents and commodities via Weitao”, Shang added.
Some merchants have capitalized on the open platform function of Weitao to communicate and maintain a favorable relationship with their customers.
“Lijia”, another Taobao store, put forward C2B subscription service. Customers can vote for or against a certain commodity according to their personal tastes. Such activities witnessed immediate success.
Mobile e-commerce provides new opportunities for both small and big merchants. The commercial value of Weitao subscribers is five times higher than that of WeChat, because Weitao customers mainly stem from Taobao clients, who have strong purchasing power, according to Gong Wenxiang, a famous e-commerce analyst.
Head of Weitao project disclosed that the platform wouldn’t open up to the public in a short term. The project team will continue to perfect the service by adding new features, such as user-defined plug-ins, voice communication and community groups.