China is bouncing back fast.
Alibaba said Thursday that its consumer-to-consumer platform Taobao has recovered from the coronavirus, with March average daily active user numbers surpassing last December, before Wuhan and its neighboring region went into a 76 days lockdown.
Its business-to-consumer platform Tmall saw a 12 million jump in average daily order numbers in March, compared to last December.
Content and community-driven online shopping served as an engine for growth as the first wave of the COVID-19 outbreak came to an end in China by the beginning of April.
Livestreaming helped retailers achieve a 160 percent increase in order numbers and the number of livestreams almost doubled compared to the same period last year.
According to Taobao, the gross merchandise volume generated by livestreaming grew by 150 percent a year for three years in a row. By the end of 2019, consumers were spending over 350,000 hours each day combined watching programs on the platform.
Yu Feng, senior director of e-commerce content at Taobao, said, “The current healthcare crisis is a wakeup call for retailers. It has prompted many to accelerate their digital makeovers, so that their businesses become more dynamic and resilient.”
Tmall launched the cloud fashion week project with Shanghai Fashion Week from March 24 to 30 to further strengthen its association with fashion and luxury.
Livestreaming from 150 designers and brands had over 11 million views and helped generate more than $2.82 million in gross merchandise volume. The most popular livestream drew in 1.5 million views and sales of over 3 million renminbi, or $435,000 in a single session, according to Tmall.
On Tuesday, Daniel Zhang, Alibaba Group chairman and chief executive officer, unveiled the 2020 Spring Thunder Initiative in a staff memo, outlining a series of measures and actions to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in post-COVID-19 China.
“Now is the time for Alibaba to give back to our community and to give back to our SMEs,” said Zhang. “We will deploy the power of commerce and technology that Alibaba has harnessed over the past 20 years to create new supply chains, stimulate new demand, and promote new trade through a series of aggressive measures.
“This pandemic will ultimately end, and we will eventually see the beginnings of new life. We must band together with the SMEs that need the most help, and convert Alibaba’s resources into strength for the SMEs. We must turn the ‘danger’ brought about by the pandemic into ‘opportunity’ for SMEs to prepare for the future through digital transformation,” he added.