Alibaba’s Taobao Moves to C2M Plan to Create 10 Billion Orders for Factories in China

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group’s Taobao launched its consumer-to-manufacturer (C2M) system to bring 10 billion new orders to traditional factories across China over the next three years, Alibaba announced Thursday.

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This new strategy aims to deploy Taobao’s C2M system to help traditional factories digitize their processes. As made-to-order has become a trend in China since 2019, the number of orders that local factories in lower-tier cities receive increases during every promotional campaign of e-commerce platforms. This strategy could directly connect customers and factories so that manufacturers could customize products for buyers based on their preferences and behavioral data.

“Stepping up our made-to-order strategy is one of Taobao’s ongoing initiatives to diversify product supplies across its ecosystem to meet consumer demand and help manufacturers lagging in the digital race use technology to transform their processes,” said Hai Wang, general manager of Taobao C2M Business Unit. “Manufacturers will benefit from increased efficiency and reduced costs and will be able to generate higher revenues.”

Taobao expects its C2M strategy will bring 10 billion new orders to factories and transform 1,000 manufacturers into “Super Factories” with their total output exceeding 100 million yuan. They also plan to increase productivity at 10 factory clusters in China to 10 billion yuan each.

Taobao officially launched the “Taobao Special Offer Edition” app to provide a designated channel to manage the process from manufacturing to sales of made-to-order products. The app made its soft launch in 2018, and once ranked the most-downloaded app in the e-commerce category in the Apple Store.

This special offer app, along with the “Super Factories Plan” and “10 Billion Production Area Plan” are the three main projects of Taobao’s C2M strategy.

Taobao’s rivals, such as, NetEase‘s Yanxuan and Pinduoduo, previously launched C2M models in 2019 as e-commerce customers demonstrate a rising demand for customized products at lower prices.