Thorough SWOT Analysis Of Taobao – Detailed Company Overview

Updated on: Nov 20, 2021
SWOT Analysis of Taobao - Featured Image

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Earlier we did the SWOT analysis of Alibaba, China’s largest global e-commerce platform. Now wondering what made Alibaba’s Taobao so successful? In this article, we’ll understand the SWOT Analysis of Taobao with infographics and decode the answer.

Taobao is China’s very own online shopping website, founded by Jack Ma. It is headquartered in Hangzhou and is owned by Alibaba Group. Taobao’s marketplace facilitates consumer-to-consumer (C2C) & Business-to-consumer (B2C) platforms & it is the eighth-most visited website in 2021.

As the world is bringing all their businesses online, websites like Taobao have a great scope. Taobao has more than 500 million users & it has built a strong brand over the internet. 

As digital marketing is an integral part of carrying out business online, it is so important for your business to have an online presence. If you are someone who would want to learn more about it, check out our free Masterclass on Digital Marketing 101 by the CEO and Founder of IIDE, Karan Shah.

In this blog, we will understand the SWOT Analysis of Taobao and will find out the answer. But, before we go into the SWOT Analysis of Taobao, let’s have a look at the company, its history, financial situation, products, and rivals.

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About Taobao

SWOT Analysis of Taobao- Taobao’s application on Play Store, Source Global Times

(Taobao’s application on Play Store, Source: Global Times)

Taobao means ‘search for treasure’ in Chinese. Alibaba Group’s Taobao, established in 2003, is an e-commerce platform featuring millions of product and service listings on the website and through the mobile app, offering a vast variety of choices for consumers.

With years of development and innovation, Taobao’s marketplace can leverage its consumer insights and product diversity to offer consumers an engaging and personalized shopping experience. Taobao has become one of the biggest entrepreneurship platforms in China, encouraging the youth and the entrepreneurs to realize their dreams. 

                Quick Stats About Taobao

Founder Jack MA
Year Founded 1999
Origin Hangzhou, China
No. of Employees 251,462
Company Type Public
Market Cap CN¥ 480.791 Billion (2021)
Annual Revenue CN¥ 717.289 Billion (2021)
Net Income/ Profit CN¥ 143.284 Billion (2021)



SWOT Analysis of Taobao - - Taobao’s e-commerce website, Source Asia Pacific

( – Taobao’s e-commerce website, Source: Asia Pacific) 

With over 1 Billion product listings Taobao is China’s largest online marketplace selling anything from A to Z.

  • Clothing
  • Food & beverages
  • Electronics & smart devices
  • Health products & supplements

Competitors of Taobao

Some of the close competitors of Alibaba’s Taobao are:

  • Wish
  • E-bay
  • Gmarket
  • Amazon
  • Shopee

SWOT Analysis of Taobao

A SWOT Analysis of Taobao can help the organization to identify its strengths, weaknesses, possible opportunities, and threats. It’s the best strategic tool to understand where a company stands strong, what areas it can excel in, and what are its threats.

SWOT Analysis of Taobao - SWOT Infographics of Taobao
From the SWOT analysis of Taobao, let us first begin by understanding the strengths of Taobao.

Strengths of Taobao

  • Strategic Marketing: Taobao carries out a very interesting way to attract its consumers through various marketing strategies such as having an attractive-looking website. But, do you know where these websites are created? The answer is WordPress. So, if you also want to learn how to create an attractive website just like Taobao’s then enrol now in our online WordPress course and learn to create a website from scratch.
  • The Unique Payment Method: Taobao uses a payment method which is called Alipay. They set up an app that people could store money in and use without just having a phone. As Alipay was introduced, Taobao soon took off and stayed at the top e-commerce place in China.
  • Diverse Products: Taobao focuses on different kinds of products to have something for every type of customer. Consumers can find anything that they require. They are also known for hosting sales of limited edition products.
  • Damo Academy’s Al Algorithms: Taobao has adopted a new way of marketing to provide its customers with the best experience and accurate recommendations while shopping which will have virtual live streams hosting technologies to enhance user engagement.

Weaknesses of Taobao

  • Language Barrier: For an international consumer, Taobao can be a bit dispiriting as the website is in Chinese. When facing issues like dealing with defective products, returns-exchanges, refunds, international buyers are taken advantage of by Chinese sellers because of their perception that foreigners can pay more.
  • Limiting Its Global Market Reach: It started great at the beginning but as Taobao doesn’t have an English version of its e-commerce platform, it is limiting its expansion in the global market & lacking to create an online presence in international markets.
  • Counterfeit Products: Although Taobao is taking measures to control the sale of duplicate and fake goods such as rating the sellers by credit value. Taobao’s free strategy of individuals establishing an online shop easily without having to pay any charges and requirements has created a lack of confidence in the customers, resulting in affecting its brand image and sales.

Opportunities for Taobao 

  • The Rapid Growth of China’s B2C Market: Taobao’s B2C has seen 60% growth over the first half-year of 2013, twice as much as C2C. It’s cost-effective for new businesses to start selling their products because of Taobao’s ready-to-use platform. The increasing demand for online shopping helps and contributes to the success of Taobao.
  • Developing Technology: As every other person owns a smartphone, developing phone technology increases efficiency and makes it convenient to shop online which further leads to building an efficient network business culture.
  • Expansion of the Business: Taobao has the potential of growing its business, increasing sales, and bringing in foreign currency by making its website in English. Having international people buy its products.
  • GDP Growth & Employment Opportunities: As Taobao’s e-commerce website is being spread at a larger pace, creating new job opportunities for the people, further resulting in a GDP increase. 

Threats to Taobao

  • Easy Entry Strategy Leading Towards Competition: As Taobao introduced a free strategy to carry out business online, It will lead to facing an increase in competition from the new market entrants. In addition to this, it’s easy for the other competitors to copy Taobao’s business strategies and patterns.
  • Counterfeits Resulting in Bad Reputation: There have been many complaints about stealing goods, receiving damaged goods, etc. This will affect the reputation of the company further making it difficult for expansion.
  • Less Sustainability of Business: As globalization is taking place, it will make Taobao across the nation’s borders and deal with cultural diversity. Lack of cultural knowledge will impact the business as it is not profitable to just operate within the nation.
  • Alternative E-commerce Platforms: New emerging competitors in Asia are following behind Taobao, its position is in danger. As the website is only restricted to Chinese people, other platforms such as Amazon can have this as an advantage. 

This ends our thorough SWOT analysis of Taobao. Let us conclude our learnings below.

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To Conclude

China’s e-commerce is growing rapidly and most importantly the buying capacity of its middle class is increasing. Hence, Taobao is the most significant e-commerce website in China with 500 million users and 60 million daily users. 

Taobao has a great scope of expanding its business globally using its marketing skills as it is already winning its customers through its unique marketing strategies.

In today’s digital era every company needs to have a great online presence and innovatively market its products and services just as Taobao is doing. If you are someone who would like to learn interesting digital marketing skills, check out IIDE’s 3 Month Advanced Online Digital Marketing Course and register today!

If you like to read such insightful and extensive analyses of companies just like the SWOT analysis of Taobao then you can find more such interesting case studies on our IIDE’s knowledge portal.

Thank you for taking your time out to read this, hope you found the case study on the SWOT analysis of Taobao informative and insightful. Share your views on it in the comments section below.

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Aditya Shastri

Lead Trainer & Head of Learning & Development at IIDE

Leads the Learning & Development segment at IIDE. He is a Content Marketing Expert and has trained 6000+ students and working professionals on various topics of Digital Marketing. He has been a guest speaker at prominent colleges in India including IIMs......[Read full bio]


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