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Taobao’s Mini Program “Light Store”: Are foreign individuals and enterprises ready to open e-stores in the Chinese market?

By ESC Editorial Team, over 5 years ago Business
Taobao’s Mini Program “Light Store”: Are foreign individuals and enterprises ready to open e-stores in the Chinese market?

After a long preparation time, Taobao’s mini program “Light Store” finally began internal testing. Light Store is a tool that helps individuals and enterprises set up stores with features such as group chat, article publication and store navigation. Individuals and enterprises are required to verify their identity and real name when creating an account on the Light Store. Currently, the registered accounts are those who have applied for the internal test as users of the beta version.


(Taobao "Light Store")

Taobao’s Light Store is a light application that resembles the WeChat mini program. The key feature of the mini program is that users can “sign in and exit” at any time. For example, the tests and games mini programs shared on Wechat’s chat window can be simply entered and ended by clicking.

Light Store is a directory that collects live transmissions, content and store in formation of brand owners on Taobao. The results are displayed on the screen when users search for any brands with keywords. The main function of Light Store on Mobile Taobao is to build up a smooth membership system to increase user stickiness.

As Taobao traffic becomes more expensive, brand owners have a growing need to increase their brand value. In addition to the portability of mini pro-grams, Light Store can also help store owners to gather brand assets by integrating and sharing information from desktop and mobile Taobao customers and offline merchants to independent software vendors (ISV) for a co-development. This spreads brand information faster and more efficiently and realise online and offline service integration.

What is the difference between Alibaba's Light Store and WeChat's Mini Store? Basically, Mobile Taobao’s retail function determines that Alibaba’s Light Store mini program is more focused on trading and shopping scenarios. The social feature of WeChat, however, is more the splitting of the product in social sharing and thus the diffusion effect in the marketing level. 

At present, large retail brands can gain more sales promotion resources and more systematic sales data through cooperation with Alibaba in the Chinese market. For example, Starbucks decided to work with Alibaba to deliver coffee. For small and medium-sized brands, WeChat is a shortcut to gain more users and market share. For example, since its inception through the social network marketing collaboration with WeChat, Luckin Coffee has successfully gained customers in the Chinese takeaway coffee market and has become a new "webstar" in China's takeaway coffee industry.

In addition to cooperating with JD, Tabobao and Tmall, brands interested in exploring the Chinese consumer market may also try to take advantage of WeChat's social networks and Alibaba's Light Store resources to increase brand awareness and market share growth.

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