What Alibaba Does Differently in Mobile Than Amazon

At the company’s first investor relations day since its IPO, Alibaba talked at length about the mobile Taobao app (PDF) and what the online retail giant is doing in mobile.

I already remarked that the mobile numbers from Taobao are insane.
Alibaba’s Mobile Taobao is a juggernaut:

Alibaba mobile usage numbers

This is the result of a mobile only world. Most Chinese customers’ first and only computer is a smartphone. This market environment means that JD.com and Alibaba and all the other Chinese Internet giants are growing up in a world dominated by mobile Internet usage. Quite the difference to the Western world.

It is remarkable that the mobile Taobao app generates in average 7.2 daily(!) app launches per active user with, in average, 18.9 browsed items per viewer.

Under the light of these usage numbers, Alibaba’s comparison of the mobile Taobao app with Amazon’s mobile app is amusing, fascinating and enlightening:

Alibaba vs. Amazon in mobile

Taobao certainly has more features above the fold. This may look overstuffed to Western eyes, but a.) it is working in China and b.) again, it’s an app in a mobile only world. When users don’t have a laptop to fall back on to do more “complex” stuff online, they have different demands of mobile apps.

With Weitao, Alibaba offers a micro-blog for merchants:

Weitao - Microblog for merchants at Alibaba

Like Amazon, Alibaba has been experimenting with live online TV broadcasts, and rather successfully so:

Alibaba live broadcasts

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