Xibao: Helping China’s online merchants advertise better

CTO of Xibao, Alex Farfurnik, on the right (photo cred)

China’s top e-commerce site, Taobao, accounts for a whopping 80% share of the nation’s e-commerce market. But even with so many sellers setting up a shop on Taobao, most of them don’t adequately understand how to sell products on the platform. That’s where Xibao comes in.

Xibao’s system helps optimize ads and use Taobao’s ad platform more effectively. According to co-founder, Alex Farfurnik, the company offers three plans at a monthly fixed rate. Pricing starts at 0–100 yuan ($0–17) for a freemium plan, 1000 yuan ($170) for a standard plan, and 15,000 yuan ($2500) for a VIP plan. 17 months have passed since the launch of its ad optimization platform, Super Driver, And the total customers subscribing to paid plans has surpassed 40,000. Advertisement fees paid by Taobao through Xibao have surpassed $150 million.

November 11th is widely referred to as ‘E-commerce Day’ on the Chinese internet. This year the sales on Tmall.com, the online retailer spun off from Taobao, reached 35.019 billion yuan ($5.6 billion) for the day. The above picture is from a monitoring room at Tmall.com.

At first, Xibao was launched as a service for small businesses. But the business grew because of a partnership with Taobao, and Xibao began offering the service to major companies as well. XiBao now has partnerships with internet giants like Tencent, Qihoo, JD.com, and Baidu.

Generally, sellers place ads on Taobao to lead customers to their shops. But it turns out that this is not necessarily cost-effective. For example, there was a case when a Tmall seller placed ads on Qihoo, leading viewers to Tmall from there. With this strategy, the cost performance of the ad was 50 times higher than ads placed directly on Tmall. Xibao looks at all the indicators including transactions and advertising ROI to manage the best ad space.

In the upcoming year, Xibao aims to release two apps and acquire 100,000 freemium accounts.

On November 11th, Xibao staff was working overnight at TechTemple. Every year on this day, all the staff work non-stop.