Another reverse shift of direction between virtual and physical. ChinaTechNews reports that Taobao.com, China’s largest online auction site, has opened a digitally augmented mall in Shanghai and plans to open 11 more by year’s end. It looks like this is not so much a move to create a new physical retail empire as a nod to the Taobao.com brand and a physical location where they can attract new users. I’ve heard that smaller Chinese online businesses have been creating bricks from clicks for years now.
Compared with traditional shopping malls, the offline version of Taobao’s online shopping will be
covered with a wireless network where consumers can not only see real goods, but also buy those goods online. In addition to the hardware, Taobao also plans to organize periodic training on how to open an online store in an effort to encourage users to open stores on its website.