So, data has told you that your product has enough of a market on Tmall and your company has decided to make the investment. Now what? How do you start selling on China’s most popular e-commerce platform? There are several concrete steps you need to take, and, perhaps even more importantly, a few common mistakes to avoid.
In order to ensure your brand is seeing growth in revenues as soon as possible, here are five steps for getting started on Tmall:
Ensure that your documents are being prepared by someone who has experience on the platform
Have you got your brand trademark document ready? What about your factory license? ICP license? In China, you need to prepare dozens of pieces of paperwork to sell your products on e-commerce platforms. This system is in place to ensure that consumers receive a high-quality product and local authorities verify the legitimacy of your company. WPIC Marketing + Technologies has launched and activated hundreds of brands on Tmall, JD and other e-commerce platforms. We know exactly what steps to take to ensure you’re not caught up in red tape while your competitors gain market share.
Research your category
Who are you going to be competing against in the market and how are you different? Are they a domestic Chinese brand? Are they international? What is their reputation in the market and how can you capitalize on that? How do brands in your category perform on these platforms, on the whole? These are questions about your category you absolutely need to know before you activate.
Furthermore, ensure you know your customer inside and out. Chinese consumers differ materially in a few key areas, compared to their North American or European counterparts. What are they like? Where do they shop? Is your buyer the same person as the end user? What are the unmet needs of each of these individuals? Knowing all of this information will help you realize this opportunity.
Make sure you have this information before you enter the marketplace to gain market clarity.
Have a strong relationship with Tmall and JD Category Managers
Do you know what a “Xiaoer” is? It’s one of the most important positions at JD and at Tmall for your company and its products. A Xiaoer or “Category Manager” is responsible for ensuring that all items for sale in a particular category (for instance, cosmetics) are selling effectively. Because e-commerce platforms collect a percentage of revenue from each transaction that takes place on their platform, it is very much in their interests to ensure that you sell a lot of products.
But beyond just GMV, however, it takes years to develop good relationships with the Category Managers. WPIC prides itself on exceptional relationships with Category Managers, and our team is proud to have received praise from Alibaba on our ability to effectively drive revenue across multiple categories on their platform. We work hand-in-hand with both Category Managers and other staff at Tmall to ensure that your product is moving off the shelves and into the hands of consumers as soon as possible.
Easier said than done, right? From operations to marketing management, store platform decorations to promotional activities to paid search, there are dozens of factors that can lead to a campaign succeeding and your product in China driving market share, revenue, and, ultimately, profitability.
Offer exceptional customer service
Chinese e-commerce consumers are some of the most sophisticated and savvy in the world. When it comes to selling your product to them, you can’t just “set it and forget it.”
Terrific customer service can take your product from a “maybe” to a “yes.” It can be one of the keys to driving sales for your brand in China. It’s important for your company to have standardized communication with your consumers, trained CSR employees, a thorough knowledge of products and potential issues that may come up, as well as an effective and fast logistics system that gets your products into the hands of your customers quickly.
Interested in learning more about how best to ensure your brand is performing at a high level on Tmall, JD and other leading Chinese e-commerce platforms? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.