If you’re a business trying to sell products in China, you have probably been looking into its largest marketplace, Alibaba Group’s Tmall. Tmall has a strict entry process that requires brands to work hand in hand with a certified Tmall partner to ensure end customers have a pleasant experience on their platform and brands drive sustainable sales.
There are many Tmall partners to choose from, so how do you know which is right for your business? In this post, we will discuss the key factors to consider when choosing a Tmall partner.
What is a Tmall Partner?
Tmall Partners (frequently referred to as TP) are professional service companies that provides international brands management solutions for their Tmall operations in China. Tmall certifies partners that meet certain criteria such as experience with administrative paperwork and local operational teams in China.
We at WPIC Marketing + Technologies provide businesses with everything they need to successfully run their China programs — including Tmall stores.
For example, some areas of expertise we have include:
Why do you need a Tmall Partner?
Working with a Tmall Partner is necessary to open a Tmall Flagship store. No international brand can operate a Tmall store without a Tmall Partner. But they also can provide a lot more – if you partner with the right one.
The right Tmall certified partners will:
- Act as your cultural bridge between your business and Tmall.
- Identify the best product strategy within the platform for you.
- Help you understand the market and define goals before you get started.
Collaborating with the right Tmall partner that has significant on-the-ground experience in the market should also give your business peace of mind.
What are the functions of a Tmall Partner?
Tmall partners can help you with several components — and the right partner will provide you with end-to-end services to ensure your China program is successful, driving growth for your brand.
Data & Market Analysis
Before entering the Chinese e-commerce market, it is important to understand the customers’ preferences. Data about the Chinese market, however, is often inaccessible without the right tools.
China’s legal and technical infrastructure has created a virtual border (a.k.a. the Great Firewall) that only allows certain information into and out of its domestic internet from the rest of the world. It is also what prevents most Chinese consumers from accessing…
…and many other popular sites from the West.
At WPIC, we have a custom-built data engine that sits behind the Great Firewall that allows brands to tap into valuable insights into the Chinese market.
Our market intelligence and competitor analysis data provides clarity as to where your products will best perform, at what time of year, at what price, and how your competitors are performing.
Relevant data can paint a picture for global brands about particularities of the Chinese market, such as consumer preferences for specific colours , textures, or flavours. For example, while black is a popular, neutral colour commonly used in everyday life, it is almost never used on food and beverage products.
You can gain valuable insights into the market to help you determine how best to expand into this lucrative space.
Handle Tedious Paperwork
China has a completely different legal and regulatory system from that of the West. There is a significant amount of red tape that comes with the system.
Registering your Tmall store is not a simple task that can easily be done from your headquarters in North America or Europe.
The right Tmall Partner is an expert on all these regulatory and compliance matters and knows how to navigate them. They will know how to process these massive amounts of paperwork on your behalf to ensure compliance and smooth registration process, removing as many hurdles as possible.
Effective Web Presence
Once you get your brand activated on Tmall, you still need to drive conversions and revenue.
An experienced Tmall Partner like WPIC, who knows the ins-and-outs of setting up a web presence in China is vital. We will help you create a storefront design that not only enhances your brand identity, but also follows China’s user experience (UX) design rules that improve conversion — from qualitative product descriptions to the right photography selections, and more.
The right partner will also be adept in customer service representative (CSR) training and will provide employees that can communicate with your customers and address their questions and last-mile objections, while maintaining your brand standards.
As the overwhelming majority of consumers in China want to ask questions and speak with a brand representative during the purchasing process, offering high-quality customer support to Chinese online shoppers is vital for success.
Support Logistics Needs
For many small and medium-sized businesses, accessing a warehouse storage facility inside China provides all sorts of logistical challenges – especially if you can’t easily visit.
At WPIC, we have over 65,000 sq. ft. of protected and monitored warehouse space in China with industry-leading OMS and WMS software, as well as staff that pick, pack and ship products to your customers quickly and efficiently.
Our warehouse integrates with all the domestic logistics networks in China to ensure your customers get their hands on your products as quickly as possible.
Liaising with Tmall
Have you ever heard of “Xiaoers”?
Tmall has category managers that are responsible for the performance of brands in a specific area of the business. Their goal is to ensure your brand succeeds on their platform.
The right Tmall Partner will ensure your brand has a great relationship with the appropriate category manager in Hangzhou so that you can position yourself for success.
Both the category manager and the Tmall Partner can provide you with insights on category trends, major events coming up on the Chinese promotional calendar, and more, all in the spirit of driving growth for your brand.
For global brands looking to sell their products to the Chinese market, Tmall is a crucial platform to look at and consider as you start.
The right Tmall Partner will help get your products into the hands of Chinese consumers. They will help grow your brand on China’s most popular e-commerce marketplace.
Tmall Partners have star ratings based on performance evaluations where you can determine the quality of their service.
WPIC Marketing + Technologies are amongst the top trusted companies and have received a 5-star Tmall Partner rating from Alibaba. Additionally, the firm has over 17 years of experience in Asia and are amongst the silver medal winners for the 2021 TP100 contest.
Get in touch to learn more.
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