Tmall Partner | Sell on Tmall: A definitive guide

How do I open a Tmall store?

If a business is serious about selling its products to consumers in China, there is perhaps no more important platform on which they need to establish their presence than Tmall, China’s most popular e-commerce site.

The Alibaba-owned website Tmall.com is frequented by nearly 700 million users on a monthly basis and is the place where hundreds of millions of products (both foreign and domestic) are bought and sold. And for global brands looking to drive growth in the market, understanding the ins-and-outs of Alibaba’s flagship platform is key.

Read more about how to set up a Tmall store

What would a partner agency do to set up a Tmall store for my brand?

Thanks to the ecosystem of agencies and consulting partners that exists around Tmall, how can you know a) what it takes to launch a brand on Tmall and b) which services and solutions are right for your brand?

Whether your brand is:

  • Still in the exploratory stage of Tmall market entry and only in need to market data to validate the expansion
  • In the research stage of your platform expansion and in need of SKU localization and planning support
  • In the activation stage, in need of e-commerce build support, store design, CSR training and store registration
  • Focused on operations, in need of store management, digital marketing, promotions support or assistance moving customers through the funnel
  • Focused on optimizing an already running store via loyalty programs, performance management, data monitoring and more

There is a plethora of solutions for your organization, and the right ones can be the difference between strong and mediocre results in the market.

Read more about what steps a Tmall partner agency will take to launch your store

What is a Tmall flagship store?

Tmall’s prominence exceeded its Chinese borders long ago. Global brands have taken notice of the platform and want to make sure they’re activating in the world’s largest e-commerce market.

To make that process easier, attract more foreign brands, and to mitigate some of the complexities of piloting through China’s regulatory framework, Alibaba launched Tmall Global as a sister site to Tmall’s domestic flagship platform in 2014.

This new site allows global brands to avoid some of the requirements of operating from inside the PRC, providing ostensibly an easier entry into China’s e-commerce market. But is opting to sell on Tmall Global versus Tmall Local really the best bet for global brands?

See the pros and cons of Tmall Global v.s. Tmall

What is a Tmall partner and what will they do for my brand?

Success in China might look different for each company; the path towards achieving it certainly will.

In all likelihood, early on in the “research” phase of a China market-entry plan, different organizations will realize the importance of solidifying their Tmall presence. However, in order to simplify that platform entry process, global companies would be wise to understand the value of working with an experienced Tmall Partner (TP) and how to choose the right one.

Here are six things that the right Tmall Partner will do for your brand

What are the main differences between Tmall and JD.com?

If you’ve done any research into China’s e-commerce landscape, you’ll no doubt know that the two biggest players are Alibaba’s Tmall and JD.com, partially backed by Tencent. And besides the historic tendencies (go to Tmall for fashion, JD for electronics), what are the key differences between the two platforms? Which platform is more popular among men vs. women? And by how much? How do their shipping policies vary? How much freedom do brands have to control the user experience on each platform?

Learn more about the main differences between Tmall and JD.com through this insightful, easy to read infographic

What were the top takeaways from Tmall on 6/18 this year?

While shoppers in the West may be familiar with Alibaba’s “11/11 Singles Day” sale as China’s alternative to “Black Friday” to kick off the holiday season, what many do not know is that hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers also participate in the country’s annual “Mid-Year Festival”, colloquially known as “6-18”, which takes place on June 18th each year.

From June 1st to the 18th each year, Chinese e-commerce platforms conduct some of the largest sales and promotions of the year for their visitors and drive hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue for brands- both foreign and domestic.

So, how did the market behave on the most important promotional holiday of the summer season? What were the top takeaways from Tmall and which products and categories did well on the biggest e-commerce platform in China?

Read about the top takeaways from this past year’s 6/18 shopping festival here