If you are a business that is trying to sell products in Mainland China then you’ve probably been looking into its major Marketplaces of which Tmall is the leader. Tmall, is China’s largest B2C e-commerce platform and there are reasons for this, one of them being a strict entry process that requires brands to work hand in hand with a Tmall Certified Partner (TP). How to find the right certified Tmall partner? There are many Tmall partners to choose from, so how do you know which one is right for your business? In this blog post, we will discuss the key factors to consider when choosing a Tmall partner.
What Is a Tmall Partner?
A Tmall partner — also called TP — is a certified e-commerce company offering global merchants management solutions for their operations in China. A TP has platform expertise but also a digital marketing one to help you reach out to more clients.
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For instance, we provide clients with everything they need to run their digital stores. We have designated experts for various activities, from registration to customer relationship management (CRM) to key opinion leader (KOL) marketing.
You will need a reliable TP on your side if you want to sell products on Tmall & Tmall Global and similar platforms. Naturally, you will come across various service providers. However, we suggest working only with recommended TPs because they have the knowledge, skills, and technologies necessary to capture the market.
Why to you need one?
In short, working with a TP is a necessary step to opening a Tmall Flagship store. But they provide a lot more as we are going to see below.
Below are some of the components a TP can help you with:
- Gather information: Data about the Chinese market is often inaccessible without the right tools. However, with our team on your side, you can gain valuable insights into the market to help you determine if expansion in this space is ideal for you. A complete market analysis that will give you a good idea of what avenue you need to prioritize in order to grow in China’s e-commerce market and also lower your marketing expenses.
- Develop a marketing plan: Once we have all the necessary information, we can help you create an action plan. Together, we can discuss factors like fast-moving products, seasonal discounts, price points, and promotional efforts. Keep in mind that the Chinese market is different from other local audiences you serve. We set up a smart market entry and product launches strategy.
- Handle tedious paperwork: China’s legal and operational requirements might overwhelm company representatives from the West. At Marketing to China, we know how to process massive amounts of paperwork to ensure your compliance as quickly and seamlessly as possible. We get you the right business and product categories license
- Oversee operations: A TP should help you with your day-to-day operations, from order management to transmitting payments to managing client concerns. There are many physical and digital restrictions for foreign companies in China, and having a TP on your team simplifies your platform entry process
- Manage logistics services: For multinational megacorporations, purchasing a local storage facility in China is a no-brainer. However, for small and medium enterprises, such investments would be too costly and frankly, unnecessary. A trustworthy TP should help you run your warehouse operations through a logistics partner.
- Manage Customer Services: in order to open a flagship store in the marketplace, you’ll need a customer service center that offers a high-quality e-commerce experience to Chinese online shoppers.
- Grow your following: An experienced TP knows how to capture and engage with audiences through cost-effective strategies. For instance, using influence marketing China locals patronize can be the game-changer you need for your company.
- Enhance your online potential: Alibaba employs managers to enhance the performance of brands under their categories. They help companies achieve their Tmall goals. Working with the right TP ensures you participate in Chinese promotional calendars and that Tmall hears your concerns and suggestions.
- Optimize your store for visibility and conversion: Store design that not only enhances your brand identity but also follows china’s UX “rules”, qualitative product Descriptions that that will help reduce the question about customer service while improving conversion rate.
Where do you Look for a Tmall Partner?
- Contact eCommerce agency, look for a Tmall partner using google and ask for an appointement and ask for their official certification.
- Find a list of certified TP on Taobao’s website (here)
How Do You Assess Tmall Partners?
There are three core components in assessing Tmall partners: sales, rankings, and public filings.
- Sales: Before working with a TP, research the Tmall revenues of its past and existing clients. Trusty TPs should have such information on their websites. However, note that multinational corporations might work with various TPs for different purposes.
- Rankings: Tmall records its TP rankings with information on brands they manage. We recommend working with a TP with industry experience.
- Public filings: If your preferred TP is publicly listed, you can find information about its revenue, growth, and clients in public filings.
What Other Factors Should You Consider in Choosing a Tmall Partner?
Apart from sales, ranking, and public filings, you should also consider if a TP is an excellent fit for your brand. Below are some of the components you can include in your selection process.
- Choose certified TPs: Tmall uses a star system to differentiate TPs. Work only with Tmall-approved partners that publish information about companies they handle.
- Two-star TPs: Serve mid-sized brands
- Four-star TPs: Serve larger brands
- Five-star TPs: Serve the platform’s most popular brands
- Multilingual staff: Your TP’s country of origin shouldn’t be essential to your decision. However, we recommend working with a company with a multilingual team. Naturally, you want to ensure there’s a Chinese-speaking representative with your TP. Also, it might be best to work with a group that can easily communicate with your team.
- Route-to-market strategy: This technique refers to the process of reaching, selling, and transacting with an identified target market. Your goals should align with a TP’s plans. Your chosen TP should understand your strengths and use them to your advantage. Don’t work with a partner who has a different vision for your brand.
- TP Capabilities: Work with a TP who can help you with everything you need to penetrate the Chinese e-commerce market. A TP should have the store management, customer communication, and KOL marketing skills to guarantee your success.
- Building a plan together: Lastly, find a TP with a partnership mindset instead of a do-everything-for-you attitude. After all, you might have policies on managing brand assets and company image. Find one who can complement your strengths and fill the necessary skill gaps to grow your e-commerce business in China.
FAQ – China’s eCommerce market with a focus on Tmall & Tmall Global
Both foreign brands and Chinese brands have an interest in selling online to reach out to Chinese consumers so here are some questions that are frequently asked about this market.
What is the size of China’s eCommerce market?
The eCommerce market in China is absolutely booming – in 2021, it was worth almost US$1,543 billion, and it’s only projected to grow from there. A big part of that growth is due to the rise of online platform like Tmall and Tmall Global.
Tmall is the largest eCommerce platform in China, and it’s operated by Alibaba Group. It’s focused on business-to-consumer sales, and it offers a wide range of product categories, from clothing to electronics to food. Tmall Global is a subsection of the platform that’s geared towards international brands and businesses who want to sell to Chinese consumers.
What Is Tmall Global?
Tmall, an Alibaba company, provides the sophisticated Chinese market with top-quality branded products. It’s currently China’s top B2C platform and boasts over 500 million registered users, 50,000 merchants, and 50% of the country’s e-commerce business. With the Chinese population reaching 1.41 billion, the site offers unmatched growth capabilities for organizations throughout the globe.
In 2014, the megacorporation launched Tmall Global to address the consumer demand for cross-border transactions. Since then, many international retailers have signed up. Here are some of the benefits these sellers enjoy:
- Low-capital presence in the Chinese market
- Direct access to a massive client base
- Receive payments in local currencies to their bank of choice
When Alibaba launched Tmall Global, the brand became a game-changer for the country’s e-commerce industry. With the ease of use for consumers and sellers alike, it opened a gateway for international brands and Chinese customers to conduct business with one another.
Should You Sell on Tmall Global?
Experts estimate that the Chinese e-commerce industry has reached the USD 1.9 trillion mark — the world’s largest online market. According to data, the sales figures continue to grow at impressive rates annually.
The king of this space is Alibaba, which Tmall falls under. The megacorporation controls over half of the country’s e-commerce transactions, so it’s no wonder global brands work with Tmall partners (TPs) to penetrate the market.
What Product categories are trendy on Alibaba’s e-commerce platforms?
Here are some of the items ideal for this platform:
- Fashion products: Tops, pants, and footwear
- Health care products: Herbal supplements, coconut oil, and probiotics
- Beauty products: Skincare, makeup, and hair removal products
- Maternity products: Pillows, leggings, and bras
- Baby products: Diapers, onesies, and bottles
- Consumer electronics:Laptops, tablets, and phones
To ensure success in this space, it’s best to work with experienced TPs. They know how to create a holistic, cost-effective approach to entering the Chinese market.
In need of a Tmall Partner?
GMA is a certified partner with years of experience in the market – contact us to learn more about our solutions as well as our case studies