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What is Tmall Global? Essential to expand your brand in China

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Tmall Global-What is Tmall Global? Essential to expand your brand in China

Every company will surely be aware of the most popular and used e-commerce social network in China, Tmall, since huge brands from around the world have consolidated stores there to sell their products and services to Chinese consumers. However, Tmall Global is not that famous.

Every company will surely be aware of the most popular and used e-commerce social network in China, Tmall.

In addition, we must take into account that it is particularly relevant that any company interested in effectively reaching Chinese consumers must have an online store on Tmall Global since they increasingly use digital media to make everyday purchases and even decisions.

On the contrary, not everyone understands the sector or the importance of a brand of meeting and reaching the Chinese public, and this platform is one of the most efficient ways to achieve these goals.

For these reasons, this guide will provide all the details regarding Tmall Global and compare said platform to Tmall Classic. However,we will focus on Tmall Global, including the requirements and advice for selling and the importance of having a Tmall Partner.

It is especially important to have an online store on Tmall Global for any company interested in effectively reaching Chinese consumers

If you are interested in having a Tmall Partner to introduce your brand or company effectively on Tmall Global, do not hesitate to contact InfluChina, a marketing agency in China that specializes in promoting the presence of foreign companies in the Chinese market through social networks, e-commerce platforms, and influencers.

1. What is Tmall?

Tmall is an e-commerce platform founded by the giant Alibaba Group. It allows brands and companies to sell their products to Chinese consumers. The platform is multi-category, offers a large number of items, and targets a very varied audience, which means that there will be many potential customers from across the Chinese market.

Tmall Global-What is Tmall?

This is because the online shopping trend in China is very developed, and there are no barriers to using electronic payments. In fact, Chinese customers move from one app to another during their shopping experiences, as all digital platforms are now closely connected.

Tmall is an e-commerce platform where brands and companies can sell their products to Chinese consumers.

Being owned by Alibaba, Tmall is also part of an ecosystem of e-commerce platforms, allowing the parent company to interconnect its e-commerce applications with each other. Taobao undoubtedly has the most connections with Tmall. In fact, Tmall is a standalone app, but it is also integrated into Taobao.

However, as we will now see, there are two aspects: Tmall, which we just mentioned, and Tmall Global, which is the one that interests us the most in this guide.

2. What is Tmall Global?

Alibaba launched Tmall Global in February 2014 as an international marketplace for merchants and foreign brands seeking to sell directly to Chinese customers. This cross-border marketplace eliminates the need for merchants to have a legal entity in China or maintain inventory in the country.

Tmall Global-What is Tmall Global?

Tmall.HK, also known as Tmall Global, is a platform where a company sells imported products from all over the world to Chinese customers in your own language. Although Tmall Global operates locally, orders come from abroad. This platform can also be found in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.

3. Main differences between Tmall Global and Tmall Classic

For companies or brands looking to expand their presence in the Chinese market, there are two main differences between Tmall Classic and Tmall Global. On the one hand, Tmall Global allows brands to sell their products in China without having a warehouse in an Asian country. They can also ship their products from international warehouses or their own country.

Tmall Global allows brands to sell their products in China without having a warehouse

This allows a company to try the Chinese market and some products without having to be there or open a company in China, so they will have less administrative burden. The disadvantage is that although you can hire a warehouse in China, the shipping time is usually 1 to 2 weeks if the company ships its products from your country.

Tmall Global-Main differences between Tmall Global and Tmall Classic

On the other hand, Tmall Classic is a store model that is more focused on companies that know what products work for them in China and know their sector. However, it requires physical presence in China, company registration and higher administrative presence. The latter has the advantage that shipping takes up to three days, which means it is much faster.

Tmall Classic is a store model more focused on companies that know what products work for them in China and know their sector

In summary,Tmall Global is the best place for a company looking to enter the Chinese market, while Tmall Classic is better if you already know how your products and sector work in the Asian country.

If your company is already established in the Chinese market, it is better to use Tmall Classic because you need a business entity licensed as a retailer in China, while Global is better if your brand is not established and wants to establish a good presence and create awareness of its existence.

Tmall Global is the best place for a company looking to enter the Chinese market, while Tmall Classic is better if you already know how your products and sector work in the Asian country.

Differences in requirements

Tmall requires sellers to have local entities in China and register their products with local authorities. Merchants on Tmall are usually large Chinese brands and F500 brands that are already based in China. Brands such as Zara, Estee Lauder, and Adidas are examples of this.

In contrast, Tmall Global sellers are companies with corporate entities outside of China that sell imported products. Cosmetic brands Huda Beauty, Everlane and Drunk Elephant have recently joined Tmall Global and are some of the best examples.

Tmall Global sellers are companies with corporate entities outside of China that sell imported products

Prices and rates

The commissions are also slightly different, as shown in the following table:

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Because Tmall Global sellers do not have Chinese entities, it is more difficult for the platform to force sellers to pay in case a product or user experience goes wrong. Therefore, the higher deposits are intended to protect Tmall and its customers from that risk.

Tmall Global-Prices and rates

Other important aspects

Users can access Tmall Global through theTmall and Taobao mobile applications. Tmall Global is used by international merchants to sell their products to Chinese customers through cross-border e-commerce.

Sellers do not need to have Chinese corporate entities to sell on the Tmall Global platform, which makes market access easier. However, as we mentioned above, due to the cross-border nature of transactions, logistics may be more complex, and shipments may take longer.

The main advantage of Tmall Global is that it requires less initial investment from merchants and that sellers can use Tmall Global to understand customer demand in China before establishing a more significant market presence, which differentiates it considerably from Tmall Classic.

The main advantage of Tmall Global is that it requires less initial investment from merchants and that sellers can use Tmall Global to understand customer demand in China before establishing a more significant presence in the market.

4. Personnel needed for an online store on Tmall Global

We must keep in mind that the number of products and shipments, as well as the number of lists you are going to bid on, will affect this data. Therefore, the number of hours may vary, but the table we propose is a clear and sufficient idea to start.

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Tmall Global-Personnel needed for an online store on Tmall Global

5.Steps to follow to open a store (flagship store) on Tmall Global

Tmall Global’s flagship stores are open stores that have their own brands or brands exclusively authorized by the owner of the brand. Flagship stores are classified into the following types:

  1. For brands with more than one registered trademark, the owner of the rights to operate a brand flagship store must be the same.
  2. A flagship store operating multiple brands with the same representative.
  3. Flagship stores that operate several brands (hereinafter called “shop-type stores”) open under service marks.
  4. Stores that focus on selling branded products at discounted prices or customized products with special prices are now known as “outlet stores/special offers.”
Tmall Global-Steps to follow to open a store (flagship store) on Tmall Global

Tmall Global "flagship stores" are open stores that have their own brands or brands exclusively authorized by the brand owner.

Different stores on Tmall Global

Although most of the Tmall Global stores are the flagship stores mentioned above, we can find other types of major stores:

  • Flagship stores—These are stores opened by brand owners or exclusive distributors authorized exclusively by the brand owners on Tmall Global. In principle, the brand flagship store can only sell products under the corresponding brand.
  • Industrial marketplace flagship store—These are opened directly by the trademark owners of offline chain supermarkets, marketplaces, or online B2C websites that operate a variety of products in various sectors (such as clothing, maternity and baby, beauty, and personal care). Such stores can be opened through invitations or requests sent by sellers.
  • Marketplace flagship store– Stores opened directly on Tmall Global by trademark owners of offline chain supermarkets, marketplaces, or online commerce-to-consumer websites. Such stores can be opened through invitations or requests sent by sellers.
  • Exclusive shop– refers to Tmall Global stores that have been authorized to open by the brand that owns the trademark.
  • Galaxy franchise store– These are stores that sell products from Tmall Global direct sales stores or brand flagship stores on a commissioned basis across all business categories.
  • Franchise store: refers to stores that operate two or more brands within the same product category on Tmall Global.

6.Turning a Tmall Global

To understand how Tmall Global can help importing companies, it is essential to note that the Chinese government has made the decision to support and encourage online sales by foreign companies directly. The Chinese government has established the following facilities for cross-border e-commerce:

  • Since 2012, it has been possible to trade foreign goods in China without having to undergo the extensive and complicated authorization process before the competent local authorities, which is necessary for exports through conventional channels.
  • The regulation for sales to consumers in China (Tmall Classic), requires companies that sell their products through traditional Chinese outlets or digital channels to register their products in China and have a registered office in the country.
  • Cross-border e-commerce (Tmall Global) has simplified the operating model, meaning international companies no longer need a Chinese importer or distributor.
  • As of January 1, 2019, China’s cross-border customs policy allowed for a type of zero duty if the value of the purchased goods is less than 5,000 yuan (approximately 650 euros) per individual order and if the total number of orders placed by a single user in a year is less than 26,000 yuan (approximately 3,300 euros).
  • On the other hand, VAT and excise taxes on imports, also known as “consumption tax” in China, will be paid at 70% of ordinary rates
  • The customs duties have also been eliminated.
Tmall Global-Turning a Tmall Global

These changes make purchases on e-commerce platforms cheaper than purchases on Daigou. Daigou are Chinese personal shoppers who make money by traveling, purchasing luxury items, and then selling them back to their Chinese customers.

These changes make purchases on e-commerce platforms cheaper than purchases on daigou

Labeling

On Tmall Global, products can be sold with international labels, but the product sheet must be a translation of the sheet from the country of origin or must meet Chinese stanards. Foreign product sheets are usually short and without details, while Chinese product sheets are usually long and detailed.

This is because Chinese consumers, who are used to using social networks for everything, expect tokens similar to the home pages of a social platform, where they can entertain themselves with data and information and choose colors or models.

The products are presented with an extensive story that includes not only the description of the product but also information about the history of the company and the place of origin, high-quality photographs that show the item from various points of view, and high-quality photographs that show the production process and the brand’s services.

Chinese consumers, who are used to using social networks for everything, expect listings similar to the home pages of a social platform

The Chinese consumer also wants to be sure of the authenticity of what you buy because they know that there is a huge market for counterfeit products. This is especially true for well-known brands.

Collaboration with influencers

Since 2020, Tmall Global has expanded its influencer program to support foreign brands, collaborating with some celebrities like Magic Johnson. Since the launch of this campaign, they have attracted more than 7,000 influencers, natives, and foreigners, having collaborated with more than 4,000 brands all over the world.

Tmall Global-Collaboration with influencers

Magic Johnson, Taylor Swift, and Selena Gómez joined the Tmall Global influencer program “Walk of Fame,” marking an unprecedented opportunity for brands who want to gain virality in their Tmall Global store.

Since 2020, Tmall Global has expanded its influencer program to support foreign brands, making collaborations with some celebrities such as Magic Johnson

Besides, inInfluChina specializes in promoting foreign businesses in China through strategic collaborations with Chinese influencers, so do not hesitate to contact our team if you want to gain customers and raise awareness of your brand’s existence in the Asian market.

Requirements to be able to sell

To maintain business standards, Tmall Global requires sellers to submit a security deposit. This deposit compensates Tmall Global and customers in case the merchant violates the policies.

Merchants must pay the following year’s deposit within the designated renewal period. After receiving approval of their revenue application, new merchants are required to pay the current year’s deposit in full

To maintain its trading standards, Tmall Global requires sellers to submit a security deposit

If a store manages more than one category, the highest category deposit applies. Merchants who wish to end operations in some categories can request their removal using the category removal guide. The deposit may change depending on the type of store and category.

Here are some listed Crucial requirements to open a store on Tmall Global:

  • If a flagship store does not have a registered trademark as a trademark (TM), a basic security deposit of 100,000 RMB is required.
  • Non-category specific security deposit is 25,000 RMB for Tmall Global stores, and there are no self-supplied products.
  • The platform will send continuous reminders in case the store security deposit is insufficient. Merchants are advised to check the messages in the Mall and refund the deposit within 15 days.
  • The first warning will be issued if the perceived quality of a Tmall Global store does not meet standards. The security deposit will increase to 300,000 RMB after the second notification. The store’s security deposit may be reset to the base standard if the store maintains satisfactory quality perception for three consecutive times.
  • For other specific situations related to the security deposit, Tmall Global and the merchant will follow the agreement.

The next table summarizes the prices from an official brand store (Flagship store) on Tmall Global, depending on the categories and the initial capital required.

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Keys to selling on Tmall Global

It is advisable sign an agreement with a Tmall partner, that is, a consultant who can help a foreign company make the most of the platform’s opportunities, reducing management time and expenses.

Tmall Associates manages logistics, online marketing, customer service and company promotion in the best possible way for Chinese customers. Choose a Tmall partner with strong integration skills, such as InfluChina, an agency that specializes in promoting foreign companies to the Chinese market.

Choose a Tmall partner with strong integration skills, such as InfluChina, an agency that specializes in promoting foreign companies to the Chinese market

Through a variety of strategies, such as WeChat marketing, our China marketing agency is experienced in helping foreign companies establish or strengthen in China. Our services on Tmall are:

  • Showcase design.
  • Online advertising.
  • Off-platform advertising.
  • Report and study.

Offer Chinese payment methods

Use of Alipay as a payment system is mandatory, and sellers must pay an additional 1% commission. However, different logistics companies are in charge of shipments and are looking for customs clearance solutions for cross-border sales, warehousing, delivery and returns management by collaborating with major operators.

Tmall Global-Offer Chinese payment methods

Using Alipay as a credit system is mandatory, and sellers must pay an additional 1% commission

As a result, having a store on Tmall is not an option for all budgets. However, it is suitable for medium and large companies with high-quality products and possibly a well-known brand because orders shipped directly from outside the country have a delivery time of two weeks or more.

Therefore, it is necessary to find ways to justify the long waiting time in terms of product and brand value.

7. Importance of having the contributions of a Tmall Partner

A supplier or agency that helps international brands effectively enter the Chinese market, such as InfluChina, is known as Tmall Partner. These agencies, like ours, give advice and essential information about consumer behavior, laws, and how to manage online stores.

A supplier or agency that helps international brands effectively enter the Chinese market, such asInfluChina, is known as Tmall Partner

Tmall Global- Importance of having the contributions of a Tmall Partner

It’s possible to increase sales on this platform by hiring an experienced Tmall Partner. Through the following services, InfluChina is responsible for promoting your brand on the platform:

Register and create an account

We take care of registering and establishing a store that represents your company and ensuring your brand can be present on Tmall. Additionally, we ensure that the design and user experience are appropriate for Chinese customers. The goal is to ensure the highest possible conversion rate for your business.

Customer service and store management

Keep your customers happy with great customer service and live chat to help them make purchases. Your Tmall store should be updated frequently with its latest listing, which should be visually appealing and informative. As a Tmall Partner, we help you prepare for the many Chinese festivals and make the most of each one.

Brand globalization

If your brand is not known in China, selling online can be a big challenge. We help you with branding and storytelling to increase conversion and ROI. Remember that branding is essential in China; Use a personalized marketing strategy to improve your performance.

InfluChina’s strength as a Tmall Partner lies in our deep knowledge of Western and Chinese cultures. To ensure effective performance and return on investment for our clients, our team of Western and Chinese experts stays up to date with the latest marketing trends in China.

InfluChina's strength as a Tmall Partner lies in our deep knowledge of Western and Chinese cultures.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Tmall Global (FAQ)

Tmall is an e-commerce platform founded by the giant Alibaba. It allows brands and companies to sell their products to Chinese consumers.

Tmall.HK, also known as Tmall Global, is a platform that sells imported products from around the world to Chinese customers in their own language.

A supplier or agency that helps international brands effectively enter the Chinese market, such asInfluChina, is known as Tmall Partner.

Selling on Tmall Global is the best option for companies that want to measure the success of their products and sectors in the Chinese market.

To sell on Tmall Global, you need to contact a Tmall Partner, such as InfluChina, a Chinese marketing agency dedicated to promoting the presence of foreign companies in the best market on the planet, China.

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