Tmall and Tmall Global: the “Fast Track into China” for U.S. Retailers

By Tinuiti Team

Companies such as Apple, Nike, Gap, Steve Madden, Costco, and even Amazon have discovered a convenient, easy way to reach Chinese consumers: Tmall and Tmall Global.

They, along with 50,000 other companies and 70,000 brands, operate “storefronts” on the B2C e-commerce marketplaces.


Advertised as the “fast track into China,” by parent company, Alibaba, these marketplaces provide access to China’s 307 million active online buyers, who are avid online shoppers.

Tmall, launched in 2009 and Tmall Global in 2014, account for nearly 60% of the B2C revenue market share in China. Over twenty countries operate storefronts on the sites, including: the U.S., Germany, Korea, Japan, Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and more.

Why U.S. retailers should sell on Tmall and Tmall Global

There’s a great market reason to use the Tmall sites: Chinese e-commerce is estimated to grow from $426 billion in 2014 to over $1 trillion by 2018, according to eMarketer. Also by 2018, China will be the world’s biggest e-commerce market, dominating 50% of retail e-commerce sales worldwide, and generating twice the amount of sales as the U.S.

For U.S. retailers looking to expand and reach consumers in China, the Tmall sites have features and benefits that can help their global expansion.

What is Tmall v. Tmall Global?

Tmall Global was opened in 2014 as a solution to encourage additional international retailers to join the site. Though they are similar and operate on identical platforms, there are a number of key differences that help businesses decide which makes the most sense for their needs.


What are the benefits of selling on Tmall and Tmall Global?

There are a number of benefits of selling on Tmall and Tmall Global. They are:


Steve Madden’s Tmall site is a great example of how the company was able to retain its brand identity:


Types of Stores on Tmall and Tmall Global

There are three types of stores on the Tmall sites, including Flagship, Authorized, and Specialty, each designed for three types of retailers. Businesses opening stores are required to provide different types of documentation verifying that they are authorized to open and operate each store on a Tmall site. The chart below can help retailers determine which type of store best fits their needs.


Other Requirements on Tmall and Tmall Global

There are a number of other requirements to consider when businesses sell on Tmall sites. These include:

Navigating global retail is challenging, and retailers often face many obstacles such as the ability to communicate in the local language, establishing trust between the business and consumers, and more. Tmall Global and Tmall can help businesses target some of these obstacles and begin selling in the Chinese market.

To learn more about Tmall Global and Tmall, click here.

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