Tmall Global, Alibaba Group’s cross-border e-commerce platform, is gearing up to meet rising demand for quality imported goods, including those from Australia, among China’s 100 million middle-class spenders.
Tmall Global, which claims a user base of more than 40 million Chinese consumers, plans over the next three years to attract more young and affluent consumers in part by recruiting new and interesting products and brands from overseas, releasing them via the Tmall Global channel, and helping merchants grow in the China market.
The platform now hosts more than 14,500 international brands from 63 countries and regions. “On one hand, we will continue to introduce big brands,” said Tmall’s global general manager Alvin Liu at an event held this week at Alibaba’s Hangzhou, China, headquarters that was attended by some 800 retailers from around the world. “On the other hand, we want to see more brands with personality. We wish to build a dynamic ecosystem to cater to the niche and diverse needs of Chinese consumers.”
Australian brands are in high demand in China and high on those list of which Alibaba is looking to promote further in the country. Last month it announced its “influencer tour”, where seven Chinese e-commerce influencers will tour Australia with Alibaba Group, promoting Australia’s products and lifestyle to Chinese consumers, to boost Australian brands amongst China’s expanding middle class, as our products continue to outperform on Alibaba Group’s platforms.
Tmall Global, which enables international brands to sell online directly and efficiently to Chinese consumers, says the categories getting sales traction on its platform include electronic beauty devices, fresh food and dairy, wine and pet food.
Company officials said more than 80% of the retailers it hosts made their China debut on Tmall Global. In the year ended March 31 2016, 14 storefronts achieved gross margin value of at least RMB 100 million ($14.52 million), including Australia’s Chemist Warehouse, US department chain Macy’s Japanese drug store Matsukiyo, and supermarkets Costco from the U.S., Sainsbury’s from the UK, Metro from Germany and emart from South Korea.
To engage digital-savvy Chinese customers and raise awareness of new products, Tmall Global said this year it will team up with brands to invest in content marketing via social media channels.
Tmall Global is also encouraging merchants to expand their distribution channels within Alibaba’s ecosystem by setting up flagship stores for best-selling products on Tmall.com, China’s largest B2C online shopping site. In addition, Tmall Global is also promoting partnerships between overseas retailers and Tmall Direct Import, a special online sales channel designed to test and promote new products.