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Tmall International Opens Doors for Cross-border E-commerce


Tmall International-observer solutions

Chinese consumers’ appetite for quality and less extensive branded products overseas has increased rapidly in recent years. According to Alibaba, the market size of cross-border shopping (which mostly involves purchasing products outside mainland China through agents on online marketplace like Taobao or other websites) surpassed 70 billion Chinese yuan in 2013.

Eyeing the rising demand and market potential, Alibaba launched Tmall International(天猫国际), which aims to recruit branded retailers and vendors outside China to let them sell goods directly to Chinese online shoppers.

Key facts about Tmall International

  • Currently there are only 4 categories listed on Tmall International: Mom & Baby products, Nutrition, Supplements & Snacks, Personal Care & Beauty, Apparel, Shoes & Bags.
  • There are more than 140 merchants from countries outside China including the U.S., U.K., Australia, New Zealand as well as Japan and South Korea that joined Tmall Internatinal so far. These businesses include B2C retailers such as Bonjour, Strawberrynet as well as brands like Anna Sui and NYR.
  • Fee structure: Merchants who want to join the platform have to pay a security deposit of $25,000 and a flat annual fee of $5,000 or $10,000 based on the category of their products. TMall International will also collect a technology service fee of 5% or 6% per transaction depending on the product category.

 

Tmall International has opened a new channel for brands and merchants who want to reach Chinese consumers but are reluctant to enter China directly. However, merchants will still need to set up basic operation procedures including product listings and marketing in Chinese – in addition to standard online customer service to meet Tmall’s platform policy. More importantly, merchants will also face challenges including international shipments, Chinese customs and solutions for returns and refunds. It still a meaningful step in the internationalization of Alibaba cross-border e-commerce.

 

 

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