Tmall & JD are fighting over Western Brands

Do you sell high-end and premium products? Are you looking for a B2C platform that can raise your sales during these difficult times? In China, there are two eCommerce Giants that are fighting to find western partners. Do you know why? Chinese consumers love to buy “western”. Western is synonymous with high quality, luxury, and excellence. And it’s not just this, Chinese love doing shopping online and with the pandemic situation, this trend has gotten bigger. Famous luxury brands are aware of it, so it is not surprising to see a bag signed by Prada both on Tmall and platforms, the two main protagonists of B2C eCommerce in China.

TMALL & JD.COM market insights

Even if doing shopping online is a popular activity around the world that has increased during the last years and especially in the last year, western society is not as used to it as the Chinese are to it. In China, you can find everything online and the offer is huge, the customer care service is incredible, and the delivery times are more than rapid. If you have never been to China, you cannot understand the difference.

In fact, a direct consequence of a so developed market is the now practically unused paper currency, in favor of a digital one. To give you an idea, when you want to buy just a baozi (a typical Chinese steam bun) from a vendor of street food, whose price is 1 yuan (the equivalent of 0,13 euro), he certainly wants to get paid via WeChat or Alipay, the most used payments apps in China.

Is really eCommerce important in China? Let’s take a look at Data issued by Statista

  • China’s digital economy is almost 13 times the size of that of 2005
  • There are 903 million internet users in China
  • There is a +43% of internet users in rural areas since 2014
  • Mobile internet users in China are 1/5 of the world’s total and are the most used to do online shopping and online banking activities via mobile in the world.
  • China’s eCommerce sales are more than the sum of those of Europe and the USA.

Confused over the differences between JD and Tmall? Have a look at this post. We deep dive into each of these Chinese e-commerce platforms and what makes them unique.

Why should you sell on Tmall?

Tmall is the biggest B2C platform in China and and Pinduoduo account for 80% of total China’s online retail sales. While Tmall and are common apps used for buying high-quality products and luxury products, Pinduoduo is more known for the low price of its products as well as for its leading role in the agricultural sector.

So, considering that the market share of Tmall is higher than the 60% and considering that Tmall is owned by Alibaba, opening an online store on it is surely one of the best choices for your international business because your brand can earn visibility. Alibaba’s world is huge, it owns many other platforms that you can use for your online omnichannel strategy, like social media like Weibo and Little Red Book (also an eCommerce platform), and the most important search engine in China: Baidu. The connection with Baidu is fundamental because is an important source of traffic for your online store.

In addition, being part of the Alibaba eco-system also include the possibility of taking advantage of an unlimited number of opportunities, like accessing the numerous information included in the Alibaba cloud and taking part in the successful festivals the group organizes each year (see Double 11 success in 2020).

Why should you sell on

JD is the second largest eCommerce platform in the B2C sector. Like Tmall, it guarantees high-quality products and excellent customer care service.

But why a company should choose to sell on JD instead of on Tmall?

There are some advantages the platform can offer to its sellers.

  • First, the platform detains a major role in the electronic and home appliances field.
  • Second, JD is owned by Tencent, which is also the owner of WeChat, the most used app in China. Then, if your marketing strategy mainly relies on this app, you can be a better choice to open a store on JD rather than on Tmall.
  • Third, the platform provides the best delivery service in China, with an incredible network that covers the whole country area.

Finally, if you don’t want to have too many responsibilities in the management of your online store, you certainly must open your store on JD since the platform takes care of everything.

Why should luxury brands sell their products on Tmall and

These two platforms are the best options for luxury brands because when Chinese consumers want to buy luxury products on the internet mainly rely on them. These two platforms provide them with a unique service, particular stores that are tailor-made for any kind of luxury buyers.

JD and Tmall both offer 2.0 flagship stores that can provide customers with virtual and augmented reality able to improve the customer journey. AR technology, for example, gives the possibility to virtually try to make up.

On Tmall, beside the flagship store, is possible to open the Tmall luxury Pavillion and the Tmall luxury Soho.

The first given to sellers to be present in a special section of the platform, dedicated to the luxury target. In addition, sellers can leverage different features like publish omnichannel campaigns that involve more online spaces (social media, live streaming, etc). The second kind of store lets brands reach a wider audience, giving them the possibility to sell off-season products and products at a discounted price.

If you are not convinced yet, you should know that it is estimated that 50% of all luxury purchases will be made by the Chinese since 2025.

It’s no coincidence that on these platforms you can find famous brands like Armani, Gucci, Prada, Valentino, Bottega Veneta, and many others.

What should know the international brands that want to enter the Chinese market?

If you decide to invest in the cross-border eCommerce, you must consider different aspects:

How to deal with storage management?

Decisions inheriting the investment in the storage place should be taken in a second moment if you want to start selling in China, in order to avoid losses. Once you know that your products are well-accepted by the Chinese, you can consider investing in a storage area in a CBEC zone (Cross Border Ecommerce zone).

The first thing related to this kind of investment is the cost of this service. You must be sure of how much the whole process can cost because many partners or platforms do not include all the necessary services in their offer. By the way, we want to highlight that takes care of everything (warehousing, packing, delivery, customer service, …) instead.

Is having a local partner essential for your business?

It is. The Chinese environment continually changes and the language is a very high barrier to overcome, to manage communication with different Chinese personalities, knowing the variety of a huge territory how China is with its different realities is very complicated.

What’s the best platform for your shop?

There are numerous platforms available in the Chinese territories. As we told before among the most important there are Tmall and and their international versions are called Tmall Global and JD Worldwide.

Other platforms are Taobao, Pinduoduo, Kaola, social eCommerce platforms like Little Red Book, and also the WeChat mini-programs. You can choose more than one platform to be more easily found by your target.

How can be the launch of your brand into the Chinese market?

The presence on one or more eCommerce platforms is not sufficient to sell in China.

Chinese customers need to know about your brand before navigating an e-commerce platform looking for your product. So, in order to be visible and attract their attention of them, you must be present on Chinese social media, doing SEO, doing PR, etc.

Social media in China are more numerous than in the western world, have their own rules, and must be managed in the Chinese language, not in English. And the same goes for content production.

Do you want to know more about the Chinese market? Look for the information you need on our website or feel free to contact us.

gma agency

We are Gentlemen Marketing Agency

Our Agency offers the following services:

  • Prepare your launch
  • Launch your E-Commerce Platform
  • Create your own e-commerce website
  • Content Management
  • Storage management
  • Customer Service
  • Promotion of your brand (content marketing, social media, SEO, and KOL)
  • Reporting

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