For companies and brands looking to break into the Chinese market, selling on Tmall is an essential step. Tmall is the largest online shopping platform in China and offers brands a gateway to China’s massive and increasingly affluent consumer base. But for brands looking to sell on Tmall, there can be challenges, and this is where collaborating with a certified Tmall Partner comes in handy. In this blog post, we’ll explain what a Tmall partner is, why you need one, and how it can help your business reach new heights in China’s e-commerce landscape.

What Is a Tmall Partner?

If you want to sell on one of China’s big eCommerce platforms, you’ll need to deal with a Tmall Partner. 

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A Tmall Partner, Taobao Partner, or TP, is a specialized and certified eCommerce platform that provides businesses with a one-stop-shop for managing their whole eCommerce operations and allowing them to successfully sell their products online to Chinese consumers. 

Being a Tmall Partner is one effective form of key opinion leader marketing, also known as KOL marketing. It is an effective marketing strategy for brands to sell products to the Chinese market. KOL marketing entails brands having a partnership with organizations that are experts in a certain field. This expertise will usually be related to your brand’s products and how to effectively sell the products to targeted consumers. 

In other words, a Tmall Partner will be the expert organization that will help boost your brand’s Influence marketing China exposure and will help you sell your products to the Chinese consumers through an eCommerce platform. 

Why Do Brands Need a Tmall Partner To Sell On the Platform?

Tmall operates based on an “invitation-only” principle, which implies that brands must rely on Tmall Partners to sell their products. Brands must utilize the services of a Tmall Partner to operate on Tmall, especially if your brand is selling cross-border. 

If you want to sell your products in the Chinese market, working with a Tmall Partner is essential since they know how to market your brand, do adequate market research, and set up a store on Tmall or other websites. A Tmall Partner will take care of everything you need to market and sell your products. The following are all of the fundamental TP functions that every business requires:

  • IT support
  • Customer support
  • Storage and warehousing
  • Courier services
  • Online Store analytics and reports
  • Online Store maintenance
  • Logistics
  • Designs and product description
  • Digital marketing and promotions
  • Create operational plan

As a result, having a Tmall partner to sell products in China via the eCommerce platform is nearly a requirement.

Benefits of Being a Tmall Partner

Working with Tmall Partners, one of China’s largest international and local eCommerce platforms, can be a fast way for brands to enter the Chinese market and provide exceptional customer service. Even with a startup brand, a Tmall partner can help build marketing strategies, increase the brand’s influence, operate the business, and sell the products. 

Here are some more advantages that a Tmall partner can provide for your business:

  • Easy payment for consumers: Tmall makes use of Taobao’s infrastructure and Alipay’s payment system, so Chinese users are familiar with and trust the payment system they’ve been using for years.
  • Increasing millions of users: According to Expanded Ramblings, Tmall has more than 500 million active users as of October 2021. With the success of Tmall, the number of active users is constantly increasing. This means that over approximately 500 million people use Tmall to shop.
  • Only verified stores are accepted in Tmall: Customers are assured that products they purchased online are authentic, which increases consumer trust and satisfaction, leading to higher conversion rates for brands selling in Tmall.
  • Tmall features some of the best analytics tools available: Tmall’s Daily Update statistics and daily sales reports can assist businesses in making strategic decisions and comparing data to competitors.
  • Tmall offers the best marketing: Tmall offers excellent marketing techniques that will match your demands. They offer daily consumer marketing, promotions, and brand marketing. Tmall provides live streaming and KOL marketing management within the marketplace ecosystem.
  • Daily operates your store: Daily needs for a store to operate are covered with a Tmall partner. Product management, product description, campaign strategy, and execution are all part of this process.
  • Excellent customer service: Tmall is well-known for its excellent customer service. This includes both pre-sale and post-sale customer support. This also includes handling of returns, cancellations, and complaints
  • IT Solution: All technical issues that may occur will be handled by Tmall’s IT support. This includes system maintenance, system updates, and solving system errors in your online store.

How Do I Get a Tmall Partner?

If you want to sell your brand’s product in the Chinese market, you have two options for finding a Tmall partner:

Taobao’s official website

Alibaba’s Service Market offers a variety of services that are provided through Taobao Partners. The Tmall Partners website offers several combinations of services depending on the stage of development of a store, such as startups, developing stores, and mature retailers. It also provides enough information for businesses to locate a fitting partner for their brand.

Tmall Partner Agencies

You can contact a variety of Official Tmall Partner Agencies for assistance in acquiring a Tmall partner for your business. Every agency will have its procedure, but they will assist you in finding the right partner for your brand.

What To Keep In Mind When Choosing a Tmall Partner?

To quickly reduce the search, start by making a list of critical requirements and criteria that your brand needs for a Tmall partner. It’s not about picking your favorite TP; it’s about figuring out which Tmall Partner best meets your needs and long-term goals. You should be on the lookout for a long-term retail partner in China.

When choosing a Tmall partner, keep the following in mind:

  1. Certified Taobao Partners and Tmall Partners

It is critical to select and work with a certified Tmall Partner. To confirm if they are legitimate and well-established, always inquire for a certificate, online Tmall Partner profiles, and additional credentials such as awards and recognitions from potential Tmall Partners.

Tmall Partners has star partners based on performance evaluations where you can check as reference:

  • Two-star TPs serve mid-sized brands.
  • Four-star TPs serve huge brands.
  • Five-star TPs serve the most famous brands.
  1. Tmall Partner Sales

Checking the performance of the clients that a Tmall Partner manages is the greatest way to determine their quality. The majority of TPs will have a client list on their website where you can check out for reference. 

  1. Tmall Partner Capabilities

A Tmall Partner will not be your only partner in China, but they will be important to your operational success in the Chinese markets. When evaluating a Tmall Partner’s capabilities, keep the following in mind:

  • TP’s Pricing Model
  • Experience in the same category of your brand
  • How Strong their client service
  • The capability of their IT system
  • Their reporting and analytics capability
  • Warehousing and logistics capability
  1. Tmall Partner’s Location

Working with a partner who is based in the same country as you, or at the very least close by, can be advantageous. You are in the same time zone, so you can more easily visit your Tmall Partner. You may even share a common language for easier communication. 

  1. TP Rankings & Industry Focus

Choose a Tmall Partner who specializes in the industry in which your business operates. The Tmall Partner of your choice should have a better understanding of the target industry in the  Chinese market, as well as the rules about Chinese government certification of your brand’s products.

You can check a Tmall Partner’s ranking and their industry focus from their website since Tmall keeps track of the rankings of different TPs, as well as the number of stores they have in each industry. 

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