Top sales categories on Tmall China

Tmall is THE largest e-commerce distributor in China. Representing 60% of total Chinese online sales in 2019, Tmall is the leader in this distribution model. Not as big as him, his competitors specialized in specific fields such as technology (JingDong, JD) or food products (Koala). With more than 70,000 brands available in more than 50,000 virtual stores, everything (or almost) can be found on this platform. From clothes to cars, food, cosmetics, or jewelry, Tmall is a real reference to find what you need in China. But which products are the best sellers on Tmall? Do your products fall into one of these categories? Read on and you will know if you have a good chance of thriving by getting into the Chinese e-commerce market!

1. Clothing and fashion Items Lead the Sales on Tmall

Tmall Luxury Pavilion

China’s fashion revenue so far in 2020 amounts to US$348,700m. Clothes are the most popular products on Tmall. With the current wave of millennials, all types of brands are in demand: luxury, sports, premium brands, …

Louis Vuitton, Calvin Klein, Alexander McQueen, Tommy Hilfiger, Adidas, Nike, and much more. All these brands are present on Tmall which gives central importance to the choice for the consumer. With its luxury Pavillon section, Tmall offers good visibility to luxury brands.

Read our China Fashion Guide

However, pay attention to your positioning on the platform. Those who are able to afford are moving towards premium while those who do not care about fashion will go for lower-end products. Luxury brands are highly appreciated, premium brands are perceived as more qualitative and design.

Fast fashion brands still have their chances, Uniqlo is a perfect example of affordable clothing that is doing extremely well in China. The brand has done wonders combining both it’s online and offline marketing as well as partnering with trendy artists and designers. Accessibility, good quality office and daily life clothes with some option for more designers’ clothing have ensured their success in the middle kingdom.

The choice of your target/segment and your positioning can make your success or ruin it. This is why being accompanied by professionals such as the GMA team will be of great help to you.

2. Tmall is targetting Moms with Maternity & Baby Goods

tmall maternity product popular

Revenue in the Baby Food segment amounts to US$19,381m in 2020. The market is expected to grow annually by 3.5% (CAGR 2020-2023). Statista

After the adulterated milk scandal in 2008, Chinese regulations for this category of products have become more stringent. This is why moms’ confidence in local brands has been lost.

Knowing that 3 out of 4 Chinese mothers give formula to their children, they now mainly trust foreign brands. It is, therefore, an opportunity to enter this market in China, especially because the demand for this category of products explodes since moms do not hesitate to put the price when it comes to feeding their children.

Read also: China Moms & Baby Market Guide

3. Cosmetics and Skincare Brands on Tmall are Super Popular

For cosmetics too, foreign brands are extremely well received because they are perceived as high-end and quality products. Customers of this type of product are young or middle-aged, therefore having disposable income. Cosmetics and skincare are sold in large quantities and the demand for these products is enormous and is constantly increasing.

tmall cosmetic popular items 2020 China
Sunscreen on Tmall Global

Let’s not forget the segment of male customers which remains largely untapped in this market.

Female consumers are more educated on skincare than even and consider buying more specialized treatment with active ingredients. If brands like Loreal still dominate the market, we are slowly seeing a growing interest in better-formulated skincare and cosmetic products that also respect the environment.

Masks, Toner, and Cleanser are the most used products among Chinese female consumers. But Lotions, essence, moisturizer, eye cream, sunscreen, and face cream are also products with relatively strong demand. Sunscreen and anti-aging products are segments to keep an eye on.

Read also: Top Practices to Sell a Beauty brand in China

4. Electronic products on Tmall

In the Consumer Electronics segment, the number of users is expected to amount to 560.4m by 2024.

Since the second-largest distributor in China is specialized in electronic products (JingDong), Tmall is more focused on the sale of electronic accessories and secondary electronic products.

However, some sales of products are increasing such as those of phone accessories or those of drones.

5. Tmall Food products Sales is on The rise

Although another of its competitors is specialized in the sale of this type of product, Tmall must also meet a great demand for food products.

Snacks on Tmall

But since food and beverages are more or less quickly perishable depending on the nature of the product, selling them on Tmall, the largest e-commerce platform in China, can only help you to have more chances of selling your goods faster.

Today, Chinese people are in love with beer and wine. And yes, their tastes have changed in recent years. They are also fans of canned food, olive oil, and many other imported products!

Read our Guide To the Chinese F&B Market

6. Food supplements and vitamins

Still, about Chinese people’s lifestyle change, their concerns have also changed: their health and well-being have become more important. Chinese demand for this type of product has been increasing for the past decade, especially among the elderly who want to stay in shape.

Indeed, it is common to see Chinese returning from travel having brought food supplements or vitamins to the elderly in their family.

The sale of ampoules, vitamins, or even protein powders and brewer’s yeast, for example, is booming on the Chinese market.

Lire Aussi: How To Market Vitamins & Health Supplements in China

7. Household products: furniture and appliances

In the first two months of 2020, retail sales of furniture in China amounted to approximately 14.2 billion yuan. This equaled to around 55 percent of the revenue generated in the same period of the previous year. Statista

ikea now on tmall

China has modernized enormously in recent years and very quickly! Their concern for the environment has grown and they are now looking for environmentally friendly products. But today they are also looking for design products, from good brands AND quality furniture.

Living room and dining room furniture appear to be the best-selling items. In 2019, Living room furniture shares were reaching 38% of the market. Items such as sofa were the main selling items of this segment.

IKEA’s success in China is due to these lifestyle changes, with price becoming a less powerful drag than before. By the way, it has recently opened a Tmall Store!

competitive landscape of furniture market china 2019

This year the 45TH CIFF GUANGZHOU will be held partially online with live streaming due to Covid-19.

Read also: China Furniture Market

But what are the fees to sell on Tmall?

When you decide to launch your online store on the Tmall platform, you have to pay 4 types of fees that can vary a lot:

  • Annual service fees (ranging from 5,000 to 10,000 € in general)
  • The deposit fee (up to € 25,000), it is actually a deposit for the opening of your online store
  • Commission costs (ranging from 1 to 5% depending on the category of your product)
  • Payment processing fees (approximately 1%)

It is imperative not to forget the standards to be respected when you export your products but also to respect the Chinese regulations

You also have to do your marketing to launch your sales once your products are available on the platform. Acquisition cost is the same for all, so better work on your Conversion Rate to ensure a good ROI.

Read: Ultimate Guide to Tmall

We are GMA – a Certified TP (Tmall Patner):

  • A team of 70 professional digital marketers
  • Connoisseurs of the evolution of Chinese lifestyle and consumption
  • More than 1000 projects carried out in a large number of fields
  • Chinese standards and laws specialists for exported/imported products

So, if you have a question, need advice, or have a partner, we will be happy to answer you and assist you in your professional arrival in the Chinese market.

GMA Chinese digital ecommerce Agency


  • The fact that the clothes and fashion category is the first one in online sales shows the cultural difference with Western people.
    While we usually go into stores to try and buy our clothes, Chinese people purchase them online and are directly delivered at home.
    The same thing about foods, the Chinese order their food online and receive it on the same day. China’s efficient supply chain allows us to sell fast!

  • Thank you for this top sellers, it was really interesting.

    I was quite surprised to learn that food was one of the most sold products since, in Western countries, people are not really used to buy their food online. This shows how much we have different lifestyles and some things are possible in China that would not be possible in other places!

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