Alibaba is the choice of more and more Western companies as their  channel to sell online in China. International companies are giving advantage to flagship stores on Tmall over creating their own e-commerce platform.

Here are the reasons why Western brands who want to sell online in China are attracted by Tmall :


Tmall, the choice of fashion and luxury brands.

Following Burberry’s footsteps, which was the first upscale brand to join Tmall in April this year, some of the biggest brands in the  fashion industry are also choosing to join Alibaba’s B2C platform. This is why  Calvin Klein and Hugo Boss also began to sell their items to Chinese e-shoppers through Tmall. Calvin Klein joined to Tmall in September and is selling Calvin Klein Jeans and Calvin Klein underwear on the platform. Hugo Boos opened its Tmall store last November and is currently selling “Boss Orange” on it, a casual clothing line targeting young customers.

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Traditionally, luxury brands had feared to open online sales channels in China.  They were indeed afraid that it would affect the perception  and  brand image of their brands. High-end brands have also been seeing E-commerce as a channel that would not provide their customers the same impression of prestige than when they are buying in a boutique.

However, their vision of e-commerce has began to change as luxury brands saw their online sales meet with success in China. Indeed, according to a report by McKinsey, online sales of the luxury sector amounted to $11,300 million in 2013, the firm is also planning on  that figure to reach  22,500 million € by 2018. And as reported by a KPMG research, 40 percent of Chinese consumers are interested in purchasing luxury products online. However misleading product descriptions is one of the primary issues that costumers worry about, that’s way merchants should guarantee the product´s authenticity as a condition of joining the online market.


Luxury companies are also able to maintain high customer service standards via Tmall. They can indeed offer free shipping returns and 24-hour access to costumer services consultants.

Why companies should join to Tmall?

Alibaba’s B2C platform is offering to international brands the opportunity to approach hundreds of millions of chinese shoppers all over the country. And all this without even having an offline installation of the company in the country.


Owning a Tmall store is the easiest way for international brands to get into the chinese market. It is also increasingly seen as an indispensable sales channel and a way to provide a richer online experience to the shoppers.

One of the secrets of this success is due to the simplicty of purchasing goods on the platform. The online marketplace indeed provides an easy payment method and deliveries within 72 hours. Another advantage is that customers can easily return their orders.

Requirements to open a Tmall store.

Opening a Tmall Store is not complicated. Brands should plan 10 weeks to get all the needed certificates. Brands just have to have been registered in their home countries for at least two years and pay 25000$ as a security deposit and an annual service fee which varies according to product category.  Tmall also keeps 5 percent of the sales as a commission.


In 2014 Tmal has increased its popularity among well-known multinational brands. Renowned brands like Levi’s, Nike, Lego, Sony and Microsoft already debout on the Chinese marketplace. British retailer ASOS announced it had joined in order to reach consumers in China, Macau, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Tmall accounts with more than 400 million buyers and 50.000 stores, which are selling products from more than 70,000 brands, according to data from their own website.

T-Mall has definitely become the perfect tool in the B2C segment of Chinese e-commerce. More than half of the e-commerce in China happens throughTmall. The numbers are quite striking and give a clear idea about the place of this platform in the actual Chinese online market.

To further:

Tmall a way to success in China