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Rural expansion drives Tmall Global boom

News, 26 February 2016
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HANGZHOU: Alibaba's cross-border e-commerce platform, Tmall Global, increased year-on-year sales by 179% in the fourth quarter of last year as Chinese consumers look abroad for new brands, according to a new report.

Tmall Global 's Chinese-language e-commerce platform provides international brands with a direct online channel for selling to mainland Chinese consumers. As the platform's logistic infrastructure expands into the villages of rural China, international brands are able to grow sales in areas previously off the radar.

The platform is hugely popular with international brands as sellers do not need a Chinese business licence to join the platform, which also offers retailers international logistics and China marketing solutions.

A recent video campaign for Tmall's cross border offerings saw a family in rural China ordering fresh seafood from New Zealand online for their Chinese New Year celebration. Through T-Mall's global logistics network, fresh salmon and abalone from New Zealand were on plates in their tiny village within 72 hours of harvest.

A PayPal study from October 2015, revealed that more than a third (36%) of internet users in China had made a cross-border purchase in the previous 12 months. Chinese consumers also expect fast delivery and on-the-go shopping options. Tmall promises international delivery within three days, even for food and beverage goods.

Though exact sales revenue for the platform in the December was not released, the growth underlines the opportunities for international brands. A report from Business Insider also shows that China's mobile e-commerce sector is doubling year on year.

And brands are seizing the opportunity: four out of five brands that debuted on Tmall Global in 2015 had not been available in China before.

At the end of 2015, Tmall Global offered more than 5,400 international brands from 53 countries and regions.

Data sourced from Alizila, Business Insider; additional content by Warc staff

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