How to Win Big in the Tmall and Taobao Industry

How to Win Big in the Tmall and Taobao Industry

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. runs two e-commerce platforms, Tmall and Taobao – the largest e-commerce platform in China. Both offer a convenient way to sell goods online to millions of customers worldwide. They have grown into global giants and become complementary platforms. While Tmall focuses on brands, Taobao focuses on consumers.

History of Tmall and Taobao

Tmall (天猫) and Taobao (淘寶) serve two distinct needs of customers shopping with Alibaba Group. Taobao delivers more of an experience with bargains and wild deals. In contrast, Tmall provides a wide selection of niche products and higher quality goods with fantastic customer service. Both are powerful tools for consumers, manufacturers, and retailers.

Tmall continues to expand beyond commerce and grow their presence in China and worldwide. These steps include Michelin-starred restaurant offers and group events organized by neighborhoods or communities of like-minded people. These events are meeting places for individuals and merchants with collective interests.

Taobao, known for its kind of eBay-style interface, has also made several revisions over the years in the wake of China’s shifting technological standards. For example, it moved from displaying links in local network protocols to adopting an international domain name for URLs to bring foreign goods into the country more efficiently.

Alibaba has successfully combined both online B2C and C2C businesses under one umbrella. This strategy has helped them gain market share from their main retail competitor, Amazon. 

Tmall's Annual Growth Rate Chart FY 2017 to 2021

What’s the Difference Between Tmall and Taobao?

Tmall and Taobao are two of China’s biggest e-commerce websites. They target similar audiences, but offer slightly different services. Most sellers on Tmall must be established within China and have an online presence, while small businesses find it easier to sell on Taobao.

Taobao specializes in providing goods and services directly to consumers. They also offer a marketplace where sellers can sell their products and buyers can shop securely. On the other hand, Tmall focuses more on retail trade, acting in the middle between manufacturers and consumers. It is excellent for goods with high retail margins, such as electronics and home appliances, due to higher production quality. 

How Much Reach Does Tmall/Taobao Have?

Alibaba Group launched Taobao in 2003, and now attracts over 240 million shoppers who purchase billions of dollars worth of goods yearly. It is B2C and C2C, but primarily a C2C platform. 

Chart about Tmall's Gross Merchandise Volume FY 2015 TO 2020

Tmall is one of China’s largest B2C eCommerce platforms. Alibaba Group created it in 2008 as an offshoot of Taobao, and it has grown to become one of the country’s biggest online shopping platforms. 

Tmall allows consumers to shop for goods from over 20,000 manufacturers and has attracted over 800 million shoppers. The company claims to sell approximately half of the total value of Chinese retail sales through its platform. 

How Do You Directly Sell Goods on Taobao/Tmall?

When you choose to sell your goods on Taobao or Tmall, you can reach various new customers and broaden the market for your products. Both services have great designs and offer varying perks.

To Sell on Taobao, You Must:

  • Establish a business in China 
  • Register an account on Taobao and link it to Alipay
  • Complete the user authentication process
  • Add your products, then advertise your store

To Sell on Tmall:

  • Open a physical Chinese store or warehouse.
  • Submit your information to Tmall for verification. You need a Chinese mobile number and bank account to process payments. 
  • Pay your annual and service fees, then select a store type
  • Enter an agreement with Tmall. 

The platforms provide all merchants with landing pages for each section of their site where store owners can sell items. These templates include basic product descriptions, contact numbers for customer service, and order processing information.

What Kinds of Paid Marketing Can You Use onTaobao/Tmall?

1. Paid Keyword Search Results

Search engine marketing in China’s e-commerce constitutes paid keyword search results for;

  • Consumers that live in desired locations
  • Demographics that align with target segments
  • Keywords in particular languages like Mandarin
  • Consideration of geographic location. 

Search Engine Marketing on Alimama provides an edge over the competition, making it much easier for sellers to rank higher in search algorithms. 

2. Banner Display Marketing

Banner display marketing can guide shoppers efficiently while browsing through product pages and lists. These displays feature prominently at the top of many pages in banners, ads, and other promotional content. 

They are generally static images with links or contact information, and they run 24 hours a day. Pricing depends on the size of the banner and its placement on the page.

3. Affiliate Marketing

TaobaoKe affiliate marketing allows businesses to pay a fee if they generate leads and convert them into orders on Taobao or Tmall. Websites that partner with Taobao or Tmall offer incentives for consumers who perform specific actions on one of their third-party sites. These affiliates partner with Taobao or Tmall through a browser extension that counts all clicks from the affiliate website. 

4. Email and Wechat Messaging to Certain Consumers

In the Chinese digital world, marketers find more ways to get consumers to notice their products with the help of emails and social media giants such as WeChat. Marketers use these accessible advertising avenues to offer customer service or provide deals or discounts along with broadcast messages that can reach users on other platforms besides Taobao and Tmall.

What is Tmall Global?

Tmall Global is the flagship platform of Tmall. It is a cross-border e-commerce platform connecting China and countries worldwide.

The company has been providing international consumers with quality products and brands unavailable in their country’s market. It also offers Chinese brands an unprecedented opportunity to enter foreign markets.

What is Juhuasuan? 

Juhuasuan is a unique marketing platform for Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall. It provides a new way for companies to reach out to consumers interested in their products. Juhuasuan does this by providing them with a space to post information about their products and deals for consumers to see. Taobao and Tmall can post their inventories for consumers to access. 

For instance, Juhuasuan assisted Costco in selling approximately 20,000 jars full of mixed nuts within two days. Thanks to the ad campaign, Costco’s Tmall Global store was able to push sales that would never be possible with typical ad campaigns.

Additionally, Juhuasuan ran a marketing campaign in January 2022, just before the winter Olympic Games, titled, “When I think of skiing, I think of you.” During the first day of launch, the video attracted over 20.3 million views.

Three days after the ad campaign launch, interaction time on the Juhuasuan platform increased by 17%. On the other hand, Yili, the official sponsor of the Beijing winter games, recorded a 224% increase in transaction volume and a 206% increase in unique visitors.

How Can You Run Ads with Juhuasuan?

Merchants can run campaigns on Juhuasuan to access more customers. They can take advantage of Juhuasuan by advertising their products within a specific category and providing key details about the product for potential customers. Advertisers on Juhuasuan can also use Search Engine Marketing to expand their reach.

Want to Market Overseas?

Online shopping has become the new norm. The growth of e-commerce giants like Tmall and Taobao has largely paralleled China’s shift to an online-based economy. Juhuasuan has also been on the leading edge of this significant transformation. China has a potentially lucrative online market which foreign companies can use to boost brand awareness and sales. The market and advertisements are highly regulated, and figuring out which platform to target can be difficult.  Periphery Digital works closely with you to identify your target audience, work through the complex requirements of overseas advertising, and ultimately get your product in front of as many people as possible. Contact us today to see what we can do for you.

Keep reading

Chinese Marketing Strategies

Influencer Marketing in China

Read More

Searching for exclusive insights?

Sign up for our monthly newsletter!
We'll never spam you and you can unsubscribe anytime.