Tmall and Tmall Global

Tmall (previously named Taobao Mall) is a Chinese-language B2C e-commerce platform that spun off from Taobao and operates in China under Alibaba Group. It is a platform for Chinese consumers to buy domestic goods. Tmall Global is Tmall's crossborder e-commerce arm, and has a special tab on Tmall's main page.

Tmall Direct Import Tmall Direct Import is the largest store on Tmall Global. It is an official retail store operated by Tmall Global itself. Launched in 2015 with over 1,600 SKUs, Tmall Direct Import quickly expanded to include over 5,800 active SKUs, generating monthly sales of over 980 million RMB. The success of Tmall Direct Import indicates that Tmall Global may continue to expand its direct retailing business, instead of simply serve as a platform for third-party retailers and brands.

How to Open a Store on Tmall Global?

Brands need to be invited to set up a business on Tmall Global. When store launches are approved by Tmall managers, Tmall Global will refer a designated Tmall partner agency that can help brands set-up and operate their store, as well as coordinate aspects such as logistics and supply chain.
Challenges for Retailers

Marketplace Model

- Competes with brands' own direct sales business

- Lower brand visibility

- Need permission from brands to sell

- Traffic acquisition costs high

- High commissions required by Tmall Global and Tmall partners

- Special marketplace rules (promotions, logistics, customer service, etc.)

Higher Upfront Costs

-   Must use Alibaba's Cainiao logistics network

-   Requires retailers to have strong logistics capabilities to meet Tmall standards

-   Requires additional store set-up costs

-   Market has a ceiling

-   Marketplace is getting saturated with too many brands

-   Requirements are becoming more stringent

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