SocialSocial CommerceAmazon Opens Tmall Store to Boost China Sales

Amazon Opens Tmall Store to Boost China Sales

Amazon has opened an e-commerce store on Alibaba's Tmall retail platform to reach more Chinese shoppers online.

Amazon’s new store on e-commerce platform Tmall will give the company, and the international brands it represents, greater exposure to Chinese consumers.

Tmall is China’s biggest online business-to-consumer (B2C) platform and is owned by Amazon’s competitor, Alibaba. Together with its consumer-to-consumer (C2C) shopping website, Taobao, the two platforms boast a combined 334 million active buyers, giving brands access to hundreds of millions of online shoppers across China.

The move is part of a long-term strategy to boost Amazon’s presence in China, where it has hosted its own retail platform since 2011 with limited success. The brand also launched a store on Tmall for its Kindle e-reader last year.

“Tmall and Taobao are where the shoppers are in China,” says Mark Tanner, managing director of marketing, research, and digital agency China Skinny. “Overall, [this decision] will raise the profile of Amazon in China, which is likely to improve its own channel as well. It is positive for brands selling through Amazon, as it provides significantly more eyeballs and customers than just being on Amazon in China.”

Unlike Tmall, which functions as an online host for thousands of independent retailers, including international brands such as Burberry and Calvin Klein, Amazon buys and sells merchandise and operates its own warehouses and delivery networks. It also offers customers same-day and next-day delivery services to more than 1,400 Chinese districts and counties, and 24-hour customer service.

These services will be well received by Tmall customers, says Tanner, and will also allow Amazon to get better utilization from these investments through the Tmall partnership.

“One of our visions is that customers in China, no matter where they are located, can purchase any product they want to buy from the world through Amazon,” says Brandy Niu, director of international brands at Amazon China.

The Amazon Tmall store will sell many of the same products as the Amazon China site, from shoes and groceries to kitchenware and toys. Around one-quarter of the brands are being sold exclusively by Amazon, including Logan, Panama Jack, and Moc Moc.

In the spirit of Tmall, Amazon will offer promotions and free shipping to celebrate the opening of the store. An official launch will be held in April, and more international brands will be added in the future.

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