China's Big B2C Shopping Marketplace Unveils Site for Curious Western Retailers

Tmall.com is trying to make it easier for Western companies to learn about selling online to China's consuming masses through a new English-language business-development website.

Unveiled today, the website provides an overview of Tmall's features and explains the basics of setting up a storefront on the Tmall marketplace, which is China’s largest business-to-consumer (B2C) online-shopping venue. The site allows visitors to quickly view vendor fees, required deposits and other factors associated with operating a Tmall storefront.

Tmall has positioned itself as an efficient, relatively low-cost way for Western brands to tap into China's growing consumer spending while increasing brand awareness in the PRC - all in a web-shopping environment that strives to offer good customer service and product listings that are virtually free of the counterfeit goods that plague other Chinese shopping websites. Tmall.com vendors generated more than RMB 200 billion in GMV last year. Tmall.com accounts for more than 50 percent of China’s B2C market.

This week the National Football League launched its official Tmall.com store hoping to garner attention for America’s favorite sport. Other brands joining the platform recently include cosmetics makers Clinique, Clarins and Elizabeth Arden, as well as golf gear giant Callaway.

China's growing appetite for foreign goods is being fueled by special promotions on Tmall.com and Juhuasuan, Alibaba Group’s group buying discount website. For example, the U.S. Agricultural Trade Office is currently holding an Alaskan seafood promotion on Tmall. This comes about three months after the agency sponsored a promotion of U.S-grown cherries during which more than 100 tons of the fruit were sold to Chinese buyers in less than three weeks.