Zooming in on China’s Cross-border Shopping Boom: Guide for Global Brands to Seize the Opportunity

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Zooming in on China’s Cross-border Shopping Boom: Guide for Global Brands to Seize the Opportunity



The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated Chinese consumers’ shift online, creating opportunities for international brands to meet Chinese consumers digitally.

As the number of Chinese tourists traveling overseas plunged, global brands have sought to send their goods to Chinese consumers in their own homes.

The number of Chinese consumers cross-border shopping — purchasing imported products from brands’ bonded warehouses, or warehouses operated by a third-party company in a foreign country — is expected to reach 160 million by the end of the year, up from 140 million in 2020, according to a May report from market data provider Statista.

Alibaba Group’s Tmall Global, the biggest cross-border e-commerce platform in China, has been working with brands without boots on the ground in China since 2015. The platform helps brands to ship their products, clear them through customs and into a bonded warehouse.  The number of brands and merchants on the channel grew over 60% year-over-year as of Dec. 30 last year. 

As we count down the days until China’s biggest shopping festival, 11.11, we share how Chinese millennials and Generation-Z consumers shop for overseas products on the B2C marketplace.

We also provide a three-step video guide for brands seeking to seize this opportunity while keeping a lid on costs and minimizing risks.

Paradigm Shift

Brands that were overly dependent on Chinese tourists visiting their domestic markets are expanding their marketing teams in China and exploring an array of digital tools to reach Chinese consumers, particularly traditional industries like luxury.

Chinese luxury shoppers, who will drive two-thirds of the growth in luxury spending through 2025, made 73 percent of their purchases overseas in 2018, according to consultants at Bain & Company. Last year, e-commerce’s share of the global luxury purchases nearly doubled to 23%, led by China, up from 12% last year, Bain said.

Watch this video to learn more about the trend and how Tmall Global is ironing out the challenges brands face in bringing goods to Chinese consumers

Tmall Global has become a go-to platform for both major international brands and small and medium-sized businesses searching for new revenue streams during the pandemic.

The platform listed more than 2,200 new brands and over 200,000 new stock-keeping units (SKU) last year, according to the business.

We’ve compiled a series of short videos for brands on how they can capture a share of cross-border opportunities in China.

Videos

Planning the Launch on Tmall Global

Tmall Global has become a go-to platform for both major international brands and small and medium-sized businesses searching for new revenue streams during the pandemic.

Videos

Finding the Right Local Partner to Support Your Launch

Entering China can be daunting for overseas brands. The key to success is selecting the right partner to smooth your path into the world’s largest consumer market. We explain who these partners are and how to connect with them through the platform.

Videos

Measuring Your Local Retail Partner’s Performance After Launch

How do you to keep track of your local partner’s performance after launch? Watch this video for the key metrics that international brands have effectively used to measure their local partner’s performance, from store traffic to sales conversion rates.

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