Chinese consumers shop almost exclusively on online marketplaces, instead of stand-alone sites from brands. In general, there are five major cross border Ecommerce platform models for foreign brands to sell their products on to Chinese customers
Online Malls are large, well-known marketplaces where e-customers can roam around to select items from different independently operated shopfronts (stores). Tmall Global, the sister-website of China’s leading B2C online marketplace Tmall, is China’s first and largest official cross-border B2C platform, and therefore it’s the most famous.
Other examples of these are JD Worldwide, Su Ning, Yang Ma Tou
Hypermarket adopts a B2B2C model. It is fundamentally different from online malls. Pure hypermarkets such as Koala purchase a great variety of popular goods directly from oversea brands and sell them on its platform. Consequently, hypermarkets charge a markup from wholesale price to retail price. Big online market places like JD have both hypermarket models and online malls. For direct purchasing, hybrid platforms tend to focus on certain categories and brands for overseas products. For example, JD concentrates on categories like wine, watches, handbags and milk powder.
Other examples of these are Suning, Amazon, Feng Qu Hai Tao, Yi Hao Dian
Vertical Specialty Marketplaces
Vertical Specialty Marketplaces typically buy goods directly from overseas suppliers. However they only focus on specific target audiences, product categories or geographical region. Although, consumer traffic is lower and the product catalogue is limited. Specialty marketplaces provide brands in niche-markets with a valuable opportunity to sell their goods, which would likely remain under the radar of consumers on large e-commerce platforms, and they usually generate more qualified prospects and thus higher conversion rate. Xiaohongshu (www.xiaohongshu.com) is a rapidly growing specialty marketplace with over 17 million registered users, especially females under the age of 30. This social platform is mostly used to discover cosmetics, skin care, food, nutrition, mother & baby, household, small appliances & electronics, fashion categories.
Other examples of these is Mia
Flash Sales Websites
Flash Sales Websites focus on offering limited quantities of new-to-market, or surplus products at highly discounted rates for a limited period of time. Such websites can be an effective tool for foreign brands to test their product in the Chinese market. Meanwhile, flash sales websites can be considered as an effective marketing technique to give more exposure to one’s brand. VIP.com is the largest flash sale websites in China, cooperating with over 20,000 brands and serving more than 300 million users across China. For overseas products, VIP’s main focus is on mother and baby products.
In China, product research or getting recommendations is often done through social media. Recently, this consumer behaviour has been expanded from deciding what to buy, to actually buying directly on social media. WeChat, founded in 2011, is primarily known as a messaging app to foreigners, but it serves also as the virtual lifeline of 700 million Chinese smartphone users. A WeChat Store is a distinct feature of WeChat, not found in western equivalents, that allows for users directly buying on social media.
As with many other marketing tools in China, no single platform fits all. Hence, it’s always beneficial to adopt a multi-channel approach, which is good for
At Ehubnordic we offer customers not only to be present on Tmall Global but also to sell their products on other cross-border e-commerce platforms in China at no extra cost.