The Chinese cross-border eCommerce market is a huge opportunity for marketers and brands. In 2017, the number of shoppers who had made purchases abroad has increased by more than 50% from 2016. China’s Cross-Border e-Commerce industry is growing rapidly, but it still faces many challenges such as government regulations being too strict or low-quality products that are hazardous to one’s health. This post will be about how to best explain the top Cross-Border eCommerce platforms that you could use for your business. We will consider in this list only B2C sites which therefore eliminate the iconic Taobao which has long beaten the American giant eBay in the Chinese market.
1. What is crossborder eCommerce?
The fundamental difference between Cross-Border e-Commerce and continental c-Commerce is that for Cross-Border, the objective is to export the product from its country to deliver it directly to the end consumer. For this different e-Commerce platforms are used such as Tmall Global, JD Global, RED, Kaola, or VIP international. Thanks to this type of e-Commerce in China, the delivery is done directly, so there is a saving of time: with a delivery which is done in 10 days to three weeks. There is also a gain in the cost of shipping. We see that the way people use Chinese differs depending on the commercial platforms they use, for example:
- On a Cross-Border platform: Chinese consumers will think of buying mainly maternity products such as baby milk. Indeed, they generally think that the products coming from the import are of better quality. The bestsellers on Cross-Border platforms are therefore often vitamins, birth products, high-end cosmetics, or simply products that they cannot find in their country.
- On a traditional Chinese e-Commerce platform: Consumers buy their everyday consumer products such as food, spirits, wine, or even hygiene and household products.
The cross-border is not a solution that is intended to be final for a company. This trade route allows you to start getting into China with the fewest barriers possible. Indeed, it is a good platform which makes it possible to test the product and the market in order to improve its offer. If all goes well after a year, it will then be necessary to register the products and develop in the Chinese market with more resources by deploying more. This year can be a bridge of transition for your company time to refine the product-market fit.
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1.1 What is the advantage of doing cross-border eCommerce in China?
Cross-Border e-Commerce has many advantages for foreign companies wishing to do business in China. All the decrees issued between 2010 and 2014 have indeed created a call for air for Western companies by offering them the following advantages:
Cross-Border e-Commerce has many advantages for foreign companies wishing to do business in China. All the decrees issued between 2010 and 2014 have indeed created a call for air for Western companies by offering them the following advantages:
- Exemption from registration of trademarks and their products in China.
- Exemption from product labeling in Chinese.
- Flat-rate taxation is up to 3x slower than the taxation of the general regime.
To benefit from these benefits, the sale of goods must be a “real” B2C transaction, that is, sending the package directly to the consumer after the latter has placed the order on a cross-border website.
New more favorable developments for foreign brands have applied since January 1, 2019:
- The purchase limits per consumer have been considerably increased.
- The state has clarified the responsibility of the actors involved (foreign brands, e-commerce platforms, service providers, etc.).
- The State has extended the “Bonded warehouse” which greatly shortened delivery times.
More generally, cross-border e-Commerce makes it possible to:
- When products are inlaid on Cross-Border platforms, the conversion rate is generally lower. Buying China is, therefore, easier: the Chinese buy more easily.
- A good strategy to test your product on the market and refine your offer to create the best product-market fit.
- The predisposition of certain types of products can be an advantage and a challenge depending on what your company offers.
1.2 What are the challenges of doing cross-border eCommerce in China?
- It is still expensive, especially if you do not master the marketing tools adapted to the Chinese market. You can quickly spend large sums of money on advertisements without necessarily having a lot of return on investment.
- There is not as much visibility as for normal e-Commerce
- There is an annual buying limit for CBEC buyers
- Not all products are predisposed to be sold well in cross-border e-Commerce. For some products, this is an advantage, as for high-end cosmetics. On the other hand, for everyday products in China, such as food, it is more difficult to attract the attention of consumers.
2. Cross-border eCommerce in China with Tmall Global
Launched in 2014 by the giant Alibaba Group, Tmall Global is the international version of China’s leading online marketplace: Tmall. It is the largest domestic B2C online platform in China. Tmall Global enables businesses to sell directly to millions of customers throughout China. As an open platform marketplace, Tmall provides the infrastructure to host your storefront and unfiltered access to hundreds of millions of shoppers.
2.2 Tmall Global Facts:
- Tmall Global is positioning itself to target high-end consumers in China and invites investment from foreign companies. The Tmall Global site is frequented, most of the time, by Chinese consumers who are looking for ways to purchase specific brands that may not be accessible in a physical store near their place of residence.
- More than 25,000 international brands are registered on the platform, in more than 92 countries. Tmall Global has been the 6th moth used online store in China, and 65% of Chinese customers use its app on their smartphone. It is also important to know that 78% of Tmall Global customers also use Tmall.com.mall, as mentioned, is the largest domestic B2C online platform in China. All the companies in Tmall Global are corporate entitles outside mainland China, with overseas retail qualifications. Merchants with a turnover of at least 100.000.000 RMB are prioritized.
- Tmall is targeting the 527 million Chinese internet users in 2021 who use either their computer or smartphone to order online. The three platforms designed by Alibaba, Taobao, Tmall, and Juhuasan, generated merchandise sales volume exceeding $ 296 billion spent by around 279 million repeat buyers and 8.5 million sellers (June 2013 to June 2014) . It’s more than eBay and Amazon combined.
2.3 Why should you go with Tmall Global to sell in China?
- Tmall Global uses the same infrastructure as Taobao and the Alipay payment system. The Chinese are very familiar with it.
- Tmall only accepts official stores, which ensures the authenticity of products sold online, which ultimately builds customer loyalty.
- Taobao promotes Tmall, and favors it over all other platforms, which avoids traffic to Tmall.
Tmall has very powerful analysis tools. Analyzes and sales reports are updated daily, which allows the seller to adapt his strategy if necessary.
- The mobile internet browser company UCWeb was acquired by Alibaba. Now, the new version of the browser includes the possibility for customers to log in with a Taobao account. UCWeb users will enjoy special treatment including special offers, Taobao credits, and a lottery system.
- When you go through Tmall Global there is much less tax on your products. Indeed, since 2016, a “positive” product list has been approved, resulting in a preferential import tax of 11.9% tax rate for certain goods. Those goods are also exempt from the additional time at custom clearance and don’t require an import license or other certificates.
2.4 Tmall Global Features and tools for marketers:
- The CPC: There are bidding on keywords entered on Tmall based on cost per click.
- Banner ads: These banners are available on the home page to indicate which brands are sought after on Tmall. These banners are therefore only available for flagship stores.
- CPM Banner Advertising: The cost per mile is a unit used to measure the cost of purchasing advertising space on the Internet. Many locations are available on Tmall Global, for example, the shopping cart level, the home page, page categories, and message announcements.
- CSP: It’s affiliate marketing. This type of marketing is performance-based whereby a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought in by its own marketing efforts.
- Emailing: This is the method of sending emails or messages to a targeted consumer segment and therefore potential customers. This selection is based on certain criteria such as demographic criteria for example.
- Juhuasan: It’s a Tmall-specific flash sale channel that allows you to promote.
- Faxian: It is a platform dedicated to Tmall which is similar to the concept of Pinterest.
- SEO on Tmall: It is a good referencing to the content posted for the promotion of its product. This referencing allows it to be well classified and therefore more visible to consumers.
2.5 How to start selling on Tmall Global?
List of requirements to become a merchant on Tmall Cross-border:
- Products originating in a foreign country and sold internationally must be inspected by Tmall Global security and passed through Chinese customs.
- The product overview page must be in Chinese, use the international size and measurement system, and finally provide customer service in Chinese.
- Logistics services must ship the product within 72 hours after ordering online.
- It is often preferable to choose direct delivery or delivery through certified warehouses in China.
- Order tracking for all products is mandatory.
- The after-sales service must have premises in China to handle returns.
It is also better, but not required, for your business to have:
- More than 2 years of practice in ecommerce
- A brand that works in B2C with an international market
- Own your brand or authorized agencies
- Be part of favored sectors, such as clothing for pregnant women and babies, care products, clothing, shoes, and accessories.
Type & Process to register open a Tmall Global Merchants Stores:
- The main store: Which is reserved only for registered brands.
- The Specialty Store: This is for sellers who have authorization documents giving them the right to distribute their products in China without geographic restrictions.
- Monopoly store: Which is for merchants who own two or more brands in the same product category on Tmall.
Companies that intend to benefit from Alibaba’s services must have a legal person or corporate entity abroad. The company must be registered and be authorized for international distribution. Once you are authorized to distribute internationally you can install the Tmall Global site. For that, you will need:
- Submit product information and wait for inspection (this usually takes up to 10 days).
- Create an account on Alipay. An offline process that takes up to 7 days.
- Sign the contract and pay the annual fee and a deposit. From 7 to 10 working days.
- Open the store. This step takes into account registration with Tmall.
Read more about Tmall
3. Cross-border on JD Worldwide
JD Worldwide is JD.com’s cross-border e-commerce platform, enables Chinese customers to purchase products from other countries with the ease and convenience they have come to expect from JD.com. Like Tmall Global, JD Worldwide operates as an online shopping center where the organization hosts foreign brand stores.
JD Worldwide sources directly from brands and suppliers and sells them directly to customers through the company’s website and mobile channels. JD can be considered as the biggest B2B2C market in China and dominates the in-home appliance and consumer electronics field. The sales model Jingdong offers its users is a faster and better consumer experience. It is open to reputable and well-established brands and traders who do business in China.
3.2 JD Worldwide Facts:
- JD.com has more than 500 million active customers per year (2021), 1000 warehouses, including 1 fully automated and 15 highly automated. It also has 7,000 delivery stations. 99% of the Chinese population covered is through its logistics network and 90% of orders are delivered within 24 to 48 hours. In addition, 40 drones deliver products daily to two rural Chinese provinces.
- JD Worldwide is open to brands, franchisees, retailers, and legally registered traders outside of China who sell products from overseas. The type of consumer mainly includes generations Y and Z, which constitutes a sizeable market with a wide range of products that can be offered. As with Tmall Global, certain products are more ready to be found on the site.
3.3 Why should you go with JD worldwide to do cross-border e-commerce in China?
Just like Tmall, JD is a trusted eCommerce marketing in China, and when it comes to choosing between the two if you decided to start your china journey with cross-border eCommerce, simply know that JD Worldwide is as good as Tmall Global. If in terms of quality of services and feed, JD and Tmall are particularly similar, JD Worldwide is particularly suitable for traders who wish to sell household appliances and consumer electronics. JD has all the tools in place to offer a smooth experience to your customers and you won’t have to worry about the complicated processes to be able to sell in China cross-border (Identity checking for instance). Furthermore, Chinese consumers are not used to buying products from independent stores and prefer marketplaces for their online purchase as it provides a safety net.
3.4 JD worldwide Features and tools for marketers:
If you want to do advertising on JD.com, you can use similar methods to Tmall like:
- Banner ads on the different pages of the website
- Pay-per-Click: this method consists of using sponsored links which are most often ads in the form of text, placed near the search results. The advertiser pays each click of the Internet user.
- It is possible to find the most trendy products based on the SEO referencing page of the JD.com website.
- Promotions are displayed on the main page.
- There is a coupon system to have money on the site.
- Pay to appear on JD recommendation page.
These solutions are great to get traffic on your online store but not necessarily optimum for an acquisition strategy. Moreover, advertising in China requires a different approach from what we are accustomed to, especially on Chinese e-commerce platforms such as JD.com, indeed we would suggest that you go for an Omni-channel strategy. Read this guide on the Chinese Skincare market and how to sell & promote your brand in China to get more familiar with what is an omnichannel strategy like in China.
3.5 How to start selling on JD Worldwide?
List of entry requirements to become a merchant on JD Worldwide:
- Be an established non-Chinese company.
- A brand owner, or at least license a brand. Thus, you must be able to provide trademark registration documents or licensing agreements.
- Have a USD bank account.
- You should not have already launched your products in China.
- Provide business registration documents, the ID of the major shareholders and directors.
- Chinese customer service must be provided and the product details page should be written in Mandarin.
- Products must be dispatched within 72 hours after order placement.
- Product return centers must be available in Mainland China.
Types & processes to register open a JD Worldwide store:
- For a Brand Flagship Store: For this type of store, the products must be registered abroad. The seller must provide a certificate of registration for these products. And, he must be an authorized exclusive reseller to prove this he must provide the trademark certificate and a letter of authorization to sell his products.
- Outlet Type Flagship Store: For this type of store, the merchant shall have or have applied for a Class 35 trademark (the “Service Mark”) overseas for its brand. If he is an owner, he must provide his trademark registration certificate. If he is not the owner, he must provide exclusive proof of using or operating a store on the JD Worldwide website using the “Service Mark”.
- Franchised Store: Products must be registered abroad. If the seller is not the owner of the products, proof of authorization is required as explained above.
- Exclusive Store: Proof of the origin of the products is required as well as invoices for everything that is purchased. Special store types are limited and can only sell a maximum of two product categories. And finally, the name of the store cannot infringe the legitimate rights of others.
4. Cross-border with China Social-eCommerce App the Little Red book – RED
Xiaohongshu also called “Little Red Book” is a Chinese social media app specializing in lifestyle that also verses into eCommerce and cross-border eCommerce. The app mainly caters to beauty & fashion brands with a majority of high-end and luxury brands. Little Red Book provides its users with a platform to buy products, share shopping tips, and promotional offers. This creates a community of trust sharing the same ideas. After three years of operations, the application already has more than 17 million subscribers. The principle of the application is simple: the objective is to form partnerships with foreign brands mainly originating in the United States, Japan, and Korea and then to market them on the Chinese territory.
Many brands and retailers believe they should sell their products only on e-commerce platforms such as Tmall, JD.com, and Taobao. But there is a lot of competition with a market that is increasing of interest to international brands. It is difficult to stand out. In addition, it is almost impossible for small brands to gain access to Tmall, for example. You also have to take into account that Chinese society is constantly changing, with sophisticated young Chinese consumers who are difficult to convince if they have never heard of your brand.
NB: We would not suggest having RED Store as your main eCommerce shop in China but as a complement in the context of an omnichannel strategy. Read our Xiaohongshu Marketing Guide for more details.
4.2 RED Facts:
- RED is very popular with Generation Y and Z. Additionally, 80% of users are young Chinese women who heavily rely on the recommendations of KOLs who are considered real role models. They live in the wealthy cities of the country, a segment of the population with strong purchasing power. These young women are interested in purchasing medium and high-end foreign products.
- The application aims to develop and foster this group cohesion by reinforcing this feeling of belonging to a community once registered on the application. To meet these expectations, Little Red Book analyzes the data of these subscribers so that they can deliver customized content according to their tastes and expectations.
- Today, more than 6,000 brands are present on the platform, including very large international brands such as Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent, MAC or Shiseido. Today with more than 80,000 million active users, RED is emerging from its status as a niche platform to become an essential platform, particularly in the fields of beauty and fashion.
4.3 Why should you go with RED to sell in China?
RED is useful for businesses to develop their marketing as well as their sales. Indeed, it has become one of the best platforms for KOL campaigns. It is also one of the platforms of choice for luxury brands who want to run marketing campaigns that are a change from the ordinary.
RED is a great word-of-mouth tool. It is one of the most effective ways to convince Chinese consumers to buy your products or download an app. The budget you will need to invest in RED should be 20% less than that of Weibo, however, the ROI should on average be 40% more than what you would get using Weibo.
If Chinese consumers leave a review after buying your products, it will generate a lot of visibility that the simple advertisement for your brand but especially this review will stay in time. In addition to that, the shopping notes are referenced on Baidu.
KOLs are really the basis of Xiaohongshu’s success, so much so that Xiaohongshu has decided to launch its “的牌 合作 人” platform where companies can find their KOL for collaboration.
4.4 RED Features and tools for marketers:
- RED offers display advertising services that have strict conditions. For example, at the level of national advertising regulations which prohibit companies from using languages such as: “the best”, “the luxury”, “the high end” etc.
- Pop-up windows appear when you open the Xiaohongshu app. The ad also gives direct access to the brand’s store by pressing a small button at the bottom of the page.
- An integrated advertisement appears in the news: in the discovery and in the following pages. It displays the accounts to which the user is subscribed. Users are notified of publications by a small button at the bottom of the page to the left of the photo, called “Guanggao”, which means “advertisement”.
- There is Fulishe (福利社) which is Xiaohongshu’s self-managed e-commerce platform that integrates merchandising, warehousing, and customer service functions to provide users with a seamless e-commerce experience.
- The “Shopping Notes” is a page created to add credibility, sharing, and visibility. It is managed by moderators and is called “Xiaohongshu Editors” (小红 书 出子 人) who are responsible for maintaining transparency regarding product reviews.
4.5 How to start selling on RED?
List of requirements to sell on Xiaohongshu:
- Xiaohongshu is a very special platform compared to other Western social networks. You must therefore have a verified account on RED, it is necessary if you want to sell your products on the platform.
- The special thing about RED is that individual account cannot open their own stores.
Types & processes to register open a RED store:
To sell your products on RED, you can open your own store or sell your products directly through the platform. However, you will have more advantages by opening your own store in terms of branding, marketing, communication, and control of your activities.
To create your official account: on Xiaohongshu you need:
- You must create an official account by clicking on ‘小红 书 入驻 平台’. You will need to submit your official business documents as well as your bank details.
- After signing up, you will need to wait for approval, which usually lasts three days, before you start publishing and selling your products.
- After signing the user agreement, you will need to complete a series of training modules in order to understand and master all the features of the app.
Checking in on RED can be quite complicated if you don’t understand Chinese. There is a lot of paperwork to fill out in the local language.
5. What is Kaola & why is it one of China’s biggest cross-border ecommerce app?
Kaola, which means Kaola, was chosen because NetEase wants its online users to stay “lazy and comfortable” just like the marsupial. Kaola provides a large range of products in baby and maternal care, healthcare, beauty, and cosmetics, with a fast delivery service. It is also hoping to bring to users a “better lifeless expensive” thanks to low prices. Kaola provides a platform for international brands to sell their products securely to Chinese consumers, and for Chinese consumers to purchase safe, high-quality, and international premium goods in a convenient way.
Netease Kaola’s self-management mode allows them to fix their own prices. It can adjust its pricing strategy according to the market environment according to competitors, by coordinating the whole supply chain and all aspects of warehousing, logistics, and operation, which is can of similar to JD.com.
5.2 Kaola Facts:
- Kaola has become the number one cross-border e-commerce platform in China, ahead of JD and Tmall. Companies from more than 80 countries sell on Kaola.
- There are around 30 million Chinese consumers registered on Kaola. A number set to increase sharply in the coming months.
- Gen Y &Z are predominant. On Kaola, 39.1% of its users are under 24 years old, 35.73% are between 25 and 30 years old, and only 6.14% are over 41 years old. There are 80% of women. Kaola focuses on a lot of food products, the transactions of which will increase in the coming years.
- Kaola’s strategy is to set up its branches and offices in nearly 10 countries and regions such as San Francisco, Tokyo, Seoul, Sydney, and Hong Kong to select high-quality products and avoid multi-level links such as agents and distributors, thus reducing costs and cutting off prices. Moreover, Kaola has more than 150,000 square meters of bonded warehouses in Hangzhou, Zhengzhou, Ningbo, and Chongqing, becoming the largest enterprise with bonded warehouses in cross-border e-commerce.
5.3 Why should you go with Kaola to sell in China?
Kaola has set its standards for online shopping through its commitment to quality, authenticity, and the variety of products it offers, covering everything from food, beverage, apparel to electronics and cosmetics.
According to the below chart from Statista (2017), we can see that Kaola was the most trusted platform among Chinese consumers, as 38.8% of the respondents were confident in the product’s authenticity.
Moreover, we can also insist on the fact that Kaola keeps a strong relationship with international brands and directly purchases most of its inventory from overseas brands, bypassing intermediaries and local distributors to lower costs, thus cutting down costs as well for consumers.
On the other hand, Kaola provides a one-stop solution for foreign manufacturers to enter China’s complex market. By handling cross-border logistics, warehousing, online operations, and after-sales services, Kaola enables foreign manufacturers to reach Chinese consumers on a broader and faster scale.
5.4 Kaola Features and tools for marketers:
- The traditional tab for purchase with the classification of products
- The best-sellers display
- The search engine
- Kaola also has a tab name “种草社区 Zhong Cao she Qu” which is more like a forum or sharing community.
Zhongcao means in everyday language “to add something on her/his wish list”. We can get advice and feedback about all kinds of products. Kaola focuses on user’s experiences to attract them and encourage them to post reviews about products.
5.5 How to start selling on Kaola?
- Before entering the Chinese market, it is highly recommended you register your trademark with the Chinese Trademark Office.
- Then, you will be able to set up your own store or webpage on Kaola but it is advisable to set aside about 20% of projected turnover for a targeted marketing campaign.
- Hire a third party to help you along the application process
- To run the store successfully you will need the services of a third party to handle translations, customer service, returns, and imagery.
In China, the possibility to open a shop on e-commerce websites does not only depend on your motivation, but mostly on how your brand appears and the potential, it will have on the chosen platform. If you want to get the opportunity of selling your products on one of the most popular e-commerce platforms in China, you will need to show what you have to offer, and convince Kaola you have the potential to attract Chinese consumers.
Processes to register open a store on Kaoloa:
Kaola has grown at an astronomical speed since its inception and offers many opportunities for foreign companies wishing to sell in China. Today, two methods exist to open a shop there.
- Cooperation in sourcing: This method involves Kaola buying your products directly. To register using this solution, you must apply online. For this, you must give the product category, the name of the company, a description of the company, the company site, the name of the brand, a description of the brand, the brand site, a description of your business model, some major customers, your online store, and your annual sales figures. Finally, you will have to send a contact with a name, an address, an email, and a telephone. After a few weeks of analyzing your profile, the Kaola site will come back to you. You will then receive a letter of offer to complete the registration.
- The flagship store: Thanks to this method, it is possible to sell your products directly without Kaola buying them. You sell directly to consumers. The information to be provided to register is the same as with the previous method.
- Initial deposit (refundable): between USD 10,000 – 15,000.
- Commissions/revenue share: between 2.0 – 10.0%
- Yearly cost/product category fee: USD 1000.
Read more about selling on Kaola here
6. China Cross-border ecommerce with VIP International
Founded in 2008 and based in Guangzhou, VIP Shop International is the third-largest e-commerce company specialized in online discount sales. Its revenues are around RMB 93 billion in 2019. Following its huge success, it was listed on New York Stock Exchange in 2012. VIP Shop is specialized in selling high-end fashion, cosmetic and beauty products, as well as home items at a discounted price. Vipshop mostly uses an in-house logistics network instead of relying on third-party delivery services like Alibaba. That’s why VIP consistently reports lower operating margins than Alibaba. Having about 2% of China’s e-commerce market in 2017, VIP Shop is now just after Tmall and JD.com and was able to surpass Pinduoduo and Suning.
VIP Shop is divided into VIP.com, and VIP International, with warehouses all across China and overseas.
6.2 VIP International Facts:
- About 80% of buyers are women. In addition, a majority of them were born in the 80s and 90s and live in “smaller” towns, called third and fourth-tier towns. VIP International attracts this type of buyer because they do not have as many physical outlets like large cities such as Shanghai, Shenzhen, or Beijing do.
- In 2017, Vipshop broke the national record by managing to deliver a package in just 13 minutes and 18 seconds after ordering.
- VIP.com is still relatively small compared to Tmall and JD that are dominating the domestic and general E-Commerce market. VIP International, on the other hand, was able to overtake Tmall and Kaola in terms of sales. VIP.com and VIP International are not very suitable for small-sized companies, as it mainly works with brands that Chinese consumers are already aware of. Some notable brands that are working with VIP Shop include Calvin Klein, Armani, Tommy Hilfiger, Adidas, etc.
- Vipshop still holds a fairly small market share at 4.3%, as Tmall and JD dominate the domestic and general E-Commerce market. VIP International, on the other hand, accounts for a bit more than 15% of the cross-border E-Commerce market, just behind Kaola and Tmall Global.
6.3 Why should you go with VIP International to sell in China?
The e-commerce industry in China is booming, and it’s much more common to sell luxury goods via online channels in China than in the West. Vip International has set up professional buyer groups in 11 countries and regions to guarantee the products’ authenticity. It has formed close relations with several consulates and long-term partnerships with well-known brands across the world.
An in-house 24/7 customer service has been set up. Consumers can return goods within 7 days without any explanation. The process will be treated in China, which means that they will quickly receive their refund.
Based on its 12 warehouses overseas and 11 bonded warehouses in China, VIP International has built a sophisticated and flexible logistics network, which enables it to start delivery within 12 hours after orders are received. VIP international uses direct overseas procurement and has its own delivery partners in Mainland China which allow the company to reduce some costs and provide qualitative and low-cost services to customers.
Vipshop provides services that help brands manage their sales like WeChat mini-program stores and official Chinese websites.
6.4 VIP Int Features and tools for marketers:
- WeChat Mini-Programs: VIP.com is linked to WeChat, so users clicking on it don’t need to download it, as it works as a mini-program on WeChat. VP.com allows brands to have their mini-program directly through WeChat, which attracts more consumers and increases their sales.
- Chinese domains: Through these Chinese domains, brands can drive traffic to their Chinese websites at the same time as they sell their products on different marketplaces, like Vipshop, Tmall, or JD. Azoya Group, for example, is a Shenzhen-based service provider that can help businesses set up Chinese domains.
- WeChat Pop-Up Stores: In China, pop-up stores are small cashier-less stores where buyers scan a QR code via the WeChat app to enter the store. The pop-up store is seamlessly set up and integrated with the WeChat app.
6.5 How to start selling on VIP Int?
List of requirements to start selling on VIP Internationnal:
- You can either apply through the VIP Shop website or through Tmall’s partners
- You will need to provide a Chinese entity with several official documents.
- It will take all the information about your business such as the name of the company, the email, the description of your business and your activities, your website, or even the categories of products you want to sell. Then send them via the website and by e-mail to this address: email@example.com.
- You will not have to pay membership fees, deposits, and registration fees.
- The waiting process will take about 5 weeks, then you can sign the official contract and download your products online.
- All this process is to be done in the Chinese language.
- Bonus: Develop your online reputation, because the platforms only accept brands that are already known to Chinese consumers. You can use social networks to increase your visibility as with WeChat, Weibo, and RED which was mentioned previously.
Types & Process to register open a store:
There are two options to start selling on Vipshop or VIP International:
- Work with a TP
- Contact the company directly
Both websites can be selective and a Tmall partner can help you sell your brand. The following information should be included when submitting a request:
- Your company name
- Description of your business
- Company Website
- Product category
Learn more about selling on VIP International here
Conclusion On China Cross-border eCommerce
Cross-border e-commerce platforms have grown rapidly and had gradually replaced traditional B2C business models. Today, generations Y and Z have a purchasing power that continues to rise and are hyper digitalized. For sellers who wish to export to China, cross-border commerce platforms set less stringent entry standards so that foreign brands can benefit from the Chinese market. Cross Border e-Commerce also allows brands to test the Chinese market to avoid taking too big a risk in the first years by importing alone. Thanks to this test, brands can sharpen their project, gain experience, discover the market, and start to build networks and customers.