Tmall Perfume Route: A New Business Opportunity for Niche Fragrances in China

In December 2020, Tmall launched the Tmall Perfume Route. This is a dedicated e-commerce platform for perfume brands and especially for niche fragrances in China.

How? By proposing a new alternative for perfume delivery, which is faster and more convenient. Tmall Perfume Route is an exciting opportunity for niche fragrance brands looking to expand their presence in China. With the growing demand for unique and high-quality perfumes in the Chinese market, Tmall Perfume Route offers a platform for these brands to reach a wider audience.

Discover our complete guide on how to use this specific platform for your niche and premium fragrance brand.

Quick Recap Of Tmall

Tmall is a large online marketplace operated by Alibaba, a leading e-commerce company in China and globally. It offers a platform for brands to establish an online presence and connect with the vast consumer base in China.

Tmall has a dedicated luxury pavilion that provides a unique shopping experience for high-end consumers.

Sell on Tmall: marketplace statistics

Tmall Global, under the cross-border e-commerce sector, allows retailers to sell directly to Chinese consumers through certified warehouses in China’s free trade zones. This presents an opportunity for foreign brands to enter the Chinese market without complicated logistics or physical stores.

Opening a Tmall flagship store allows brands to manage their own sales, product offerings, and branding in the Chinese e-commerce landscape. The popularity and demand for branded stores on Tmall and other platforms like JD showcase the growing interest from businesses and consumers.

What is Tmall Perfume Route?

Tmall is the #1 e-commerce platform in China. Indeed, let us present you with some key figures. Due to Covid-19, e-commerce luxury sales have increased by 150% this year on Tmall. In the meantime, the online penetration is multiplied by two, reaching 23%.

Alibaba’s strategy is to separate businesses into divisions, with a dedicated Luxury Pavilion and Perfume Route.

Tmall Perfume Route is an online platform that offers a wide selection of perfumes from various brands. It provides a convenient and accessible way for users to browse and purchase their favorite fragrances. 

With its user-friendly interface and reliable delivery service, shopping for perfumes has never been easier.

From popular international brands to niche and local ones, Tmall Perfume Route offers a diverse range of options to cater to every individual’s preferences. So, Tmall Perfume Route is the perfect destination for you.

A Dedicated Cross-Border E-commerce Platform for Perfume Brands

In a word, the Tmall Perfume Route is a cross-border flight from Europe to China. This is an opportunity for any fragrance brand looking to sell faster in China. This is not only a digital asset but also a logistics asset. Brands can benefit from more convenient transport with a better delivery service.

What does it change? Before, perfume brands had difficulties exporting to China. Due to the alcohol composition, these products were highly flammable.

They were refused to be sent by air. The only existing solution was to export by sea, but this method of transport was too long.

Tmall Perfume Route is then offering an all-in-one solution. Thanks to a partnership with Cainiao, a specific packaging has been created. It addresses all the flammable issues of the product and allows fragrances to travel by air.

A Solution to Improve Client Experience

Tmall Perfume Route is a unique opportunity for niche brands to better target Chinese consumers. Often in the past, the scales were not important enough to send quickly products to China. Niche fragrances did not meet the quantity required for transportation.

For instance, some niche brands have only a few dozen of bottles available. It used to take so much time to be delivered to China. So, they needed to wait to export a larger quantity to be shipped, which was impacting their sales.

Today, Chinese beauty lovers can purchase perfumes online and be delivered within 3 days. The opportunity brought by Tmall is huge.

Especially when you know that 70% of Chinese consumers are more comfortable purchasing almost everything online.

How to Grow Your Niche Fragrance Brand in China?

Niche Perfumes China Market Overview

As you may know, China is not the first worldwide market for fragrances. Why? Because usually, they considered fragrance to be a product to “hide” your natural scent… Which means you do not shower. Now, perfume is making its way through. And even niche fragrances!

Chinese consumers are getting more and more educated to appreciate perfumes. This is why Tmall launched the Perfume Route. The consumption of niche fragrances is rising. Tmall mentioned its niche perfume sales have almost doubled in 2020.

What is the opinion of Chinese people on niche perfume now? The recent success is driven by the younger Chinese generations, the Millenials and Generation Z. According to them, wearing the same perfume as anyone is not a luxury anymore.

They think of luxury fragrances (Dior, Chanel, Givenchy, Guerlain, etc.) as “街香” which means “street scents”. Everyone is wearing them and there is no additional pleasure to wear them.

On Chinese social media, beauty lovers even come out with a new expression. It says 宁愿撞衣,不要撞香”. It literally means “it is better running into people with the same clothes than running into people with the same scent”. Niche fragrances are a new way for Chinese consumers to differentiate and promote their luxury lifestyles.

The success is tremendous. Even a new niche perfume e-commerce platform was created: Minorité. Its business model is based on the desire for personalization.

Chinese shoppers start the experience with an olfactory test to recognize their favorite scents. They will enjoy an aroma tour before purchasing their favorite fragrance online. A real omnichannel strategy!

Read also: the Chinese perfume market

Niche Perfumes Digital Strategy in China

For any niche fragrance brand, it is important to acknowledge that a consumer path is mainly digital. When you enter China or try to perform in China, you do not necessarily need to have a store.

Especially with the Covid-19 pandemic, the digital world is everything. You can build a strong digital strategy by combining branding and social media

What are the steps to implement my niche brand in China?

  • Baidu: You need to create a Chinese website with SEO/SEA strategy to reach Chinese consumers. Why Baidu? Because it is the most used search engine gathering 70% of online queries.
  • WeChat & Weibo: You should create accounts for these two social media as they are the most used in China. WeChat will help you to attract new clients, create a community around your brand, and redirect them to your Chinese official website. Weibo will enable you to increase your brand awareness and build your visibility.
  • Xiaohongshu: You can create a Little Red Book account to increase your brand attractivity. Indeed, you will combine PGC (Professional Generated Content) and UGC (User Generated Content) by encouraging people to share content including your brand.
  • Douyin: You will increase your brand visibility and loyalty by creating short videos which are a huge success now in China and have partnerships with KOLs

Discover the top 10 social media in China

Case Study

Serge Lutens entered the Chinese market in the early 2000s and has since established a strong presence in major cities like Shanghai and Beijing. The brand is known for its high-quality fragrances, cosmetics, and skincare products.

One interesting aspect of Serge Lutens’ strategy in China is its focus on creating an immersive and unique brand experience.

The brand has opened several standalone stores in upscale shopping malls, where they showcase their products in a luxurious and artistic environment. These stores often feature distinctive interior designs that reflect the brand’s aesthetic.

Additionally, Serge Lutens has also embraced digital marketing and e-commerce in China. They have an official website and cooperate with popular Chinese e-commerce platforms like Tmall and to reach a wider audience.

Through these online platforms, Chinese consumers can easily purchase Serge Lutens products and have them delivered to their doorstep.


Are you looking to sell Niche Perfumes in China? Contact us!

Niche perfumes in China are gaining popularity due to increased interest in unique fragrances that reflect individuality and style. The growing middle class, exposure to international brands, and desire for luxury drive the demand.

The market is still small compared to mass-market perfumes, but it’s growing rapidly with the help of e-commerce and social media. Challenges include counterfeit products and a lack of awareness among some consumers.

Niche perfumes may be more expensive, which could be a barrier. However, the future looks promising as more consumers seek personalized fragrance experiences. With the right strategies, niche perfume brands can thrive in this evolving market.

Contact GMA

Founded by Olivier Vérot and Philip Qian, GMA helps luxury brands perform in China. Until now, we have already worked with Yves Saint Laurent, Les Georgettes, and Vogue. So, we can help you build your launch plan and your project to enter Tmall Luxury Pavilion. We can talk about your project!

Thus, if you have questions about selling, advertising, exporting, etc. your perfumes in China, contact us directly, and we will reply to you within 24 hours.

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