What is Tmall and how to get started
Tmall.com, also known as 天猫, is China's leading business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce platform, operated by Alibaba Group but independently from Taobao.
Tmall.com, also known as 天猫, is China’s leading business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce platform, operated by Alibaba Group but independently from Taobao.
Taobao first introduced Tmall in 2008 as a dedicated B2C platform within its consumer e-commerce website. The critical difference between Tmall and Taobao is that Tmall is a B2C platform, but Taobao is C2C. Tmall was the third most visited website globally in 2021.
Currently, only China-registered brands can open stores on Tmall. In 2014, Alibaba launched Tmall’s global version, “Tmall Global”, as a cross-border marketplace for foreign brands and merchants to sell directly to Chinese consumers, which does not require merchants to have a legal entity in China. Most major foreign brands now have flagship stores on Tmall Global, ranging from old brands like Costco to new brands like Lululemon.
How To Get Started On Tmall
Sell on Tmall
Currently, only China-registered brands can open stores on Tmall. To get started as a seller, follow the steps below:
Step 1. Create a Tmall account on Tmall.com, and then submit business information to Tmall for verification, including brand description and history, product description, etc.
Step 2. Wait for approval from Tmall, which usually takes 7 working days.
Step 3. Once approved, complete your store’s information and pay a security deposit and Tmall’s annual fee.
Step 4. List your products and launch your store.
Cost To Sell On Tmall
The fees for selling on Tmall include security deposit, annual software fees, and commission and are slightly different for each store type.
There are 4 types of stores on Tmall:
A flagship store refers to a store opened by its brand or a brand directly provided by the trademark owner with exclusive authorization to settle in Tmall Global.
Exclusive store refers to a store registered with Tmall with a brand that a trademark owner has authorized.
Specialized store (专营店)
A specialized store refers to a store that operates two or more brands under a single Tmall main business category.
Flagship store (卖场型旗舰店)
A flagship store (marketplace) is a flagship store that operates on various brands using a service type trademark.
For flagship and specialty stores, the security deposit is 100,000 yuan if you have a TM trademark or 50,000 yuan if you have an R trademark. For franchise stores, the security deposit is 150,000 yuan with the TM trademark and 100,000 yuan with the R trademark.
The annual fee is also different for the different product categories of the merchant. Generally, there are two tiers, 30,000 yuan per year and 60,000 yuan per year. Commission (software fees) is paid following a certain percentage of your sales and differs from different product categories. You can see the details on Tmall’s merchant’s page.