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How your Tmall Flagship Store Helps Recruit and Retain Shoppers

Having 100 million active shoppers on the platform, Tmall Global, the cross-border section of China’s largest online marketplace, is filled with abundant opportunities but also stiff competition. To thrive there, brands need to excel in varying aspects; from product content and search engine optimisation, to customer services and shipping timeframes.

To understand and create benchmarks for best practices on Tmall Global, we analysed 40 consumer brands selling on the platform from the Baby, Beauty, and Vitamins & Supplements categories. The brands were assessed against a set of criteria that measures how well their Tmall flagship store and top three product listings performed.

In this blog, we will explain how your Tmall Flagship store, the key touchpoint for consumers shopping for your brand on the marketplace, can be refined to help with customer recruitment and retention.

DSR score: an official benchmark for your brand

Your Tmall Flagship store is assessed by the DSR (Detailed Seller Rating) score, which Tmall uses to inform consumers’ purchase decisions. The DSR score is made up of three key elements of the shopping experience: the quality of product content, logistics proposition and customer service levels. We have a blog post that explains the DSR score in detail.

Our research found that 65% of the brands reviewed had an overall DSR score of 4.9 or above out of 5, while none of the rest scored lower than 4.0. This result suggests that a score greater than 4.9 is necessary for a brand to stand out in the marketplace.

Among the three DSR elements, we see larger room for improvement on customers service levels and the quality of product content, as only 60% and 65% of the brands scored 4.9 or above out of 5 in these two aspects respectively. 82.5% of the brands scored 4.9 or above on logistics proposition.

Followers as your brand’s asset

Tmall has incorporated social shopping elements into its platform that your brand should capitalise on to recruit and retain customers.

The more followers your store acquires, the more likely it will be that your store features on Tmall Global’s homepage. Your followers will also be notified of special promotions, livestreaming, new product launches, etc., through the marketplace’s on-platform marketing channels.

Pattern considers a Tmall Flagship store with 100,000 followers or more as having achieved a respectable level of engagement. Our research found that 42.5% of the 40 brands achieved this standard – these brands had 448,000 followers on average, and two of them even went beyond one million fans. It shows that your Flagship store needs a considerable fan base to keep up with the competition in the marketplace.

Good reviews matter for conversion

The Chinese online shopper is one of the most discerning and savvy consumer groups in the world, so having negative reviews on your brand’s Tmall Flagship store is probably inevitable - only one brand in this research managed to avoid any negative reviews in the top reviews section for its Flagship store.

However, good reviews are still key to being seen as a reputable brand on Tmall Global. Chinese shoppers rely on customer reviews, particularly when they have not heard of the brand before, making them key for increasing conversion rates.

Ensuring that the majority of reviews for both your store, and individual products, are positive will increase conversion rates for your store. When acquisition marketing costs can be extremely high in China, it is important to maximise the results achieved from investment to drive new potential customers to your Tmall Flagship store.

How Pattern can Help

The brands in the research were in general doing a good job of representing themselves on Tmall Global, and so they scored highly against our benchmark criteria. For brands where selling cross-border to China is strategically important to their Asian or global business, we believe that it is crucial to deliver a best practice experience through their Tmall Flagship store in order to even maintain market share, let alone grow it.

For this reason, we take a data-driven approach to trading the brands we work with on Tmall Global, leveraging insight to support strategic and tactical decision-making at every stage of their Tmall journey.

We partner with brands through a unique model where we buy our partners’ stock and sell it for them on online marketplaces, such as Tmall,, Lazada, Amazon, Shopee, Coupang and eBay. As one of the top 5% of authorised Tmall Trade Partners, we provide our brand partners with a comprehensive service that helps them protect their brand in China while driving profitable growth.

Contact us to learn more about how Pattern can help your brand grow on Tmall Global.