To start out in China, you have to know that Chinese ecommerce is dominated by Alibaba–which runs Tmall, Tmall Global and Taobao. Tmall Global is the cross-border version of the marketplace and attracts affluent consumers who are most interested in buying Western products.
In this blog, we’ll take you through some of the key questions brands ask about launching in China, from considering whether your brand is right for the marketplace, to navigating zero brand awareness in China, and finally understanding the annual Tmall trading cadence for a global consumer brand.
While launching in new markets such as China may seem an attractive option for brands looking to grow their international presence, it is important to determine whether your brand is right for Tmall Global. Here are three things we recommend brands consider as part of their risk and reward analysis prior to launch:
Highly niche subcategories may mean less competition, but the market opportunity may also be limited. Brands should analyze the products that are selling well in their category to understand why customers prefer them. This information can help a brand establish which products to sell to achieve fair share on the new marketplace.
Brands should carry out thorough searches on popular Chinese social media platforms such as Taobao and Baidu to assess how much brand awareness there is for your brand currently. It may also be a good idea to learn how much awareness competitors have, so you have a better idea what kind of race you are getting into.
A brand entering China on Tmall with low brand awareness will need to spend up to 30% of its projected sales on marketing; with a mix of about 10% on Tmall marketing and up to 20% on other channels.
Given that Tmall only wants to work with brands that already have awareness in the market, building your brand awareness pre-launch is crucial for success. Additionally, launching on Tmall when the brand has low brand awareness in China is difficult and costly.
Being from the states, and even having the pedigree of the brand being manufactured in the West is no longer enough to achieve sales. Strong local brands as well as established Western peers will provide tough competition, and significant investment in Chinese social media platforms and the use of KOL marketing can help to build trust amongst shoppers.
To deliver profitable promotions that tempt existing and new customers, you must understand the trading cadence in China, and how it substantially differs from that of the West. There are several important promotional trading periods, shown below, which should be used to test promotions and also to establish credibility with customers and Tmall.
The main promotional periods earlier in the year will determine whether you are invited to participate in Tmall’s official Double 11 activity. Performance in 618 Festival in June is the biggest indicator of success for Double 11. You should not consider each promotional event in your calendar in isolation. Chinese consumers expect to see the biggest discounts and special offers for Double 11, so ensure you keep your best offers for that time.
Watch our on-demand webinar, where we discuss key components to prepare for branching into the China market, launching onto Tmall, marketing techniques on both Tmall and other external drivers, trading and marketing KPIs, and finding the right trade partner.
Pattern is a Tmall 5* Trade Partner, and provides full-service support on everything from market entry strategy, Tmall Flagship Store set-up and the ongoing operation, to the marketing and trading of your Tmall store.
We also act as a Trade Partner for JD.com, WeChat, Pinduoduo and Koala. For brands looking for a wider presence across Asia Pacific, we can support your launch on Lazada, Coupang, Shopee and Amazon.jp.
Get in touch now to discuss how we could support your Tmall sales or help solve other ecommerce and marketplace challenges that you face.
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If you’re in the global ecommerce space, you are most likely aware of Amazon, and probably selling your products on the marketplace. With over $470 billion in sales in 2021 alone, Amazon stands as the third largest company in the world based on revenue. The ecommerce giant is a household name in the U.S. and working hard to grow its market share across five continents worldwide.
Having your products available on Amazon and being competitive there, though, are definitely two different things. If you want to really succeed on Amazon, you’ll need specialized insight into how Amazon works and how to make it work for you. So, for many brands, it’s a great idea to work with an Amazon Search Engine Optimization (SEO) agency.
At Pattern, Amazon SEO optimization service is one of our key competencies. We understand that technology, data-driven insights and expertise are the most important tools brands can leverage to win top listing spots on digital marketplaces. With expert teams and years of experience, we help brands conquer the Profitability Death Spiral as they compete with other products and sellers online. We offer Amazon SEO agency services as a core solution to brands that need more resources to get ahead.
An Amazon SEO agency serves brands by improving their products’ rank and listing performance on Amazon. They make strategic decisions about ad spending and placement that lead to higher traffic, conversions, and revenue for ecommerce brands.
A great Amazon SEO Agency partner will:
Unfortunately, many Amazon SEO agencies profit in unfair ways from your brands’ perceived success based on the ROAS numbers they provide. This is done through including branded search terms in ROAS reports, which naturally skew listing performance.
Let’s say, for instance, your brand is called “Annie’s” and you sell lollipops. Your brand has a very high likelihood of winning the top listing spots on Amazon for lollipop search terms that are paired with “Annie’s,” your brand name. So, SEO agencies will spend your ad money on those terms and report a very high ROAS.
To avoid scenarios like these, it’s best to look for an agency that either calculates their profits on metrics other than your ROAS scores or weighs branded search terms differently in the performance metrics reports. Regardless of your Amazon SEO agency’s cost structure, you should align onbranded search terms before committing to a scope of work.
A great indicator of a high-quality Amazon SEO agency is the level of insight they can provide into your competitors’ listing positioning and how it compares to yours. Data fanaticism is so important at Pattern that we’ve developed proprietary technology to display this exact information with precise detail for every brand we work with. In fact, you can find our free version here to see how you compare to some of your top competitors based on ASIN.
It’s certainly possible to improve your Amazon search performance with blind spending strategies. But a truly great solution will help you to know where your dollars are at their most powerful and competitive.
Amazon’s A10 algorithm prioritizes customer satisfaction—it wants to show consumers the best products that align with their search intent to improve conversions and sales. So, the best way to gain momentum on Amazon is to work on incremental wins.
Improving your performance on more obscure search terms that align with your customers’ search intent is a great way to increase ROAS for the long term. A10 will reward your success with better rankings on higher-volume search terms and the virtuous cycle can help you conquer your most-coveted listing spots. And the best part? This process of gaining momentum, if done right, will naturally decrease your ad spend over time as Amazon recognizes your value and works with you to keep your products at the top of consumers’ search results.
As an Amazon SEO specialist, Pattern knows how to help your brand win better success for long-term profitability on Amazon. With our data-driven tools and brilliant teams of ecommerce experts, we help brands with listing management, content optimization, Amazon ad strategies, and more.
Contact us to learn more about our SEO optimization services.