TAOBAO, TMALL or WECHAT, which one is best for new sellers in China?
As a seller entering a new market in a new country with so many online shops, it is very difficult to know where you should start.
Let’s take a look at three of the major Chinese online selling platforms.
Certainly, Wechat has had a lot of hype, it is super convenient from the customer’s point of view and very easy to use. Most mobile users in China use the Wechat app and if you can build your own following this is a great selling tool. However, the main drawback for new sellers is that you will need to build that customer base. Doing this is not easy and it can be very expensive to build and maintain.
OUR OPINION: If you have products, such as food, that people keep coming back regularly and are likely to share with their friends, this is a great place to sell. But you need deep pockets as this could also become a money pit trying to maintain and convert your following.
Those wishing to be sure they are buying from officially licensed distributors or from the original maker will know they are generally safe using this platform. Sellers must provide proof that they are licensed vendors and need to pay a hefty deposit against which they can be fined for infractions. The customer base is basically Taobao plus consumers who wish to use only Tmall. Electronic items are often bought on Tmall. Find out more about how to open an online shop on Tmall Global.
OUR OPINION: Taobao has undergone a big clean up with selling counterfeit items, but there are still some below par products available. If your product requires a high degree of trust where the buyer wants to be assured of quality and willing to pay a little extra, Tmall may be the place to sell, however, be prepared for significant start-up costs.
This is still the major player for Chinese online shopping. Your product can be instantly seen by hundreds of millions of shoppers. For sellers it has low start-up costs and the need to maintain your own customer base is not a concern.
OUR OPINION: If you want to get started in e-commerce in China then Taobao is the place to go. Taobao has relatively low start-up costs and with some initial input and effective marketing, sellers can achieve high sales volumes. Once you have this base you can expand to both Tmall and Wechat shops. Ultimately we believe that Taobao is the most cost and time effective way to sell your products online in China.