Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba claims that monthly sales at its Tmall Global surged more than 10-fold in nine months. The Hangzhou-based company launched Tmall Global platform in February 2014 to give international merchants access to the mainland Chinese market. The company’s report comes just a week after The Wall Street Journal claimed that Tmall Global failed to help international retailers make inroads into the Chinese market.
Alibaba didn’t specify the sales figures
Alibaba told Global Times in a statement that monthly sales volume of Tmall Global had increased over 1,000% from February to November. The e-commerce giant didn’t specify the sales figures. It’s the first time Alibaba has revealed the performance of Tmall Global. The company said that over 5,400 brands from 25 countries had opened stores on the platform.
Alibaba said sales of more than 30 international retailers including Nature’s Bounty, Costco and Kirindo, had surpassed 10 million yuan ($1.6 million). Costco said on Dec.29 that it sold $3.5 million worth of merchandise on Singles’ Day (Nov.11) through Tmall Global. The U.S. retailer opened its Tmall Global store on Oct.12.
Alibaba further disclosed that five international merchants had achieved sales of over 10 million yuan on Singles’ Day, and over 100 overseas merchants registered sales of one million yuan. However, these figures are far less impressive than that of mainland Tmall retailers. For instance, smartphone maker Xiaomi generated 1.56 billion yuan in sales for Singles’ Day.
Understand the shopping pattern of Chinese consumers
The WSJ report claimed that more than 70% of Tmall Global stores were “doing almost no volume.” IT consultancy Analysys International analyst Wang Xiaoxing argues that most overseas merchants don’t understand the online shopping patterns of Chinese consumers. They sell mostly mid- and high-range products. They don’t offer as much discount as mainland retailers.
Alibaba said it had convinced customs authorities in many cities like Shanghai, Hangzhou and Ningbo to speed up the clearance process so that goods from overseas merchants could be delivered to customers within five working days.
Alibaba shares inched up 0.10% to $105.86 in pre-market trading Wednesday.