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Alibaba looks to woo more European brands with English marketplace portal

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Alibaba’s marketplace Tmall is hoping to win more international brands with the introduction of an English language website.

The portal aims to streamline the onboarding process for international brands looking to sell into China, as well as offer information about Tmall.

Tmall is encouraging brands to make their pitch directly to Tmall by filling out a questionnaire about their business. Tmall then contacts successful brands within 72 hours to discuss onboarding. This marks a new strategy for the marketplace, which previously would identify brands that it thinks will be successful and help them to launch over several months.

Yi Qian, deputy general manager of Tmall Global, said: “Tmall Global’s mission is to connect high-quality international brands across the globe with Chinese consumers.

“We believe the launch of this English-language website will expedite the process for brands and merchants to introduce their products to Chinese consumers.”

“In the past, our business-development team often had to meet potential merchants at trade shows or through personal introductions,” Yi said. “With the website, merchants can contact us directly and the request will go to one of our team members, who are standing by to answer their questions.”

According to Alibaba, 2018 saw Tmall stores double. Last month H&M subsidiary & Other Stories announced plans for a Tmall store. Starting this autumn the womenswear brand & Other Stories will sell its range of clothing, shoes, and accessories through the site.

This follows the previous launch of three other H&M brands on Tmall, including the flagship H&M brand, H&M Home and label Monki.

UPDATE: Tmall announced on 2 July that it was launching a more personalised format for its online marketplace, called Flagship Store 2.0. This will place likely purchases on a store’s first page, with algorithms also finding the best prices available for consumers through discounts.

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