Burberry opened a storefront on Tmall today, joining Apple, RayBan, Clinique, Asos and more than 2,000 foreign brands across multiple different industries. Tmall’s Sina Weibo account first announced the launch with a contest asking fans to repost the news for a chance to win tickets to the Burberry store opening event “London in Shanghai.”
So far, the venture is going well. 1,500 fans reposted the news Burberry sold a 5,000 RMB purse within a few hours of opening.
Tmall accounts for 45% of China’s online business-to-consumer retail sales, making the platform impossible to ignore. There are 70,000 brands and 50,000 third-party merchants on Tmall, but many prestige brands have avoided the site due to gray market retailers and competition for lower prices.
However, our Digital IQ Index: Beauty | China finds that participating on Tmall with tactics such as opening up storefronts does more good than harm. Tmall stores are highly customizable, allowing brands to offer live chats with Beauty experts, how-to videos and user reviews. Customers often become fans of brands to receive real-time promotional content, which can in turn lead them to buy directly from the brand.
Despite its shortcomings, Tmall is one of the best marketplaces available to foreign brands in China. At the very least, it provides direct access to 500 million users, an audience Burberry has decided to tap.