Tmall is China’s leading B2C online e-commerce site, accounting for almost 65% of all transactions in the sector.
And in 2020, the platform showed no signs of slowing down, scoring a GMV of over $500 million US dollars.
That’s why, today, we want to help you take advantage of this hugely lucrative platform, and break down how you can create a Tmall digital marketing strategy that delivers.
But first… let’s cover the basics
If you haven’t already launched a Tmall store, check out our guide on setting up a store on Tmall Global. It covers everything you need to know about getting started on Tmall’s sister site for international businesses like yours.
The process can take around 90 days, and requires a wide range of legal documentation, financial information, and contract-signing.
Get in touch with AdChina.io if you need a helping hand.
How to drive traffic to your Tmall store
Once you’re up-and-running, there are two routes to drive traffic to your Tmall store.
Driving on-platform traffic to your Tmall store
First, let’s take a look at the advertising options available on Tmall itself.
Keyword ads on Tmall appear on the platform’s results page when a user has searched for a targeted keyword. They’re served according to a competitive bidding system, and are managed through Tmall’s Zhitongche tool — an equivalent to Google Adwords.
Zhitongche will let you target a specific keyword searched by a specific group of users, based on a wide range of criteria. The ads themselves will include a product image, and a direct link to purchase it from the advertiser’s store.
Super recommendation ads
Super recommendation ads appear on the home and checkout page, led by an algorithm that pushes relevant products to Tmall users based on their in-app behavior.
They include a picture of a specific product that matches a user’s key interests, and a direct ‘add to cart’ link to buy the product.
These are ideal for targeting new consumers who might not be aware of your brand, and wouldn’t organically search for it themselves.
A banner ad appears at the top of the Tmall homepage, and is usually a video or image that can be linked directly to your store or product page. It’s the most expensive ad format on the site, but offers the widest potential for reaching the biggest audience.
Juhuasuan is an integrated, flash-sale platform in Tmall. It offers limited-time discounts that can’t be accessed anywhere else, encouraging users to act fast before it’s too late.
The platform is a great way to build a profile in China, especially in the lower-tiered cities, which are very responsive to discount marketing.
Juhuasuan ads appear on the homepage of Tmall, and redirect users to a specific product page within the flash-sale channel.
In addition to paid-for Tmall advertising, it’s also important to pay attention to SEO on the platform, too.
Because Tmall is essentially a search engine for products.
So, optimizing your store to that search engine is an absolute must.
This will include…
- Writing keyword-rich product descriptions and names
- Including keywords in your store biography and name
- Uploading high-quality images
- Limiting refund requests
- Consistently converting traffic
- Encouraging user reviews
- Securing repeat customers
How well you meet each of these requirements (and others) will influence how generously Tmall ranks your store and products in its search results.
Driving external traffic to your Tmall store
Next, here’s how you can use other platforms in China as part of your Tmall digital marketing strategy.
Investing in Tmall advertising on China’s biggest channels
There are a whole host of powerful and hugely-populated platforms in China that could be used to drive traffic to your Tmall store. Here are a few of our favorites:
Advertising on Weibo
Weibo is China’s third-largest social media platform, and boasts over 520 million active monthly users. It’s also a very affordable advertising channel, making it ideal for any Tmall digital marketing strategy where margins are tight.
Available ad types include:
- Fan headlines that appear at the top of a user’s personal timeline for 24 hours. These appear for your existing followers on Weibo, as well as their personal connections.
- Fan tunnels that appear just as fan headlines do, but are targeted at all Weibo users — not just an account’s existing base. These are perfect for brands that do not have a large presence on Weibo but want to benefit from its huge audience.
- Display ads that appear in various placements on Weibo, including in the ‘discover’ section, on the homepage, and within individual feeds.
Check out our guide on advertising on Weibo for more information.
Advertising on Douyin
With over 600 million daily active users, Douyin (or TikTok) is the place to be for Tmall advertising — especially for brands targeting young women.
Douyin offers a wide range of paid-for ad solutions, such as:
- Open screen ads that appear every time a user opens Douyin. These fill the screen, and guarantee a huge impact with a static visual poster or dynamic video that lasts five seconds.
- In-feed ads that seamlessly integrate into a user’s daily feed. Film these natively and in the style of popular Douyin content, and your product ad could generate great results.
- Sticker ads in the form of custom branded stickers that users can add to their Douyin videos. Top tip: create stickers that not only reflect your brand, but also tap into the trends of Douyin.
- Branded hashtags that are promoted to the top of a user’s daily feed to encourage viral content creation and engagement around your Tmall store.
Learn more about advertising on Douyin in our beginner’s guide.
Advertising on Baidu
Baidu is China’s answer to Google, and is one of the best channels to make sure your target customers discover your Tmall store, first, in their buyer journey.
Available ad types on Baidu include:
- PPC search ads are a great way to get your Tmall store in front of users when they search for specific product terms you sell.
- Baidu display ads appear across Baidu’s network of websites that’ll target users who are visiting similar online stores to your Tmall store.
- Brand zone ads offer a powerful way to dominate a specific search term, as they let only one brand at a time appear for a particular keyword. These ads include your logo, a direct link to your store, and images/videos to draw users in.
Our complete guide on Baidu advertising delves into these options in more detail.
Teaming up with KOLs
Key Opinion Leaders — the influencers of Chinese social media — offer a powerful way to market your Tmall store to an instantly accessible and trusting audience.
Sign up for Tmall’s Affiliate Marketing scheme, and you can provide KOLs with a link to your store that’ll earn them a 3% commission fee every time someone purchases from it.
This is a great way of building a performance-based relationship with KOLs that is scalable and doesn’t break the bank.
Read our guide on building a KOL marketing strategy for our top tips on how to get started.
Ready to start building a Tmall digital marketing strategy that delivers?
Book your free AdChina.io demo today to discover how our all-in-one advertising platform can help you market your Tmall store on each of the biggest channels in China, without all the hassle.