Alibaba Group’s cross-border e-commerce platform Tmall is synonymous with connecting foreign brands with Chinese buyers. And it’s never been more pertinent. China’s middle class is booming, incomes are rising and more Chinese consumers are shopping than ever before.
More specifically, there’s a strong demand for high quality Australian products in China. And Australian firms are making the most of this connection.
According to a recent Tmall report, the most popular Australian product categories in China are supplements such as vitamins, as well as dairy, honey, food, skincare and cosmetics, and maternity and baby products such as formula.
And it’s a big business. In 2016, total online retail sales in China hit 5,155.6 billion yuan, up 26.2% compared to 2015, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
Here are four Australian brands making a splash on the Tmall circuit right now.
Chemist Warehouse announced in 2015 that it plans to directly target the burgeoning demand for Australian complementary medicines in China via Tmall. And it did, projecting $88 million in sales of cosmetics, supplements and skincare in 2016.
Woolworths set up shop on Tmall last year, in a bid to tap the growing consumer demand for Australian food and grocery products. The supermarket used eCargo to create a Woolworths store and today sells around 80 products via Tmall including Woolworths’ Select and Woolworths Gold milk powder, Swisse vitamins and Devondale milk powder.
Adore Beauty launched on Tmall in April 2016. It offers 50 products, including six Australian brands currently not available in China such Lanolips, Alpha-H, Eleven, Asap, Evo and Skinstitut. Adore Beauty is facing more favourable terms in 2017, thanks to China’s recent relaxing on cosmetic imports. The tax rate for purchases above 100 yuan is now 32.9%, compared to 50% previously.
Blackmores has been leading the push of Aussie vitamin makers into China, recording around $130 million in China sales in the first half of the financial year in 2016. In November, the supplements giant was one of the best performing Australian brands during Alibaba’s 11.11 Singles Day in 2016, China’s biggest e-commerce shopping event.