Retail in Asia

In Trends

Tmall to move divisions to Shanghai, China


As part of its push to improve the customer experience, Alibaba Group’s B2C online marketplace Tmall revealed plans to dispatch key teams to a new Shanghai hub, offering the company closer proximity to its brand partners.

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Tmall’s beauty and sports and outdoors departments and its consumer-operations unit will be among the first to move to China’s commercial capital from Alibaba’s Hangzhou headquarters.

It will also set up local operations teams across nearly 20 Chinese cities this year. These teams will provide support and free e-commerce training to merchants.

“The launch of our Shanghai hub marks a new beginning. Our staff will be able to make more frequent visits to clients and help solve their problems then and there,” said Tmall Vice President Yang Guang, who oversees the new hub.

The move comes as Alibaba announced a series of measures to cut down costs and lower entry barriers for merchants and sellers looking to join its platforms.

In a closed-door event with merchants, President of Tmall and Taobao Jiang Fan said the priority this year will be to improve the customer experience further and create a better marketplace environment for merchants.

Part of this effort includes offering merchant services for free or at lower fees than before. The company will also continue to innovate new technologies and tools to help drive brands’ digital transformations, Jiang added.

He said the platform will open up more digital analytics to help drive brand stickiness and conversion rates. It will also help brands fully integrate their storefronts with livestreaming to build next-generation stores on Tmall.

Meanwhile, for larger companies with a portfolio of brands on the platform, Tmall will also introduce new tailored solutions aimed at integrating each of their sub-brands’ stores, analytics and membership systems.

Tmall said customer-loyalty programs have been taking off, with more than 20 brands gaining over 10 million members. Tmall expects the number of brands to achieve that milestone to double on the platform.

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To improve the experience for shoppers, Tmall has also been taking steps to simplify and streamline its marketing campaigns and boosting the delivery experience.

“Only through exceptional customer experiences can we drive long-term growth for merchants,” Jiang said.