Royal Mail automates Tmall registration

Royal Mail has launched an automated registration tool to improve market entry to China for British brands.

The automated online registration tool lowers the cost of entering the Chinese market for British companies, while launching on Royal Mail's marketplace also combats the challenges around cultural differences and language barriers.

According to Royal Mail research, China is the largest overseas consumer of British products online, with 25% of overseas shoppers purchasing goods from the UK. Meanwhile, 90% of Chinese shoppers use marketplaces to shop online.

The development of Tmall is part of the Royal Mail’s strategy to pursue growth areas of the UK and international markets.

"There’s no doubt that a growing number of Chinese middle class consumers are being wooed by the quality associated with British brands," said Helen Wylde, director of sales and marketing at Parcelforce Worldwide. "Through the Royal Mail Tmall Global Storefront, we’re able to offer British manufacturers and retailers fast and easy access to a market that is often very difficult for foreign companies to enter."

Royal Mail unveiled its Tmall website a year ago and 35 British brands now trade into China through the international storefront. Royal Mail said its Tmall site is very popular with the Chinese because of its British reputation and the 35 UK companies have access to around 650 million of China's population who regularly shop online.

Waitrose, along with self-warming baby bottle manufacturer, Yoomi, and luxury jeweller, Monica Vinader, all trade on Royal Mail's Tmall website.

"Royal Mail’s Tmall Global storefront provided an easy, low cost entry solution to the huge opportunity that China has to offer, said Dr Jim Shaikh, CEO of Yoomi. "China is a very complex retail environment and to be able to access the market in a low-risk and low-cost manner is priceless."

Shaikh described the ease of launching into China with Royal Mail, saying Yoomi's product descriptions were translated, while its marketing was also taken care of, orders would be processed automatically and a local team would deal with customer enquiries.  

Last year, Sainsbury's started selling premium-branded products in China using Alibaba’s Tmall website. The grocer chose to sell a number of ambient products to the Chinese online market, including its So Organic and Taste the Difference ranges.

Meanwhile, online retailer Asos opted to close down its local Chinese website earlier this year, after failing to gain traction in an increasingly competitive Asian market.