Tmall is a huge marketplace. It has thousands of vendors, in nearly any category of goods you would like to sell as a vendor. With millions of buyers from around the world (namely in China), it is important to set out the right strategy and to think outside of the box in order to ensure you do stand out as a vendor. The more you do to differentiate yourself, especially from the similar companies that sell similar products through their store, the easier it is going to be to realize the jump in profits and the easier it is going to be to ensure you are reaching the sales totals you would like to reach
Do It Differently
If competitors are simply laying out the items for sale on their page and have the prices listed, find a way to set your marketplace storefront apart. Add different descriptions, add images of how they can use the merchandise or find different uses for different products you are selling. By simply differentiating your storefront, by adding a different color or adding different content that other merchants do not include, you are going to stand out. Furthermore, you have to find a way to showcase your product is different than the rest. So, make your shop different, find ways to showcase what other merchants don’t promote and find ways to create a grand front so buyers will want to do business with you.
Solve a Problem
If there is a fear in your niche or if there is a potential issue with certain items you sell, then show your buyers how you can resolve that issue, in a way your competitors can’t. Buyers want to see solutions, they want to know the item they are going to buy won’t falter or fail. So, if it is an electronic good with a short lifespan and they fear it will die in a few years, then offer them an extended warranty. Give them a solution that your competitors do not offer, and show them you are the only merchant that has the answer to the problem that is out there. Doing this will build a level of trust and will allow you to attain more sales, which your competitors are not going to be able to do in the market they are trying to sell to.
Build Your Niche
You can develop your own niche; even in a market where there are several sellers, you can build your own little niche. For example, if you are a merchant of kitchen appliances and there are hundreds of other merchants, what can you do to differentiate and to build a specific niche? You can find the best knives, you can sell the best nonstick pans or you can find another specific item in the appliance section which has not been tapped in to.
Furthermore, find a way to show the buyers on the site you are the only vendor in the market that can fit that niche and can offer them the goods which the competitors on Tmall can’t offer. If you find a small niche within a small group that no other merchant can sell to, even if it is not a larger audience, you are going to be the only vendor in it; you are bound to make the sales to the audience that you are targeting.
Ask Yourself WHY?
If you want to sell on Tmall, then this is the main question that you should answer. You have to tell buyers why they should buy from you as opposed to another merchant in the same market. Do you offer the best shipping terms? Are you going to give them an extended warranty no other merchant will? Do you offer free shipping, or will you replace an item if the customer is not happy? Or, are you simply going to provide the best customer service that they can’t turn to a competitor?
No matter which of these questions you answer or how you show the buyer you are the best, you have to give them a reason to do business with you. If the buyer can get the same thing from your business as they can from company B for a lower price, why would they buy from you? You have to show them that even if you charge more, even if you have less items in stock and even if it takes longer for you to ship the item, they should do business with you.
No matter what it is that you can offer, you have to show them you are the best in the market, you have to show them you are the ultimate seller in the niche and you have to show buyers they can’t get what you are offering through another other merchant on Tmall.
If you aren’t social, then you can’t expect to get very far as a merchant on Tmall today. As discussed in the previous chapter, social media is critical and the more sites and platforms you are on, the easier it is going to be for you to sell. You can use social media to post video, you can share new images or you can simply promote a sale you are going to hold as a business. The more you share, the more often you share and the more you keep your buyers in the loop, the easier it is going to be for them to do business with you.
Social media is just what the name implies—social. If your buyers ask questions, if they want to interact or if they want to know anything, you have to answer them and you have to interact with them. You have to make them think and feel like you care about them; if you are interacting often and if you keep your customer in the loop, they are going to feel more comfortable in doing business with you and they will want to continue to do business with you in the future as well.
Take the Pie
The image above shows how you have to overtake the market and how you have to become the only merchant they will want to shop with. When it comes to the market share, you don’t want a small share of the pie, you want to be the biggest piece of the pie. So, you have to find a way to make yourself larger, to make yourself stand out and to make your audience want to do business with you. If you only give them one choice, they are only going to be able to buy from you.
Show customers that you are not the only and truly the best piece of the pie, and this will give them more incentive to do business with you, as opposed to doing it with other businesses that are in the same niche or are trying to sell similar products through the Tmall site as your online shop is selling.
Build a List and Check It Constantly
Your email list is your best friend as an online merchant. You want to ask your buyers to join your email list; but, you have to offer them some sort of value if they do choose to join your email list. So, you want to send them promos, you want to give them information about the deals or savings you will offer and you have to find ways to keep them in the loop. You want to continually send out messages without inundating you buyer; you want them to feel as if they know what is going on, how they can save and when they can save, without them feeling as if you are over sending messages and simply trying to drown them in marketing materials.
You must also have to send out the right messages. Properly using your email list is not only going to allow you to reach out to as many people as possible, it is also going to give you an advantage when you are trying to get your product sold on the marketplace. You have to know what to send and when to send it, but you also have to know what to send and who to send it to. Make sure you build the list and that you have different categories of buyers so that you are only sending them the emails that are relevant and valuable to them.
The key to being the leader is to differentiate. If you offer the same exact shoes for sale, only offer one size for sale, and if you only target one customer type, how are you going to become a leader in the market that you are trying to sell in? There is no way to be a leader, and there is no way for you to outsell your competitors if you do not offer something new and different to your customer.
Like any other business, you have to find the best ways to make your company stand out and you have to make sure you show your customers that you are the only company that can give them exactly what they are looking for. If you are not unique enough, if you are not different enough and if you can’t give the buyer something that no other merchant can give them, you are never going to become the leader you want to be.
It is possible to excel on Tmall, it is possible to make huge profits and it is possible to become a leader in your niche, even if there are several other businesses that are in the same market as you are in. It is simply about making a name and giving your buyer a reason to buy from you, as opposed to going with your competitor when they are purchasing the product lines that you have for sale.