When selling on Tmall, it is important to choose your product line wisely. There are a number of products sold through the marketplace. From clothing, to shoes, to sunglasses, tires, health care products and more. But, what is right for you? Depending on the type of business you run, the type of consumer you want to target, how much of a profit you want to earn and how much you plan on selling annually, the answer is going to vary. Furthermore, depending on the commission rates you expect to pay, and the amount you have to spend on merchandise, the type of product line you are going to sell will vary. The factors below will help you decide on the merchandise being sold, who to target and what type of product to sell.

Who is Your Demographic?

Depending on your demographic, the type of product you will sell is going to vary. If you are trying to target a major demographic, regardless of age and gender, items such as shoes, clothing or specialty items are difficult to sell. On the flip side, kitchen appliances are items everyone needs. Items like computers and certain electronics, are also a good item to sell. So, consider your demographic and who you want to target to select the items to sell.

“Older” audiences tend to place more value on factors such as top name brands and price, rather than value or having the latest gadget. So, if you are targeting this niche this is a factor to consider.

Will Items be Difficult to Sell?

This question is another one to ask when deciding what goods to sell. As stated in the above chart, consumers want the top brand names, genuine goods and want to pay a low price for them. So, flagship companies, such as these below, are going to do well in the market.

alibaba book
It is important to understand not only that consumers want to buy these items, but also that they are willing to pay a premium for such goods. So, you have to make sure you are purchasing and reselling from a reputable merchant, and that you know how to target your consumer to ensure you will turn the highest profits. Selling specialty items, such as jewelry or custom made items will be far harder than attempting to sell goods which are sold by these, and other well-known manufacturers who have shops through the Tmall marketplace.

What Can You Sell?

As an open marketplace, consumers can purchase and merchants can sell nearly anything. Some items which are sold by mass merchants include:

• Clothing and shoes.
• Perfume and jewelry.
• Health supplies.
• Specialty sports gear.
• Team sports items.

Not only are such items in high demand, but the consumer wants to purchase these from manufacturers which are outside of China. What this means for you as a potential merchant is that you can make higher profits, if you choose to sell these items that are in high demand. Since many companies are selling these items, you have to position yourself as a leader, must use the right marketing tactics and have to employ the right strategy to ensure the highest sales and highest profits as an online merchant with Tmall.

What is Hard to Sell?

Specialty items are going to be difficult to push to the consumer base. If you manufacture small specialty items, or items that are not in high demand in other online marketplaces, how can you expect to sell them? Yes, there is a consumer that will buy such items; but, you are not going to sell these items in high volume. You will find that a very small niche, such as age 10 to 15, white female, 5’5” to 5’7” is a tight demographic to market to. If you can increase different factors in this demographic group, you will find it is far easier to sell, and that there is going to be a much larger consumer audience that will want to purchase these goods.

So, when you are deciding what to sell it is important to stay away from items that are in a very small niche, or very small demographic of the community. The more people who would want the items you are selling, and the larger the group you can market to, the easier it is going to be to sell through the online marketplace.

Consider items like specialty clothing, specialty fragrances, or foods, to be difficult items to sell. If there is not much demand through other online avenues, or if you notice such small, niche shops are not making high sales volumes, you can’t expect to sell these items online through Tmall either. Even though there are more than 500 million shoppers, it is hard to sell when the goods you are selling are in such a small niche of this community. The larger the group you can reach and the more people you can reach with your marketing tactics, the easier it is going to be to turn around and sell these items through your online store front through the marketplace.

How to Decide Your Products

Not all merchants are going to excel; even if you have products that are in high demand, if they are high in overhead costs, or if you don’t have sufficient space to store these items can you really sell them and earn a profit? The answer is likely to be no. So, there are some questions to answer when deciding what you should sell through the marketplace.

1. Do you have the ability to sell it?

First off, you have to make sure you can sell the item. Is it allowed in the terms of service, and do you have the means to deliver the goods to your consumer. If you promise quick shipping, can you deliver? Do you have sufficient storage space to keep the items you sell? These questions should be answered when you are deciding what type of good you are going to sell, and who you are going to market to when on Tmall.

2. Are you turning a profit?

Another question to answer is how much are you making. If you choose to sell shoes, and are purchasing each pair for $20 yet only selling them for $25, is this worth it? Plus, you pay the shipping costs, you have to pay storage for these products and you pay commission fees. At the end of the day you will lose profits, rather than earn. So, make sure you can find a great discount at wholesale, or can find the items you are selling for well below retail so you can turn around and make the highest profit margins possible. If you are just breaking even, or possibly losing on the item, you shouldn’t sell it.

3. Can you maintain it?

If you have exceptionally high demand and are always late shipping items, or don’t have it in stock, can you really sell the items? As a merchant, you must have items in stock and must deliver on time. Otherwise, consumers will turn to another merchant and will not purchase from you. It is important to sell items you can continue to receive in stock, can deliver on time and can send to your consumer when they order it.

4. Can you compete?

Another question to ask is if you can compete. If you want to sell specialty shoes and try to outperform big companies like Nike or Reebok, how good are you going to do? It is highly likely you will struggle. So, you have to consider if you can enter the C2C market, if you are going to be able to keep up with the consumer demand and how much you are going to be able to earn, especially with such big monsters in these industries.

There is such a large base of merchants, you have to know what you are doing prior to entering the market. It is important to know what you are doing, how to sell and how to set yourself apart. Not only will this allow you to succeed as a merchant, it is also going to be the easiest way to ensure you are turning the highest profits possible when you are selling at Tmall.

Is B2C Right for You?

As a B2C marketplace, you have to know how to penetrate the market. With many large companies on the site, Tmall not only sells goods which are sold by some of the most well-known manufacturers in the world, but also some of the companies that produce a majority of the goods which are sold in the US and worldwide. It is important to choose your products wisely as a business entering this marketplace. Not only will the right product make you or break you, it will also allow you to earn the highest profit margin possible on the site.

Due to the fact that there are potentially 500 million buyers, it is not going to be hard to find people who will find what you are selling—no matter what it may be, or how limited the niche audience may be. But, you have to properly put your business on the site, you have to find the right niche consumer and you have to properly market the items you are going to be selling to ensure you do earn the highest profit margins possible.

Properly targeting your consumer audience, and choosing the right products to sell on the site, are both integral parts to your success online, and to earning the highest profit margins possible. For these reasons, if you are a merchant and would like to enter the Tmall marketplace, you have to know how to penetrate the market. From setting up your market and store front, to properly setting the items for sale on your site, to reaching out to and marketing to the consumer that you would like to sell to when you are on the site.
Knowing who your niche is, how to sell to them and that there is a demand for what you are selling are a few of the major points of contention to keep in mind as you are setting up your online shop. Since there is a great deal of competition, when setting up your store front these are the factors to consider as a manager or as an individual who would like to sell on the site. The right product will go a long way, but profits are only going to ensue when you are selling to the right audience and targeting the right niche through the marketplace.