ALIBABA’S B2C e-commerce platform, Tmall, yesterday launched its Tmall Discovery campaign to bring Thai bottled bird’s-nest to the Chinese market.
The move is a part of Alibaba’s ongoing commitment to enhance the visibility of Thai products on its platform to promote cross-border sales to China, said William Zhao, senior director of Asia Business Development, Tmall Group.
He said the healthcare supplement was the second most popular category on Tmall. Bird’s nest must pass Tmall Global bird’s nest standards, which have been jointly introduced by Tmall Gobal and key brand partners with support from the Edible Bird’s Nest Market Committee of China Agricultural Wholesale Market Association.
Initially, three bottled bird’s nest brands from Thailand – Brand’s, Ninest, and Twin Lotus – will join the three-day Tmall Discovery.
Alan Ao, director of Tmall Marketing, said that Tmall Discovery is a series of promotional campaigns by Tmall to help Chinese consumers reach their products around the world. The campaign this time is the first one with spotlight on products from Thailand.
Tmall is the leading cross-border B2C platform in China, offering more than 3,700 product categories from 18,000 international brands from 74 countries. Tmall is the biggest B2C e-commerce player in China with over 56 per cent market share.
There are huge opportunities in the Chinese market. By 2020, China’s online retail market is expected to be 33 per cent of China’s overall retail market. About 40 per cent of online consumers in China prefer to buy foreign/imported products. By 2017, China had become the world’s largest retail market with US$5.6 trillion sales.
There are 731 million Internet users in China compared to 739 million in the EU and 326 million in the US. As of June 2018, Alibaba had around 634 million mobile monthly active users.
Zhao added that Thai cosmetic Mistine had been successful after joining Tmall in August 2016 and had now become one of the top five cosmetics brands on Tmall Global.
“China’s economy is opening up to foreign brands. In the next five years, China is expecting to import products and services valued at more than $10 trillion,” said Zhao.
Gen Saito, chief executive officer of Brand’s Suntory International, producer of Brand’s, said that China was a huge market. He said the company expects to export bottled bird’s nest to China, both online and offline, worth up to Bt1 billion in the next five years. Currently, China’s bird’s nest market is worth around Bt2.5 billion.
“We have collaborated with Tmall since May this year when we opened the flagship store on Tmall. Our sales have grown 20 per cent every month,” said Saito.
However, Saito said, Thailand is a very big market for Brand’s and it is the hub of production and sales.
Niwat Sutemechaikul, the vice minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, said that China is the largest market for exporting Thai bottled bird’s nest worth around Bt110 million. However, China’s total imported bird’s nest products from around the world were worth about Bt96 billion. There is a lot of room for bird’s nest products from Thailand. However, apart from bird’s nest, the government plans to bring more health supplements from OTOP to sell on Tmall in the future.