Royal Mail plans to help UK retailers sell on China’s Tmall

March 10, 2015 11:51 AM

Royal Mail Group, the United Kingdom’s postal service, plans to open a store this month on Alibaba’s Tmall Global marketplace.

The Royal Mail store on Tmall will sell distinctive British products from companies including bicycle brand Brompton, the company says.

Royal Mail says this store will make it easier for UK companies to sell to Chinese online shoppers, because Royal Mail will manage such tasks as promotion on Chinese e-commerce sites, local customer support, clearing customs and shipping.

“Online shopping and the connection it facilitates between retailers and consumers is a key channel to develop sustainable trade between China and Britain and we are excited at the prospect of offering U.K. companies a new and streamlined way to increase the accessibility of their products to Chinese consumers,” Royal Mail CEO Moya Greene said in a statement.

The announcement deepens a developing connection between British brands and Chinese online shoppers. Alibaba Group chairman Jack Ma and U.K. Premier Minister David Cameron signed an agreement a year ago to jointly promote the sale of British goods to Chinese consumers on Alibaba-owned web marketplace

After that, many UK brands have entered China via e-commerce, such as fashion brands ASOS and Topshop, luxury brand Burberry and appliance maker Dyson. More than 130 UK companies are selling on Tmall, according to Alibaba.

The British royal family also has helped promote British products to Chinese online consumers. Alibaba says Kate Middleton, wife of Prince William, helped hairbrush maker Tangle Teezer generate the biggest sales increase of British brands in China in 2014. The company sold about 70,000 products in 2014 on after the brand told Chinese consumers that Middleton loves the product.

Ma met with Prince William in Shanghai last week. Ma said sales of British-made goods increased 97% in 2014 over the year before on Alibaba’s more upscale marketplace, 

“China will have more than 200 million middle-class people in the next 10 to 20 years. Europe has the best quality and creative products,” Ma says. “China needs Europe and Europe needs China.”

For more Chinese e-commerce data, please click here for Internet Retailer China 500.




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