According to reports Alibaba is set to launch its B2C marketplace platform Tmall in Russia imminently. It will launch online as part of the Aliexpress site in Russia in what is the first expansion of the Tmall marketplace beyond China.
According to reports AliExpress is one of the most popular online shops in Russia and an estimated 15.6 million customers visit the site each month. In Russia Tmall will operate as a separate online shop and a marketplace to maximise the sales opportunity.
Tmall goods will be delivered from the warehouses of Alibaba’s partners in Russia rather than from Chinese storage facilities, as is the case with AliExpress at the moment.
Director of Development of AliExpress in Russia and CIS Mark Zavadsky said “We started localizing AliExpress in Russia two years ago, launching the marketplace ‘Mall’ within the platform. The upgrade to Tmall means a better quality of services due to a more careful selection of goods, a single warehouse, and logistics based on courier delivery, along with delivery to special points of issue.”
Tmall in Russia will offer a full selection of goods from 14k retailers ranging from electronics and household appliances to clothing and children’s goods. Russian and international brands, as well as some favorite Chinese brands in Russia, will be available to customers too.
Tmall has the potential to become a fascinating international player in ecommerce, even though thus far it has been limited to China. There is no reason why it couldn’t develop into a serious player globally challenging Amazon.
And Russia is the obvious choice of country to experiment because it is both populous and reasonably underdeveloped when it comes to ecommerce, as well as having close cultural and geographical ties with China.
The more tantalising prospect is the launch of Tmall in the UK, Europe or even the USA? It may be soon.