As expected, Alibaba today announced a major series of B2C site partnerships for its brand-oriented online storefront known as TMall. It makes partners out of 38 rival Chinese specialist e-commerce sites, such as RedBaby, fashion e-tailer Vancl, and the WalMart-backed YiHaoDian. The site, and logo, has also had a slight refresh to coincide with this.
As with a regular mall, Alibaba’s aim seems to be to gather a very wide variety of brands and outlets on its site, to make it a one-stop solution for shoppers. The 38 sites in this strategic co-operation will get flagship stores on TMall, and thereby a chance to be part of a projected 200 billion RMB (US$31.3 billion) in sold merchandise volume in 2012. Jack Ma recently stated he’s aiming for 1 trillion RMB in transactions from both Taobao and TMall in 2012.
TMall.com is distinct from Taobao.com, the C2C site where the company first began its consumer-oriented business. As such, TMall has tens of thousands of brands on its site, many in flagship stores. One of the most grand is the official Lamborghini online dealership, where you can buy your own Italian supercar. Right now, TMall claims 48.5 percent of the Chinese B2C sector.
Major rival Tencent, whose own Paipai.com site is not jumping on-board this, is setting up a similar B2C platform that will likely launch in October, with rumored tie-ups with OKBuy and others.
There’s a grand launch page in Chinese over on TMall – but be warned that there’s auto-playing video and music.