Tips for Retailers on E-Commerce Platforms in China

E-commerce retailing is just as complex as selling a product on conventional store shelves, while opening up the potential to reach a growing number of pet owners who shop online predominantly.

E-commerce in China grew dramatically in volume and value in the past decade. As online retail outlets become even more important than brick-and-mortar locations, high-end brands abroad need to optimize their presence on those e-commerce retail websites.

As you think about all the time and energy that you put into your in-store merchandising, you really should think about putting that same time and energy into the way that you merchandise on top online.

To capitalize on that e-commerce growth, brands abroad need to optimize their online presence, especially on e-commerce platforms. Those product detail pages influence how a brand appears not only to consumers, but also to search engines. The primary goal of a listing on Tmall,, or Little Red Book is to drive consumers to add a product to their cart and buy it. However, the terms, descriptions and images used on those pages also affect how those products register on search engines, and if a brand doesn’t appear on the first page or two of a web search, the brand may as well not be on the market.

Product detail pages include an item’s title, price, availability, bullets, description, ingredients, technical specifications (weight, packaging), pack shots and gallery images, enhanced content, product codes, ratings, reviews and user Q&As. However, every online retailer, from Tmall to, has different specifications for those data. Some allow longer descriptions or more photos for example.

Differences among e-commerce platforms

While each retailer’s product detail page provides different marketing opportunities, the most important aspect on all of them may be the image carousel. Every image should convey information to consumers, especially the first image, called a hero image.

That first impression needs to translate from one device to another. Images need to convey information legibly and succinctly, since consumers may be accessing the retail site via a smart phone.

For every e-commerce platform where a product appears, brands benefit from optimizing their content to that platform’s specific site and app. These differences make e-commerce retailing just as complex as selling a product on conventional store shelves, while opening up the potential to reach a growing number of consumers who shop online predominantly.