Cross-border e-commerce on Suning Global

If you are looking for a way to sell in China, then you might want to consider Suning.com as an option. It is one of the largest retailers in China and has been around since 1990. The group has stores all over China and offers cross-border e-commerce on their website suning.com so that companies can import products from overseas through their platform or sell within china without having to set up a store there themselves. Cross-border e-commerce is becoming more popular with global brands who want to reach Chinese consumers but don’t have the time or capital investment required for opening a physical location in mainland China.

About Suning and Suning global

Suning Commerce Group, which recently changed its name to Suning.com Co., LDT, is owned by Zhang Jindong and is known as one of the largest private retailers in China, with its headquartered in Nanjing. The company was originally a traditional retailer focused on consumer electronics, and at the moment the company is present in seven industries: consumer electronics, sporting goods & accessories, home appliances, interior decoration items & materials, financial services, auto parts, and automobiles.

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Those different product categories have also led to the creation of 11 sub-companies within Suning group: Suning Appliance Group (with its online presence at suning.cn), Suning Chain Store Group (including Suning Finance as well), Suning Commerce Group, Wenzhou Longda Automobile Co., LTD, Zhongkelong Holding Ltd., and Lanjing Technology Development Co., LTD. It also has 11,064 cross-border offline stores (with at least one physical location) in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Japan, employing 117 669 people (as of 2020).

Introduction to Suning e-Commerce platform

Suning.com’s e-commerce platform ranks among the top three Chinese B2C companies (connecting businesses and consumers), with more than 3 million SKU, on par with other big names such as Tmall and JD.com. In 2020, the online platform’s revenue grew well above the industry average, with a sales volume of RMB665.259 billion. Finally, the number of registered users reached 600 million and covers 95% of China’s territory. It’s been listed on the Forbes 500, as one of the top international brands, since 2017

Suning Global (Suning.com) is Suning’s online cross-border e-commerce, launched in 2014. It currently has about 300 foreign storefronts and offers integrated logistics (4 aeronautical hubs, 12 automatic pick-up centers, and 660 urban distribution centers), a store operator, and financial support services. Their most popular product categories are electrical appliances and maternity products. The platform also offers its online payment service, Yi-Pay, to conduct transactions in RMB or foreign currency.

Suning Global Sellers Entry process

As a hybrid platform, Suning Global has two models of cooperation:

  • Entry model: Suning provides store operations, logistics, and warehousing services
  • Procurement model: Purchases from foreign partners directly

On Suning Global, although not necessary, it is strongly advised to use a third reliable partner.

A) Suning Application process

  • Step 1: Applying for a business account
  • Step 2: Negotiating and signing the contract with Suning
  • Step 3: Paying related fees (these fees include the quality guarantee deposit – 10000USD and the platform service fee – 5000-10 000 USD)
  • Step 4: Open your store.

We recommend you partner with a third party who knows how to conduct cross-border e-commerce on Suning Global well to help you with the whole process saving time and resources.

B) Suning Requirements for traders

  • The oversea corporate entity shall have oversea retail qualification with oversea registered trademark
  • 100% overseas merchants, 100% overseas commodities mailed from abroad or bonded areas
  • Brand Holder/ Brand Authorization Certificate/ Purchasing Receipts

C) How to increase your chances of joining Suning Global as a merchant

  • You are a recognized foreign B2C brand
  • The following categories are preferred: baby products, clothing, cosmetics, health products, shoes, bags and suitcases, and food.
  • Members of T-mall HK, JD Worldwide, and other B2C sites abroad have the edge over unknown brands

You can read more here on how to increase your chances of becoming a successful seller in China.

Because of the criteria mentioned above, it is of maximum importance that a brand puts its efforts into creating an impactful marketing strategy. Since we’re talking about an online platform, online Marketing should be the main focus, which means creating a strategic communication plan and be present on the main social media platforms.

Suning Global Types of stores

There are 3 main types of stores that you can open on Suning Global.

The flagship store categories are:

  1. Brand flagship stores: opened by owners of supermarket brands (service brand).
  2. Agents operating stores: operating with one or more brands
  3. The main body must be brand (trademark) owner or holders with Suning Global flagship store exclusive authorization document.

Conclusion on entering Suning global as a seller

Similar to T-mall Global or JD Worldwide, selling on Suning is a good e-commerce alternative. However, there are high entry requirements and high investment costs, to begin with, so it’s important to this in mind. Also, competition can be tough knowing that all recognized international brands are trying to establish themselves on prestigious e-commerce platforms. In terms of culture and language, Suning is not that different from Taobao.

Transactions are just as straightforward. The only difference is with regards to tariffs which can be a little tricky depending on what product a company is trying to sell. For this reason, it’s important to first check whether the store you want to launch in Suning supports overseas products. One of its advantages is that Sunning enables sellers to create professional stores and takes care of tariff management automatically, which allows sellers to focus purely on customer service.

We are an agency specializing in digital marketing in China and have extensive knowledge of this market. Want to start a project in China? For more information, contact our experts or take a look at our services.

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