Osprey backpacks are among the first products in the Export Now storefront on Tmall.com.
American companies now have a new sales platform that allows them to sell directly to Chinese consumers. Export Now has opened its storefront on the Chinese e-commerce site Tmall, establishing a direct route to the 370 million registered shoppers who use the online retail site. The storefront is MeiLiKe, a name that sounds similar to the word “America” to Chinese speakers. Three companies, Osprey, Smith Optics and Bones, are among the first Export Now partners to feature products in the MeiLiKe store on Tmall. Osprey sells high-quality backpacks. Widely praised as lightweight, flexible, convenient and comfortable, Osprey equipment has won loyal customers in many markets. Smith Optics offers a variety of high-performance sunglasses, goggles and helmets. Bones competition-level skateboard wheels and other equipment is revolutionizing the future of skateboarding. In a congratulatory note to the Export Now staff, CEO and founder Frank Lavin wrote: “The site looks great and the people who make it happen should feel properly proud in the success.” A simple export solution means more sales without the challenges of travel, language or currency barriers. These first Export Now partners and other companies signing up to join them in the MeiLiKe storefront have considered these core questions and made decisions that focused on efficiently growing sales. 1. What size company is right for your service? The largest global companies can afford to have managers fly to Shanghai, set up distribution networks and solve legal and customs issues. Even those companies can benefit from another sales channel. Most small or mid-size companies that want to start with a modest investment under carefully controlled conditions will prefer to start with a partner that understands China and has an e-commerce and logistics infrastructure. After years in charge of export promotions for the Commerce Department, our founder, Frank Lavin, recognized that there was no simple toolbox small businesses could use to start exporting. That’s why he developed this solution. Companies that spend all their energies focused on core products and core markets often find it daunting to enter new markets. Those companies value the ease and reach of the Export Now platform. 2. What do I do to get started? You register on the Export Now platform just the way you would register as a seller on EBay or Amazon. You upload product information and ship your product on consignment to our warehouse in Long Beach, Calif. As sales patterns take shape, some companies will replenish product more quickly than others. If you have trade show samples or other products in China that you decide to use to start the process, you can ship those products directly to our warehouse in Shanghai. More information is available from the Export Now advisors.