dm drogerie-markt is a chain of retail stores that sells cosmetics, healthcare items, household products and health food. In its industry sector, it is Germany's largest retailer measured by revenues. In March 2017 dm drogerie-markt started to sell to consumers outside Europe with an Alibaba Tmall Global cross-border flagship store to China. Christoph Werner, Managing Director and responsible for Marketing & Procurement Manager, reveals some insights about dm's intentions and first experiences.
dm drogerie-markt has just started to sell its products on Tmall (by Alibaba). What expectations does dm have by offering its goods to the Chinese consumer?
Christoph Werner: Our digital venture into China with the dm store on Tmall Global effectively accommodates the keen interest we have seen among Chinese consumers in German brand products. That said, we haven’t at this stage set any specific sales targets for China.
How did you decide which range of products you are offering on the Chinese market?
Our assortment, both in Germany and in China, is determined by the demands and preferences of our customers. Everyday consumer products that are of interest to families and their well-being, for example, are very popular: baby food, household items, beauty and care products, but also healthcare articles and dietary supplements. Our Chinese customers are currently able to order around 50 dm brand products, including Balea, DONTODENT, Prinzessin Sternenzauber and DAS gesunde PLUS.
Are the Chinese e-commerce consumers different from the European ones?
German products are in huge demand among our Chinese customers, and we are thrilled about that. We also notice that Chinese customers are very inquisitive and want to know everything about the use of our products and the supply chain from Germany.
What are dm's first experiences with Tmall?
Our dm brand shop in China has taken off really well and far exceeds our expectations. On opening day alone, we received and filled several thousands of orders.
Is this first step onto the Chinese market the preparation for having stationary stores in China soon?
We want to test the waters first with our dm shop front on Tmall Global to see how well our range is received.
Interview: Ute Holtmann; EHI Retail Institute