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Houses along with household items now selling on Tmall

As the dust from China’s singles day, the unrivaled online shopping frenzy of November 11, settles — we see the revenues of Alibaba’s Tmall reach new heights.

Like in years of past, in 2020 too, we saw new players join the online e-commerce fest — real estate companies.

More than 100 real estate companies took part in this years Double 11 promotions and listed 800,000 homes from 300 cities throughout China for sale online. You can find half of the homes on sale in China on Tmall.

Although 2020 has been a great year and the first year for online sales of houses, the real estate market as a whole has seen difficult times. The claimed oversupply of real estate in some areas in China, the rising costs of sales leading up to 2020, and the closing down of agencies and offices due to the COVD-19 pandemic has left the the sector in dire straits.

The introduction, therefore, of a new sales channel, Tmall Good House, was welcomed by China’s leading developers who actively participated in the sales of property on Tmall this year.

Although we are seeing significant increases in e-commerce and online sales, throughout the world, of products and services rarely offered online prior to 2020 — we have our doubts on the viability of thriving online marketplaces for houses along with household items.

Although, a house in Shanghai’s Changning district can be easily added to one’s shopping cart, return policies (if it’s not quite a right fit), or accurate information (strange odors from the flat below), will be much harder to control for. But another marketing channel and a way to make an online buzz is never a bad idea, even if actual sales will be done in traditional brick and mortar (pun intended) sales offices.

But then again, we could be wrong; maybe this too will be part of the new normal.

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