Digital branding price catalogue for Chinese market

Executive summary

E-commerce industry highlights 2023

1.05 billion internet users (73.7% of population)

1.03 billion social media users (72% of population).

$ around 1,998,417(CAD) million predicted for 2023

12.4% expected annual growth rate projected until 2027.

For Canadian companies, especially those in B2C sectors, China’s ecommerce market represents both opportunities and challenges. To gain market share in China’s extremely competitive ecommerce ecosystem, an effective digital branding strategy with sufficient marketing budget is indispensable. Marketing in China is much more expensive than in Canada and the return on investment is lower.

In order to provide Canadian companies with a basic overview of costs associated with China’s various major social and ecommerce channels, as well as the cost of working with social media influencers, the following report “Digital Branding Price Catalogue” was prepared by an international marketing agency located in China.

There are a few important things to keep in mind:

How Much Should Brands Spend on Marketing?

Your category will dictate a lot about how much and where you invest in marketing. However, these general guidelines from brands using Tmall as their core

sales channel provide a guide.

Brands of varying maturity, scale and category on average spend 33% of net Tmall GMV (Gross Merchandising Value) on marketing. 16% on social media and 17% on Tmall.

You should expect to spend more on social media marketing if your brand:

It is recommended that brands spend 100% of Tmall sales on marketing during the first 3 to 6 months of Tmall launch.

Brands tend to spend more on marketing within Tmall, not only due to the efficacy and widespread usage of the platform, but also because the return on ad spending is easier to measure.

A China market entry strategy should be a 2 to 3 year plan.  Unless you have high product margins, most brands will struggle to break even if not selling $1m in their first year

Ecommerce Platform Guideline Annual Costs ($CAD)

Tmall Global$10,000 + 50% GMV$150,000 + 20-50% GMV
JD Worldwide$30,000 + 40% GMV$110,000 + 30% GMV
Douyin$100,000 + 15% GMV$400,000 + 5% GMV
RED$10,000 + 15% GMV$15,000 + 15% GMV
Wechat$1,000 + 0.6% GMV$20,000 + 6% GMV
VIP and Kaola-$30,000 + 10% GMV

Annual Social Media Platform Cost Guidelines ($CAD)


Search, Information, Website, & Influencer Costs ($CAD)

Low-Level Influencer-$50
Low-Mid Level Influencer-$2,000
Mid Level Influencer-$30,000

Participating in Ecommerce Festivals

There are no set costs for participating in certain ecommerce festivals, although activities around 618, Singles Day and ‘Goddess Day’ (March 8) will be the most expensive.

Foreign brands in particular schedule their major marketing investment around these times and this makes for high competition.

Here are cost considerations to keep in mind when planning for a major ecommerce festival:

To obtain a full PDF copy of the Digital Branding Price Catalogue or for any questions, please contact


Please note that China has a fast changing digital branding ecosystem and the information provided in this Price Catalogue is for Canadian companies’ reference only. For concrete digital branding action plan and budget estimation, we recommend Canadian companies to consult local professional marketing teams.

The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service in China recommends that readers seek professional advice regarding their particular circumstances. This publication should not be relied on as a substitute for such professional advice. The Government of Canada does not guarantee the accuracy of any of the information contained on this page. Readers should independently verify the accuracy and reliability of the information.

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