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Alibaba’s 11 Main Marketplace Launches Referral Program

Alibaba’s 11 Main marketplace has launched a new Shopper Referral program and is running Google Product Listing Ads (PLAs) to promote sellers listings. It is also extending its free-shipping promotion for merchants.

The new Shopper Referral program encourages merchants to market the site, providing referred shoppers with a 30% discount on their first purchase with no minimum spend (valid only for new 11 Main customers). In addition, 11 Main will waive sellers’ fees for transactions from referred shoppers for 2 years – a powerful incentive to sellers to get repeat buyers to purchase through 11 Main. Sellers can find their customized referral link in their Shop Center that they can use to invite shoppers to their 11 Main store.

Free Shipping Promotion 
The marketplace has also extended its “free shipping” promotion launched on October 21st in which it covers sellers’ shipping costs up to $5 per shipment on all orders provided sellers use USPS and print postage through the 11 Main platform.

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As we noted in October , many small sellers are loath to eat the cost of shipping, so the promotion allows 11 Main to attract holiday shoppers looking for free shipping.

The free shipping promotion was scheduled to run through Cyber Monday – December 1st – but is now running through December 17, 2014.

Google PLA 
11 Main also encouraged sellers to make sure their listings were eligible for Google PLAs. “All shops that are Open for Business at 11 main are submitted for inclusion in our paid campaigns on Google Shopping Product Listing Ads (PLAs).”

However, it can only feature shops whose items meet Google’s requirements, and only the items with the best descriptions and images win the clicks, it explained, and offering the following tips:

  • Product names should have no more than 10 words or 80 characters
  • Have product descriptions that clearly describe the item
  • Use high-quality images that display the item well
  • Be sure to put your best price forward on all your items
  • Include a UPC or GTIN number for items that have them

“We manage the bidding to get your items featured, and we pay for the traffic when we win the click,” it told sellers.

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Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. Send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.


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