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Terapeak Integrates Alibaba into Its Merchant Research Tool

Online merchants and eBay and Amazon sellers now have access to data from product-sourcing site Alibaba through Terapeak, a leading supplier of marketplace analytics with over 2.6 million users.

Terapeak users can view, search and filter the top 30 million trending products on Alibaba.com. The data integration provides direct access to both sourcing and sales analytics.

When customers login to Terapeak, they can go to “Source My Inventory” to access a searchable list of Alibaba.com products with supplier product and price information. Terapeak then helps merchants determine how much they can charge for products and how many they can expect to sell in a month, along with information about the competitive landscape.

We asked Terapeak CEO Kevin North to explain what a seller might see if they looked up a flashlight through the new integration.

“In Terapeak, users will now be able to browse products directly from Alibaba.com’s Wholesale catalog. This product selection is specifically for small to midsize retailers and offers minimum orders as low as 2 items, buyer protection and express delivery with full tracking.

“In the flashlight example, the results will show products from multiple suppliers and brands and show the price ranges for which each product can be sourced. Based on product applicability, discounts offered, etc., you can then select individual products to analyze sales demand with Terapeak.”

North said Terapeak research helps sellers identify when to avoid the temptation of selling into trending markets or products where the competition is already too strong or where the price trend will pose unacceptable business risks.

“There is often huge opportunity in being able to supply alternative brand offerings for top-selling items. Cost-sensitive shoppers will often avoid top brands, but will buy equivalent products in a different price-range. The ability to research sourcing and selling opportunity in one integrated environment will allow retailers to be more efficient and to offer their shoppers more choices at competitive prices,” North said.

Generally when a merchant finds a product they’re interested in, they may use Terapeak to analyze the demand for that product – such as the number of items sold in a given time relative to the number of items that was on offer during that time. They also look to see whether the price for a particular product is trending down over time or if it’s holding steady.

The next step is to identify how many other retailers are selling the same or similar products, North explained, and how big their share of the market is. “Based on this, the retailer can estimate a competitive selling price as well as their share of total market demand.”

Once a merchant finds a product opportunity with sufficient demand, the next step is to evaluate the profitability. “This is where the Alibaba integration completes the picture,” North said. “Armed with estimated sales price, sales volume, outgoing shipping costs, etc. the retailer can now confidently evaluate sourcing opportunities based on purchase cost, incoming shipping costs, order lead time and volume discount opportunities.”

Alibaba sourcing data is available to all Terapeak users, including users of its free MySales product. Terapeak requires a paid subscription (as low as $14.95 per month when billed annually) to do more in-depth research such as sales price and volume trends, competitive research and research into buyer behavior for similar products.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.