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Alibaba Opens Platform to US Sellers

Alibaba
Alibaba Opens Platform to US Sellers

Online sellers know Alibaba.com as a product-sourcing platform for inventory from overseas suppliers, but now it’s open to US suppliers as well. That means businesses in the US can use Alibaba to reach retailers and sellers who might be interested in reselling their brands here and abroad.

In announcing the news, Alibaba explained, “Previously, U.S. small- and medium-sized businesses could only source goods on Alibaba.com because the site had originally been launched to connect suppliers in China with buyers in overseas markets, largely those in the U.S. Now, a new program aimed at U.S. SMBs allows them to sell on the platform as well.” It made a video available on this page.

Alibaba.com has also launched a national tour of educational and networking events called Build Ups to help small- and medium-sized businesses use the platform – you can learn more at Alibaba.com/BuildUp. The lineup includes an online session on August 6th.

Press release follows:

Alibaba.com, the world’s largest online business-to-business marketplace, is opening its platform to manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors in the U.S. to help them access the $23.9 trillion global B2B e-commerce market.

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Previously, U.S. small- and medium-sized businesses could only source goods on Alibaba.com because the site had originally been launched to connect suppliers in China with buyers in overseas markets, largely those in the U.S. Now, a new program aimed at U.S. SMBs allows them to sell on the platform as well. That newly opened channel, along with a new network of industry partners and a nationwide tour to meet with business owners and teach them about Alibaba.com, is part of a broader push to enable 30 million SMBs in the U.S. to better sell and source by using the site.

“Alibaba aims to empower entrepreneurs and help them succeed on their own terms,” said John Caplan, head of North America B2B at Alibaba Group. “With 10 million active business buyers in over 190 countries and regions, we are reshaping B2B commerce by providing the tools and services needed for U.S. SMB companies to compete and succeed in today’s global marketplace.”

Alibaba.com, Alibaba Group’s original business, launched in 1999. The site serves 10 million active buyers on the platform from over 190 countries and regions, as well as about 150,000 sellers.

Enhancing the Sourcing Experience
Alibaba.com has launched a series of new features to support the onboarding and marketing efforts of new U.S. suppliers, also called sellers, on the site. Sellers will get an easy-to-use interface for building and managing a digital store on the platform, CRM and communications tools for customer-relationship management and digital-marketing tools to target likely customers, as well as online payments starting July 25 (although online payments won’t be immediately available to sellers in New York and Nevada at launch). Alibaba.com has also created what it calls a Customer Success team in the U.S. to support SMBs as they join the platform.

U.S. sellers are not the only beneficiaries, however. As more sellers arrive on the platform, buyers get greater choice across a range of categories for their sourcing needs, including both ready-to-ship and customized goods. That will boost the platform’s overall value proposition while also attracting and benefiting more SMBs globally, Alibaba.com said. The site now has an improved its search function, as well, to deliver faster and more-accurate results when buyers are sourcing on the site.

Evan Gettinger, co-founder of New York-based professional cleaning-products maker Gett Clean, said Alibaba.com was helping his company expand its footprint and reach buyers in new markets. Some of those markets include India, Germany, Poland and countries in Africa.

“We recognized the opportunity to expedite global growth through Alibaba.com early on,” Gettinger said. “With the new combination of platform tools available and the addition of major, name-brand sellers, we expect a faster path to our growth targets.”

An Ecosystem to Support SMBs
To further support the entry of U.S. SMBs on the platform, Alibaba.com said it was building an ecosystem of industry partners to provide the goods and services that these businesses need to succeed in global trade.

The ecosystem consists of “anchor sellers,” such as Office Depot and Robinson Fresh, the produce division of logistics company C.H. Robinson, both of which launched stores on Alibaba.com on Tuesday. The two companies, their name recognition and extensive product inventories will bring increased in traffic to the site, which in turn should serve to drive traffic to smaller sellers as well, Alibaba.com said.

SOURCE: Alibaba’s Alizila Blog

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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.

2 thoughts on “Alibaba Opens Platform to US Sellers”

  1. YAWWNN! A Chinese-owned company that allows their Chinese sellers to steal from US and other sellers in various ways — copying others’ products, selling fakes, getting unfair discounts on shipping at the expense of their US competition, etc.

    Nope, not the least bit interested in helping China rule the world and I wish other US sellers would stop helping them. By relying on Chinese suppliers to help produce your own products, you’re basically making a deal with the Devil. It would seem the same goes for keeping sites like eBay, Amazon and Etsy going.

    Everyone wants to complain, but very few seem to be willing to do anything about the problems in eCommerce…other than whine. When are Americans going to learn the ways of their recent ancestors? Just 40 years ago, people were fighting for their rights. Now? Everybody just sits there and lets it happen while they waste their time and breath complaining about it all.

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