Alibaba has just announced that they’ve acquired Vendio. Vendio is a US based software as a service company which enables merchants to sell on their own website, eBay and Amazon and gives Alibaba some 80,000 small businesses as new customers.
According to Alibaba more than 80 percent of Vendio customers have never used online supplier services and nearly 90 percent have never tried to take advantage of import-export. It’s not a bad bet that they’ll be heavily promoting their merchants and far east suppliers to the existing Vendio customer base. Alibaba.com and AliExpress have some 1.4 million supplier storefronts for Vendio merchants to choose from. (AliExpress is a wholesale transaction platform operated by Alibaba.com).
The acquisition will also give Alibaba a real insight into eBay and Amazon sales from the Vendio merchants. They’ll be able to mine the data to see exactly what’s selling and for what price from those 80,000 merchants.
I’m not sure who will be least pleased at the acquisition from a data perspective – Vendio customers or eBay, but one thing is for sure – it’s a good deal for Alibaba.
Updated to add: Some great news from Michael Levitt of Vendio, not only will merchants will be able to source products from within the Vendio Platform but all 80,000 Vendio clients are being offered coupons for $20 off purchases on Aliexpress.com. This means if they place a $21 order they’ll pay just $1. It’s a perfect opportunity for Vendio clients to give Aliexpress a try and acquire samples of merchandise and they can redeem up to 5 coupons each give a saving of up to $100.
Each merchant who redeems a coupon will also be entered into a draw and one Vendio customer will receive 2 years of Vendio service completely free. Vendio customers should also watch out for ‘flash-sales’ starting next week where limited quantities of wholesale merchandise will offered at outrageous deals.
It’s unlikely that the acquisition will increase competition for Vendio customers, Alibaba focuses on B2B trade and the aim is to create a unique B2B2C platform where the factory manufactures goods, sells direct to the retailer, who sells to the consumer on their website or on marketplaces. Alibaba and Vendio are now in a unique position to provide a seamless connection from the factory to the consumer via Vendio’s customers.
Vendio say that they and Alibaba are not getting into consumer retail, but are instead enabling the entire chain that helps online retailers more efficiently bring unique products to their customers.
It would surprise me if Vendio customers don’t take advantage of the coupons to test out the AliExpress platform. Even if you trial a different product set to your normal inventory, ordering some samples could be the beginning of a new revenue stream and $100 of free product is just too good an opportunity to pass up.