“Alibaba are working to help Canadian SMBs expand to China,” says Yulei Wang, Alibaba’s vice president and head of North America.
Speaking to Alibaba’s news outlet Alizila, Yulei says that China is now experiencing a high demand for clean, safe and high-quality products from Canada. He says that Alibaba are the platform to satisfy this demand. The marketplace boasts 721 million mobile monthly active users, which is equal to about half of the Chinese population. Many of them are middle-class consumers, meaning they can effort more expensive and high-quality products from abroad. Yulei adds that this number of consumers is expected to rise to 780 million by the mid-2020s – increasing the appetitive for Canadian products on the marketplace.
In May 2018, Alibaba opened their first office in Vancouver, Canada. It saw Alibaba’s fresh-food sourcing team helping Canadian SMBs to export food to China.
Yulei says that Chinese customers especially favour seafood from Canada. Currently, Canada is the second-largest seafood-exporting nation to China on Alibaba. The marketplace aims to source more Canadian products such as live seafood, including lobster, shrimp and clams, blueberries, maple syrup and ice wine.
How do Alibaba help Canadian SMBs reach Chinese shoppers?
Yulei points to Alibaba’s owned B2C marketplace, Tmall as the best platform for oversea merchants to sell into China. It allows companies to set up virtual stores and sell directly to Chinese consumers, giving sellers the chance to test the market without setting up a physical retail location in China. Among Canadian SMBs, Lulujo, a baby-products company is an example of a great Canadian company that uses Tmall Global to sell their high-quality products to consumers in China.
Yulei also cites a health-supplements company, Herbaland from British Columbia that first connected with Alibaba at the Vancouver event last year. With market insights provided by Tmall Global, Herbaland has accelerated its growth in China. In March, Herbaland announced the exclusive global launch of its newest product – Vegan Collagen Booster Gummies – on Tmall. The partnership has already started to show impressive results because Herbaland’s sales have already tripled.
This shows that sellers dont need to have an existing presence in China in order to reach the market. If you just want to test the waters, says Yulei, you can place your products at a Tmall fulfillment center to ship to China on demand. He says that Tmall team will provide sellers with marketing advice and tools to boost brand awareness in China. Our professional teams can also help brands to discover niche opportunities, he adds, fine-tune their product selections, craft messages and offer advice on how to stay relevant with consumers.