Alibaba.com announced the “opening” of their marketplace to US merchants to help them access the $23.9 trillion global B2B ecommerce market.
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.
The updated website boasts new features to be suitable to manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors in the US.
Previously, the US small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) 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 US.
Now, a new program aimed at US 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 US to sell successfully and source by using the site.
Enhancing the sourcing experience
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 on the 25th July. Alibaba.com have also created what they call a Customer Success team in the US to support SMBs as they join the platform.
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.
An ecosystem to support SMBs
To further support the entry of US SMBs on the platform, Alibaba.com said they were 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 an increase in traffic to the site, which in turn should serve to drive traffic to smaller sellers as well, Alibaba.com said.