Alibaba.com have unveiled a suite of new products and enhancements to existing sourcing tools during their first Co-Create conference, where they offered demonstrations of new innovative products and interactive learning opportunities for entrepreneurs.
As a one-stop platform for B2B sourcing, Alibaba.com is committed to streamlining the buying process for entrepreneurs to create their dream businesses as efficiently as possible. All new products launched during the Co-Create event are intended to help entrepreneurs level up their sourcing and supply chain operations in the increasingly competitive small-business arena.
We have entered a transformative era of B2B sourcing and business innovation, and two keywords we use to define the new generation of B2B sourcing are efficient and inspirational. We are making the sourcing journey more intuitive and visualizable by helping enterprises of all sizes better utilise today’s leading e-commerce technologies.– Stephen Kuo, President of Alibaba.com North America
Product Launches and Platform Enhancements
The new features, products and upgrades to existing Alibaba.com services launching during Co-Create support small-business owners to more freely find inspiration and create new products to enhance and grow their enterprises. They are designed to make the product creation process efficient, fast and barrier-free.
New features and upgrades include:
- Smart Assistant tool, which acts as an intuitive personal guide to sourcing that helps small-business owners discover new opportunities, stay up-to-date on trends, seamlessly track orders and more in a single, efficient touchpoint
- Upgraded Image Search to allow buyers to search for products by image and text simultaneously, with additional image generation capabilities helping to streamline complex sourcing requirements
- Smart enhancements to Request for Quotation (RFQ), which power predictive sentence completion and image generation that help small-business owners connect quickly and efficiently with qualified suppliers, allowing them to find the right partners to keep their product competitive
- Real-time translation in 17 languages for live video chats with suppliers, designed to enhance and streamline the process of visually verifying potential partners’ capabilities and facilities
- Alibaba.com Logistics Marketplace, which offers 24/7 live customer service and enables tracking of B2B shipments, allowing for better supply chain management and timelier product delivery
Addressing the Needs of Small-Business Owners
Just as small businesses must keep a finger on the pulse of industry trends, Alibaba.com is keen on illuminating the evolving small-business owner sentiment in the United States and equipping small businesses to respond to challenges in the market. New data from a survey commissioned by Alibaba.com and conducted by The Harris Poll reveals insights on small-business concerns regarding the supply chain, macro-economic factors and business operations, including:
- Small businesses must optimize their supply chain to stay competitive: Supply chain and sourcing are on the minds of many business owners. Nearly half (46%) have challenges with their supply chain and/or sourcing systems and nearly four in ten (38%) think the global supply chain outlook will have a negative impact on their business. The supply chain and inventory management issue most concerning for small-business owners and leaders is the rising cost of goods (67%).
- Streamlined payment and logistics offerings are key when sourcing products: The digital sourcing tool that would best meet the needs of small-business owners and leaders creating a new product or product line include safe and easy payments (34%) and on-time delivery & package tracking (26%). Other mentions include money-back policy & easy return (17%), and after-sale protection (11%).
- Entrepreneurs must align with the right partners when creating new products: More than eight in ten (83%) business owners are confident in their ability to create new products, but they face challenges in doing so. The biggest challenges preventing small-business owners and leaders from creating new products, building brands or doing brand upgrades include finding the right supplier for the product (31%); research, development and design of new products (28%); and financing orders of the product (27%).
At Alibaba.com, we are not just a link in the supply chain – we are dreamers and creators as well. We’re reinventing ourselves to become a link in the ‘creation chain’ for entrepreneurs. Co-Create is not just an event; it’s a way of thinking. It’s about working together because we can achieve more together than alone.– Stephen Kuo, President of Alibaba.com North America
Alibaba.com aims to address the concerns of business owners and mitigate their risk with the new products and tool offerings launching at Co-Create. In advancing sourcing solutions, product creation tools, communication options with suppliers and more, Alibaba.com aims to take entrepreneurs to the next level.