Alibaba Looks to Capture U.S. Business
U.S. Sellers Can Now Access Alibaba’s Global Marketplace
By RAHMA HASSAN | Contributing Writer
This move gives U.S. companies access to millions of buyers on Alibaba’s network, helping them tap into the $23.9 trillion global B2B e-commerce market, according to a company statement.
“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. [small businesses] to compete and succeed in today’s global marketplace,” said John Caplan, Alibaba Group’s head of North America B2B.
Alibaba is hosting a series of “Build Up” workshops around the country to promote this new platform, inform businesses of the tools available to them, and allow small business owners the chance to meet with Alibaba leaders and network with local business owners and entrepreneurs.
A total of 11 workshops have been arranged with the next one scheduled Tuesday in Chicago. These workshops are part of a broader plan to enable 30 million U.S. small businesses to join the platform.
What can businesses expect from this new platform
U.S. companies will have the chance to access this vast market and sell their products around the world, opening up greater opportunities for small businesses to compete in the global marketplace.
The new platform is loaded with features to help businesses get started on the site, including:
- Easy to use interface to build and manage an online storefront.
- Client management system to keep track of leads and reach out to customers.
- Digital-marketing tools to target likely customers.
- Sophisticated dashboards that keep track of clicks, store visits, etc.
- Customer support, and services such as web design and personalized keyword recommendations.
Suppliers will also have access to online payments starting July 25, however, this service will not be immediately available to suppliers in New York and Nevada, the company release stated.
One of the businesses who joined the platform explained how Alibaba’s service works.
“I think that Alibaba is helpful for a small business because they give you a way to reach customers directly at several countries around the world versus just in the U.S.,” Chitra Agrawal, founder of Brooklyn Delhi, said in the statement.
Alibaba expands their network
Alibaba is partnering with software companies and service providers to support small businesses and provide them exclusive offers and discounts.
ShipStation, a logistics provider that Alibaba partnered with to help provide small businesses with shipping and fulfilment needs, is offering advertising credits on Alibaba.com to its users.
“This is a 100-year project that we’re under to help the world’s small businesses succeed,” Caplan said.
This platform would not only benefit U.S. sellers: By increasing the number of sellers on its platform, Alibaba claims that it would provide more choices for buyers across many categories, including both ready to ship and customized goods. This would in turn boost the platform’s value while attracting more small businesses globally.
In addition, Alibaba said it was building an ecosystem of industry partners to provide the tools for these small businesses to succeed. Two large companies, Office Depot and Robinson Fresh, the produce division of logistics company C.H. Robinson, will use its name recognition and extensive product lines to act as “anchor sellers” to increase traffic to the site and eventually toward small businesses.
“We’re proud to expand our strategic collaboration with Alibaba.com,” Office Depot CEO Gerry Smith said. “By becoming an anchor seller, we can reach a larger small business audience and provide them with the products and services they need to compete on a global scale.”