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Alibaba helping US businesses access global B2B market

Jul '19
Pic: Alizila
Pic: Alizila
Alibaba.com, the largest global online business-to-business marketplace, is helping manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors in the US access the $23.9 trillion global B2B ecommerce market by opening its platform for them. Alibaba.com was originally created to connect suppliers in China with buyers in overseas markets, largely those in the US.

Now, a new programme aimed at US SMBs will allow those companies 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 better sell and source by using the site
“Alibaba aims to empower entrepreneurs and help them succeed on their own terms,” said John Caplan, head of North America B2B at Alibaba Group. “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 US SMB companies to compete and succeed in today’s global marketplace.”

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.

Alibaba.com has launched a series of new features to support the onboarding and marketing efforts of new US suppliers, also called sellers, on the site. 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 (although online payments won’t be immediately available to sellers in New York and Nevada at launch).

Alibaba.com has also created a Customer Success team in the US to support SMBs as they join the platform.

US sellers are not the only beneficiaries, however. 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 customised goods. That will boost the platform’s overall value proposition while also attracting and benefiting more SMBs globally, Alibaba.com said.

Evan Gettinger, co-founder of New York-based professional cleaning-products maker Gett Clean, said Alibaba.com was helping his company expand its footprint and reach buyers in new markets. Some of those markets include India, Germany, Poland and countries in Africa.

“We recognised the opportunity to expedite global growth through Alibaba.com early on,” Gettinger said. “With the new combination of platform tools available and the addition of major, name-brand sellers, we expect a faster path to our growth targets.”

To further support the entry of US SMBs on the platform, Alibaba.com said it was 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 have launched stores on Alibaba.com. The two companies, their name recognition and extensive product inventories will bring increased in traffic to the site, which in turn should serve to drive traffic to smaller sellers as well, Alibaba.com said.

“We’re proud to expand our strategic collaboration with Alibaba.com,” said Gerry Smith, chief executive officer for Office Depot. “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.”

In addition to anchor sellers, Alibaba.com has also partnered with software companies and service providers, such as logistics provider ShipStation and jobs search engine Indeed, as well as organisations at the national, regional and local levels to support SMBs in their growth through exclusive offers, discounts and educational content.

Alibaba.com is launching a national tour of educational and networking events, called Build Ups, to help small- and medium-sized businesses better tap into the global B2B e-commerce opportunity, and to use the platform. (SV)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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