Alibaba has opened its platform to more than 30 million small- and medium-sized businesses in the U.S., enabling these companies to sell their products to B2B buyers on Alibaba.com both locally and globally. Previously, U.S.-based businesses were only able to buy items on Alibaba.com.
Roughly one-third of buyers on the Alibaba.com B2B marketplace are U.S.-based, but more than 95% of sellers come from China, according to the e-Commerce giant.
U.S. sellers, including manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors, can create and manage a storefront on Alibaba.com after paying a membership fee of approximately $2,000. The B2B e-Commerce market is valued at $23.9 trillion — more than 6X the $3.8 trillion B2C e-Commerce market — according to the U.S. International Trade Commission.
In addition to their storefront, U.S. sellers will receive:
- CRM and communications tools to facilitate the direct ownership of customer relationships;
- Online payment capabilities starting July 25 (except for sellers in New York and Nevada);
- Enhanced digital marketing tools to target B2B demand that is right for them; and
- The option to work with Alibaba’s U.S.-based “Seller Success” customer service team.
Alibaba has stepped up its efforts to work with American retailers in recent months, enabling Michael Kors to open a digital flagship store on its Tmall Luxury Pavilion and collaborating with Office Depot to offer products and services to SMBs. Office Depot is an “anchor seller” in the Alibaba ecosystem, providing extensive product catalogs to meet the interests of the platform’s expanding audience of buyers. The participation of Anchor Sellers is intended to generate new buyer interest that occurs when product selection expands.
Last month, Alibaba launched an English-language web site for its Tmall Global marketplace (as well as Spanish, Japanese and Korean language portals) aimed at international merchants, in an attempt to double the number of international brands on the platform to 40,000 in the next three years.
Alibaba also is co-producing a series of “Build Up” workshops and webinars with local chambers of commerce and B2B organizations across the U.S.
The first in-person Alibaba.com Build Up event was held on July 23 in Brooklyn at Industry City — a community of innovative industrial and manufacturing businesses — which cohosted the event with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. Each Build Up event will provide an in-depth workshop, the opportunity for one-on-one training and consultations from Alibaba.com experts as well as exclusive discounts, incentives and support from the ecosystem of brands and organizations.