Alibaba is opening up a new digital platform to small and medium sized sellers in the US in a bid to expand its global presence within the B2B e-commerce sector.
According to Alibaba, the new platform will help connect US businesses to the $23.9 trillion global B2B e-commerce market, which is six times larger than the consumer ecommerce market. In order to promote the platform, Alibaba is organising a string of ‘Build Up’ events across the country. Essentially, these events comprise of workshops and webinars with local chambers of commerce and B2B organisations.
Adding more sellers will boost the platform’s overall value proposition while also attracting and benefiting more small and midsize businesses globally. John Caplan, head of North America B2B at Alibaba Group said: “Alibaba aims to empower entrepreneurs and help them succeed on their own terms. 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.”
How does it work?
Sellers, including manufacturers and distributors, will get a dedicated interface for building and managing a digital store on Alibaba.com, while Alibaba offers them access to payment, communication, customer management and marketing tools, in addition to its US based customer service team called ‘Seller Success’ team. On the other hand, buyers can use the platform to find suppliers and products.
The new platform includes “anchor sellers” that provide B2B services and products, such as Office Depot and food supplier Robinson Fresh. Office Depot became an “anchor seller” through a partnership that sees Alibaba use its ground resources in the US, while the former will be able to access Alibaba’s 150,00 global suppliers to boost its offering.
Gerry Smith, chief executive officer of Office Depot, said: “We’re proud to expand our strategic collaboration with Alibaba.com. 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.”
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