Alibaba adds services to attract small businesses

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Alibaba adds services to attract small businesses

By Dan Berthiaume - 06/02/2020
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China's Alibaba Group is unveiling new solutions — including programming virtual trade shows — aimed at getting small-to-mid-sized U.S. businesses to buy and sell products on its e-commerce platform.

These three new products and services are designed to help SMBs in the U.S. digitize and pivot their B2B operations online. They include:

Alibaba.com Freight – Based on the Freightos digital freight marketplace, this service is meant to enable U.S. SMBs to secure ocean and air shipping for their cross-border orders. Users can instantly compare, book, manage and track ocean and air freight in real time online, modernizing analog processes for arranging cross-border logistics.

Alibaba.com Payment Terms – Offered in collaboration with B2B commerce platform MSTS, this trade financing solution is embedded directly into the Alibaba B2B e-commerce marketplace, allowing qualified buyers to order goods and pay for them up to 60 days after they are shipped. 

Alibaba.com Online Trade Shows USA – This series of category-specific, livestreaming experiences is designed to convene buyers and sellers to meet and transact in real-time over a pre-determined period of days. These events showcasing U.S.-based manufacturers and wholesalers are part of Alibaba.com’s global online trade show initiative to bring the world’s SMBs together over virtual show floors. 

The digital-first events will enable U.S.-based manufacturers and wholesalers to showcase their stories, capabilities and products as a way to promote their business, meet new prospects and drive sales. Buyers who attend the events can interact and ask questions of the suppliers, schedule one-on-one sessions and place orders through the platform. The first live event exclusively designed to showcase U.S. businesses will run from July 7-10, 2020 with the supplements & nutrition category. Alibaba.com is hosting the event in partnership with the USA CBD Expo, the nation’s largest CBD industry event, and the United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA). The event will feature daily sessions designed to facilitate connections between business buyers and U.S.- based manufacturers, wholesalers, raw ingredient suppliers and brands in the supplements, nutrition and CBD category who offer finished and customizable products. 

Sellers interested in being featured can apply online and buyers interested in joining the online event can register online. Additional U.S. shows will take place over the coming months for a variety of categories, including food & beverage, agriculture, and beauty & personal care. 

“Doing business online is the bridge for American small businesses through this crisis and into the next decade,” said John Caplan, president of North America and Europe, Alibaba.com. “We are accelerating our transformation to get both sellers and buyers quickly set up for success and provide the critical tools and services that are required for growth - access to supply and demand, shipping and logistics, and working capital. Ultimately, our goal is to give SMBs even greater access to the $23.9 trillion global B2B e-commerce opportunity – which is six times the size of the B2C e-commerce market.”