Alibaba is a worldwide business-to-business (B2B) marketplace that supports more than 1.31 billion registered users at the time of 2022.
Businesses can search for wholesale goods on Alibaba and discover suppliers best suited for their needs. Alibaba will also help you grow into new markets. However, for success, you require a deep knowledge of Alibaba’s platform.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is Alibaba?
- 2 How Alibaba Works
- 3 Benefits of selling on Alibaba
- 4 What is Alibaba different in comparison to Amazon?
- 5 How do you sell on Alibaba?
What is Alibaba?
Alibaba offers an online marketplace that links producers and wholesalers from China to business and private individuals across the globe who want to trade or sell. Customers purchase products for their businesses and sell or use them for reselling or sign up as an exporter looking to utilize Alibaba as a platform for selling.
Alibaba is distinct from AliExpress (its similar site) and other popular e-commerce platforms, such as eBay and Amazon. Its primary focus is on trade between companies, not the direct-to-consumer or individual-to-person method. Its business usually consists of goods sold in large quantities by wholesalers to small and medium-sized companies worldwide, who then resell the products for profit in local markets. In this way, Alibaba is more akin to “drop-shipping” services such as Doba.com.
Because of this arrangement, many of the products that can be purchased will require the purchase of a certain quantity at once. There are, however, some products you can purchase a limited amount of at once, and Alibaba is not an issue with customers purchasing products from its partners to enjoy at their leisure!
How Alibaba Works
The global business-to-business (B2B) platform connects buyers and sellers worldwide on an integrated marketplace platform.
Suppliers produce and sell their goods in large quantities to buyers looking for stocks for their businesses.
The company also has associated e-commerce websites, including Taobao, Tmall, and AliExpress.
Taobao: C2C site identical to eBay
Tmall is a B2C website like Amazon which allows foreign businesses to sell their products to Chinese customers.
AliExpress Alibaba’s B2C international arm sells international customers products at factory prices without requiring a minimum purchase size.
If you are a U.S. business looking to bulk-buy wholesale or purchase products for their company, whether within the U.S. or globally, Alibaba is often an ideal one-stop shop.
Benefits of selling on Alibaba
1. You can reach a global market of buyers
One of the most important motives for becoming an Alibaba seller is connecting with the global buyer market. Alibaba boasts more than 26 million active buyers. Global companies utilize their platform to search for the items they require to run their business.
If you’re seeking an opportunity to connect with an international public, Alibaba is a great spot to begin.
2. Sell more products
If your company is a B2B company that is trying to sell the products that you’re selling, it might be not easy to work with other platforms like Amazon as they’re geared more towards B2C businesses. However, the platform has been specifically designed for B2B companies with Alibaba.
This means that you’re reaching the correct audience of potential buyers of your goods.
It will help to increase sales for your business and, consequently, your revenues.
3. Alibaba is Cost-Effective
Alibaba is cost-effective since every type of company can be able to afford its services. Small-scale suppliers also gain revenue from selling the minimum number of their products through the Alibaba site while keeping a wider excess quantity.
In addition, sellers are not required to have their own website or marketing budget for selling their goods on the internet because Alibaba is a hugely popular platform with powerful store builders to display sellers’ products on Alibaba.
Buyers are also free to browse the items on the website and select the item they wish to buy.
They are not charged any additional costs, except for the cost of the product.
4. Easier to sell in bulk
One of the biggest advantages of Alibaba is its ability to offer bulk sales. Unfortunately, a lot of e-commerce platforms make it difficult to make bulk purchases.
Amazon, for instance, provides tiered pricing to assist businesses in selling large quantities. However, the only problem is that the listings appear in search results alongside consumer-focused listings.
In the case of pen cartridges, for instance, there’s a mixture of large bags and more bulk choices.
It is more difficult for companies to look through all options since they have to sort through listings that aren’t pertinent to their requirements for bulk supply.
What is Alibaba different in comparison to Amazon?
Although Amazon and Alibaba have a lot of similarities, they also have a few significant differences that you need to consider.
If you’re new at working with international companies there are a few things to be aware of concerning Alibaba in addition to Chinese culture. Knowing these differences will increase your ability to negotiate and communicate with vendors, leading to more efficient transactions.
There is an obvious language barrier for a lot of sellers as well as Chinese suppliers. While most sales reps on Alibaba can read, speak and write in English, there could be some difficulties communicating, particularly via email.
Additionally, Chinese pleasantries are different. People may refer to you by the name of “honey” or “dear” in emails, which is completely normal. Honesty is a major thing in China. Always be courteous when you speak to your suppliers (always an excellent idea, regardless of where your supplier is located! ).
Work Ethics and Holidays
In China, the majority of workers in China follow the 996-hour schedule, which means they work from 9 am to 9 pm six days a week. This 72-hour schedule may appear too much for those who are used to working 40 hours a week. But, it’s actually quite typical in China.
However, the majority of Chinese workers take four weeks of major vacation during all times: Spring Festival (Chinese New Year), Qingming (Tomb-Sweeping Festival), Labour Day, and Dragonboat Festival.
The four celebrations usually last for at least a week; during these periods, most of China is off. This could affect the speed you receive responses from your vendors as well as the lead time and delivery times.
How do you sell on Alibaba?
You cannot join an Alibaba seller’s ranks without an Alibaba Account, which is why you must create the account first.
1. Select which Alibaba seller plan you want
Paid plans aren’t expensive and offer a variety of amazing options. Depending on the country you are selling, your plan will be a variety of plans. The paid plans allow you to publish an unlimited amount of products. They also allow you to reply to questions and provide access to customer service. Pick the plan that’s best for you and budget. When you create your account with Alibaba, it will undergo Alibaba’s Business Verification procedure to ensure that you’re not a fake company.
2. Upload your products to Alibaba
It’s not worth using Alibaba if you don’t have anything to offer. You must post your items to Alibaba when you sign up for an account. While you can add products in a series, this can be quite a task for those who sell…I don’t know…more than five items. There’s a bulk uploader that can simplify your life simpler. Alibaba also uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help you improve your listings according to their algorithms, and you won’t need to overlook this feature.
Additionally, you can utilize SEO on behalf of Alibaba to increase the exposure of product listings.
3. Your store should look attractive
Similar to how Amazon offers storefront building tools, Alibaba has its own storefront creation tools. Alibaba. You can build a virtual store on Alibaba to showcase your goods. It doesn’t require an experienced web developer to create it. Why not offer people something to look forward to? You’re probably ready to sell once you’ve completed the steps.
Alibaba is recommending alternatives to follow before you begin selling.
4. Enable Trade Assurance if it’s accessible to you.
Trade Assurance is Alibaba’s method of safeguarding customers by providing a secure payment method. It’s designed to assist customers when there are problems with the product’s quality or delivery as a buyer can be assured that their money is safe in the event of a problem. They are more likely to buy when they do business with a company using Trade Assurance. The program is free to buyers, but certain sellers must be liable for up to 2 % transaction fees for each item bought.
5. Respond to customer messages
A typical consumer who wants to purchase a product will not have a lot of questions. A B2B buyer, however, has to consider their budget for the business and may not be able to make a purchase immediately. One aspect of the Alibaba sellers’ experience includes dealing with queries.
There are times when you receive messages from customers asking questions, or customers may call you to discuss a lower price. For example, if someone is placing an order for 500 of a product, they’re hoping to cut costs as much as possible. Be sure to respond to questions promptly and as efficiently as feasible.