Just as Amazon pulled out of the Chinese market, Alibaba extended an olive branch to more international sellers.
Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce group, is reforming its business model to offer a comprehensive international service that could challenge Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer.
According to media reports, Alibaba has strengthened its competition with Amazon in the global e-commerce market, AliExpress has opened its platform to overseas retailers for the first time, allowing small and medium-sized businesses in 4 countries in Russia, Turkey, Italy and Spain to register and sell products on the AliExpress website. It is understood that the AliExpress entrance has been set up at the multi-language website of AliExpress home centre. Meanwhile, “Portal for foreign sellers” is also available on the top right corner of the page registered by AliExpress sellers in China. Click on it and you can directly enter the entrance channel of AliExpress overseas merchants. In response, Alibaba said the move for the AliExpress business, and Tmall, Taobao has nothing to do.
Retailers in four countries are now using Aliexpress
Aliexpress is an e-commerce company that sells products to Chinese retailers, mainly in more than 150 countries.
Aliexpress is making changes to enable retailers in other countries to sell products on its platform, said dai chudi, President of Alibaba’s wholesale Marketing Department. For the first time, AliExpress is opening its platform to overseas suppliers for the new program, allowing small and medium-sized enterprises in Russia, Turkey, Italy and Spain to register and sell their products to other countries in AliExpress network. As merchants from all over the world join Aliexpress, it becomes more and more similar to eBay, Amazon and other e-commerce platforms and competes directly with them.
Although the new strategy was launched only this year, a “good foundation” of smes in four countries has registered to sell products, according to an Alibaba executive, who declined to give specific figures.
On last year’s singles’ day, Aliexpress completed more than 1.62 million payment orders covering 193 countries and regions within the first hour. Since its inception, however, Aliexpress has allowed only Chinese sellers to open stores. Now that Alibaba has allowed overseas retailers access to the platform, there is no doubt that it is a huge business opportunity for these businesses. On the other hand, for Alibaba, the addition of foreign merchants can also enhance their international competitiveness.
AliExpress is part of a “” local to global” “strategy that is also supported by alibaba’s subsidiary Lazada, southeast Asia’s largest e-commerce platform, and other affiliates around the world, Alibaba said.
Aliexpress has been a eye-catching, contributing 94% of revenue growth to Ali’s international e-commerce retail business in fiscal 2018, one of the group’s fastest-growing businesses.
Aliexpress’s recent move to embrace foreign retailers has also been interpreted by foreign media as an attempt to challenge Amazon’s global dominance. Industry insiders have analyzed that the competition between Aliexpress and Amazon has not yet evolved into a competition for international market share, because the penetration rate of Aliexpress in the global e-commerce industry is not very high, now the first task is to lay the foundation for expanding market growth.
Recently, Amazon suffered a major setback in China. Although Chinese online shoppers can still order goods from Amazon’s global stores, Amazon’s unsuitability in China has become a fact of life. On that basis, some voices expressed concern about Aliexpress.
Aliexpress’s localization tour of various countries
However, some industry insiders said that AliExpress is taking the opposite of Amazon’s international business expansion path, such as the localization strategy based on national conditions, through the establishment of a customer base, into the internal way to achieve their own grand hegemony.
In Russia, for example, AliExpress announced last year that it would work with Moscow’s sovereign wealth fund and kremlin-friendly oligarch Alisher Usmanov to expand its presence. Mail.ru, a local internet company controlled by Mr Usmanov, had about 97 million active users last year, a partnership that could boost AliExpress’s Russian customer base.
In Turkey, online clothing company Trendyol opened a store in AliExpress earlier this year, following alibaba’s investment in Trendyol last year.