Alibaba is The Next BIG Thing in B2B eCommerce According to the Experts.
There’s a new B2B eCommerce competitor in town, which is giving very strong competition to its American and European counterparts. Alibaba – the Chinese eCommerce giant – is already making a big impact in the international business to business(B2B) and business to consumer(B2B) market.
In the next five years, the Chinese eCommerce giant is likely to overtake the rest of retail businesses in the foreign market, says Ranga Bodla, director of NetSuite Inc, a leader in the wholesale distribution niche. He goes on to add that Alibaba will grow into a dominating presence in the business world.
Alibaba taking the right steps
With an intuitive and interactive platform, Alibaba has done all things right to make the sale and purchase of thousands of items easier from over two million suppliers.
From police and firefighting equipment to automotive parts, polymer gels, LED displays, crude oil, and copper wire, among others, Alibaba is a platform to sell and buy every conceivable product. The Chinese giant has a share of 81%, which equals $450 billion, in the ever-growing $540 billion Chinese market, according to an estimate by Jim Tompkins. This figure shows that Alibaba is giving tough competition to eCommerce businesses in the US, which recorded sales of about $475 billion in the same period.
With an increasingly huge range of products offered by Alibaba, the Chinese B2B eCommerce company is fast spreading its arms into international business. It already boasts a huge client base in the international market, with more than 7 million customers in the U.S. and 1.5 million in the U.K. That means toughest competition is in the offing for any North American distributor that trades in Chinese goods.
Speaking in his recent webcast, “Making Room for Alibaba: The New Powerhouse in e-Commerce,” Tompkins says Alibaba’s Asian location gives it an edge over international distributors of Chinese goods, certainly making the ground ready for fierce competition in the global market.
Alibaba’s credibility in the market stems from its array of secure services, which include escrow accounts, e-Credit Line, shipping services, business verification, and factory inspections.
Alibaba as a Huge B2B Resource
Though Alibaba’s growing popularity is presenting it as a formidable competitor for American and European distributors, it should nevertheless be seen as a resource that can bring them business. It’s perfectly fine for international B2B eCommerce businesses to develop a killer strategy to counter Alibaba, but simultaneously it is equally important to leverage Alibaba’s increasing access to a mammoth number of Asian buyers and suppliers that trade on its fast growing network. U.S. distributors and wholesalers can eye low-cost Chinese suppliers that are looking to expand their international presence and eager Asian buyers that are always looking for ways to save on supplier costs.
It will help U.S. distributors to assess how to use Alibaba as their own virtual warehouse, thanks to its widespread volume and diversity of products (Think International Drop Ship). This could translate into a big advantage even for small distributors in providing timely delivery of products for customers located anywhere on the globe, without the need to maintain an inventory at their warehouse. The distributor will act as the middleman to leverage Alibaba’s potential to reach out to global customers.
Besides prices, service and delivery are a priority for most B2B eCommerce buyers. Here, knowledge of local laws and government regulations will give local distributors a big advantage. On top of it, reliability, quality, and personalized customer service focused on fulfilling the unique needs of customers will remain a factor in the customers’ choice of a b2b supplier.
In all businesses, we need to constantly stay connected and knowledgeable about our industry. When new changes happen, we need to learn to adapt and use the changes to our advantage. Use Alibaba’s expertise to your advantage to either expand your product base or lower cost for the good of your customers. Also great for your bottom line!