Alibaba intensifies push into global ecommerce

Source: ft, Thursday, May 9, 2019

China’s ecommerce leader, Alibaba, has revealed that AliExpress is enabling international vendors to sell on its platform. AliExpress is its cross-border marketplace that connects Chinese sellers with buyers in more than 150 countries. The change is currently limited to small and medium-sized vendors in Russia, Turkey, Italy and Spain, although Alibaba is planning to roll out the service to more countries after building up experience.

Demonstrating a 94% increase in sales in 2018, AliExpress is a logical platform to spearhead international growth ambitions for Alibaba, as it races to cement its presence in unsaturated markets amidst competition from JD.com and Amazon, whose recent investments in India and the Middle East highlight the rapid pace at which new market opportunities are targeted.

Suppliers in affected markets should look at AliExpress as an opportunity to gain a first mover advantage on a fast-growing platform and familiarize themselves with working with Alibaba, from both an operational and merchandising perspective. These brands will also be inherently better positioned to establish a China presence via Alibaba, a must-win platform for the world’s largest ecommerce market.