Alibaba Group’s Alibaba.com, a marketplace for connecting business buyers with sellers in China and other countries, is expanding how it connects with online merchants.
Online retailers that use the BigCommerce e-commerce platform to operate their e-commerce sites, for example, will have early next year the option to click directly from their sites to Alibaba.com and its multiple services for finding suppliers and purchasing products. “Beginning in 2015, you’ll have direct access from your control panel to a global market of trusted manufacturers offering unique products,” BigCommerce president Steve Power wrote in a recent blog.
Alibaba.com offers several online services, including: AliSourcePro, which allows companies to request price quotes for products not readily available through Alibaba.com or other marketplaces, and receive responses from suppliers; and Wholesale Checkout, an online marketplace where retailers can browse among products displayed by suppliers.
Alibaba is also working with other e-commerce technology companies to integrate their technology with Alibaba.com, but hasn’t announced them yet. “The projects are still in progress,” a spokeswoman says.
Shaheen Haroon, co-founder with his brother Fameez Haroon of Australia-based menswear e-commerce site OTAA.com.au, says AliSourcePro has enabled OTAA to quickly expand its product lines from neckties to other categories of apparel and accessories. When OTAA starting using AliSourcePro, it expected it would take six or seven days to identify suppliers of the products it needed. Instead, OTAA received its first supplier offer within six hours, and the process now often takes as little as two hours, Shaheen Haroon says in a video posted on Alibaba.com.
Alibaba.com provides a buyer’s guide with more information on AliSourcePro, Wholesale Checkout and other services.
Alibaba.com Ltd., which operates the wholesale e-commerce site Alibaba.com, is a subsidiary of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., the company that raised $25 billion last month in a record IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. Alibaba.com was founded in 1999 and was the first business venture of what’s now known as Alibaba Group, an e-commerce behemoth valued at nearly $247 billion.
Alibaba did not disclose the annual revenue of Alibaba.com in its IPO documents, but cited Chinese market research firm iResearch as saying Alibaba.com is the largest online B2B marketplace in the world based on revenue.
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