Alibaba Group’s Alibaba.com, its global B2B online marketplace, today launched a multi-pronged program—highlighted by a series of 20 online trade shows starting next month—designed to build on the growing demand for online commerce by pandemic-hit businesses based in the United States.
“In the last two months, there’s been 20 years of acceleration of small businesses needing to get digital and to do business globally,” says John Caplan, president of North America and Europe for Alibaba.com. Now, he adds, businesses will be using digital commerce to “bridge through the pandemic and into the next decade.”
On Alibaba.com, the volume of commerce transactions has “grown more than 85%” since COVID-19 started to impact business in general. Alibaba’s fastest-growing market for new sellers and buyers is the United States, which has led that growth since Alibaba opened its global B2B marketplace to U.S. sellers last July.
Now, Alibaba is out to build on that growth with three new services:
● Alibaba.com Online Trade Shows USA, which next month will kick off the first of 20 shows designed around product categories and planned over the next 120 days. The U.S. shows are modeled after the existing Alibaba.com Global Online Trade Shows, which debuted last month to show support for companies impacted by the coronavirus and focused on the home and health products industry. That global online show “attracted more than 1 million business buyers and many hundreds of sellers over the course of two weeks,” Alibaba says.
Alibaba didn’t comment on the expected number of attendees and exhibitors for the U.S. shows, but a spokesman said they would be invitation-only and “very curated to ensure optimal matching between buyers and sellers.” The first U.S. show, an invitation-only event for U.S. B2B sellers and wholesale buyers in the Supplements & Nutrition category, is slated to run July 7-10. Alibaba will host that event in a partnership with the USA CBD Expo, which caters to the cannabis industry, and the United Natural Products Alliance. Alibaba is taking online applications for exhibitors and online registrations for attendees.
● Alibaba Payment Terms, which Alibaba is promoting as the first trade financing system embedded directly into a cross-border B2B ecommerce marketplace. Offered through a credit-as-a-service platform from MSTS Inc., the Payment Terms system will let buyers on Alibaba.com pay on terms of up to 60 days after a seller ships their order.
● Alibaba.com Freight, a service offered through the digital freight marketplace Freightos, is designed to let buyers on Alibaba.com arrange for bulk shipments online while comparing multiple carrier options, then booking, managing and tracking ocean and air freight shipments with real-time status updates.
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