Alibaba Group, operator of global marketplace platform, is two years into its mission to connect small- to-medium U.S. businesses with a way to sell business goods and services online to a global audience.

To facilitate more business, Alibaba, which says its global marketplace now has more than 26 million active buyers and over 200,000 sellers, is rolling out a new series of tools and programs aimed at smaller businesses, including newly minted entrepreneurs, to help launch or expand B2B ecommerce. “We are bringing big company solutions to the small guy,” says president of North America and Europe John Caplan.

The new tools include new drop-shipping features and alternatives, supply chain tools that enable sellers to research pricing trends and products to resell on Amazon and find suppliers, and live video chats and on-demand trending videos, which allows business buyers to hear directly from suppliers and manufacturers about their capabilities, qualifications, facilities, and products.

In addition, a new video showroom on lets buyers view showrooms and assembly lines using virtual reality.

Alibaba’s newest push for new digital features and services comes at a time when B2B marketplaces are emerging as the fastest-growing B2B digital commerce sales channel and at a time when Amazon Business is becoming a significant driver of B2B sales, according to research and analysis in the 2021 B2B Marketplace 250 research report from Digital Commerce 360.

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