For, the biggest driver of developing innovative digital tools for small-business owners is saving them time and money.

Today, has more than 40 million active wholesale buyers, 5,900 product categories, and it sells to more than 200 countries with content displayed in 17 languages.

But in recent years, U.S. small business have been a prime market of opportunity for Alibaba. To appeal to this market even more — and to attract more sellers to its B2B marketplace — Alibaba has rolled out a suite of new digital tools.

The aim of developing the new tool set is straightforward: make it easy, convenient, and transparent for U.S. small business sellers to source products online and then use to sell across the nation and worldwide.

“We have entered a transformative era of B2B sourcing and business innovation, and two keywords we use to define the new generation of B2B sourcing are efficient and inspirational,” says North America president Stephen Kuo. “We are making the sourcing journey more intuitive and visualizable by helping enterprises of all sizes better utilize today’s leading ecommerce technologies.”

Taobao is No. 1 in the Digital Commerce 360 database of Global Online Marketplaces. Tmall is No. 2. The database ranks the largest online marketplaces by gross merchandise value.


Alibaba B2B marketplace tools

The new suite of tools, which feature an easy-to-use and intuitive user interface, include:

  • A smart assistant tool. It acts as an intuitive personal guide to sourcing that helps small-business owners:
    • Discover new opportunities
    • Stay up to date on trends
    • Seamlessly track orders through a single and upgraded image search.
  • Upgraded image. It allows buyers to search for products by image and text simultaneously, with additional image generation capabilities helping to streamline complex sourcing requirements.

Other new features available free to sellers on include:

  • Smart enhancements to request for quotation (RFQ). This uses predictive sentence completion and image generation to help small-business owners connect quickly and efficiently with qualified suppliers.
  • Real-time translation in 17 languages for live video chats with suppliers. This is designed to enhance and streamline the process of visually verifying potential partners’ capabilities and facilities.
  • The logistics marketplace, which offers continual live customer service and enables more detailed tracking of B2B shipments.

For, the biggest driver of developing innovative digital tools for small-business owners is saving them time and money.

“At, we are not just a link in the supply chain — we are dreamers and creators as well,” Kuo says. “We’re reinventing ourselves to become a link in the ‘creation chain’ for entrepreneurs.”

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