“Tough times don’t last. Tough people do “said Robert Schuller in his famous book by the same name. Perhaps this is the guiding philosophy of the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba in its latest endeavor to expand its US presence and to help small businesses come out of the struggling COVID crises.
In the present market scenario, small business owners are struggling to survive and Alibaba is planning to help them by launching a new set of e-commerce tools to increase online sales. At its headquarters in Hangzhou China, technology is being developed to encourage domestic and increase in US participation in the dollar 29.3 trillion B2B markets.
The resources include updated payment terms that allow Alibaba users to wait up to sixty days to pay invoices, a platform that irons out the tracking shipping and fulfillment issues.
This option will immensely help small businesses that are facing problems in getting PPP funding from the government and make up for the loss of sale due to COVID closure for nearly two months.
In a press conference, the president of Alibaba North America and Europe John Caplan said – “The B2Bmarket has experienced 20 years of transformation in the past two months”.
People have relied more on the B2B platform during this pandemic as issues of contactless delivery and hygiene have been the challenges that were successfully met.
Caplan further announced a new partnership with digital freight marketplace Frightos with an intention to connect with small business vendors on transportation issues.
This platform will be called Alibaba Freight and will work separately to connect for booking and shipment options.
Also, Alibaba will launch digital industry-specific tradeshows for more networking opportunities in the future. The first trade show which is tentatively slated for mid-July will focus on supplements and nutrition.
Although the interesting fact is that nearly 70 percent of Alibaba’s business remains in china which is around 720 million users on its platform, yet it has a user base of nearly 150 million users globally with its presence in 189 markets.
The challenge is of standing up to its major rival platform Amazon and coming out with Singles Day and Super September like commercially successful shopping events of past on digital platforms are competitive times ahead.