Whether you’re a full-time entrepreneur, or just looking to earn some additional income, selling online is a tough business – and success often depends on your ability to find, and utilize, a competitive advantage. That competitive advantage might be upon us. Entrepreneur and marketing strategist Issa Asad’s new book, Instant Profits with Alibaba describes in great detail what he calls “The Alibaba Opportunity” – one which he describes as ‘the most lucrative opportunity of our generation.’
Alibaba was founded in 1999 and has gradually grown to become the world’s largest online B2B marketplace, making headlines recently after the phenomenal success of it’s initial public offering (IPO.)
Despite Alibaba’s domination of the Chinese market (which we’ll go on to explain in more detail) many businesses and merchants further afield have been slow to react and cash in on this remarkable success story. In this article we’ll cover 5 of the many benefits of selling on Alibaba.com.
Chinese Market Share
China now has over 640 million Internet users (more than double the number in the United States) and this still only accounts for less than half of the Chinese population – a number that’s sure to grow even further.And that’s not all. Despite the fact that millions of products are manufactured in China each year, many Chinese consumers are actually reluctant to buy Chinese products. In fact, they’ll often pay a premium to get their hands on foreign-made products. This phenomenal volume of potential customers means that American businesses like Nike, Ray-Ban and Apple have already been enticed into selling through Alibaba. This is primarily because Chinese consumers trust the site implicitly, often more than they trust third party brands and websites. There’s little doubt that this also represents an unmissable opportunity for American small and medium businesses,
Alibaba is comfortably one of the most popular sites among, as we’ve covered, the world’s largest Internet market. Essentially it’s China’s own mix of Amazon, eBay and PayPal, and so unsurprisingly it’s one of the most well-known and popular companies in the country. As of Q2 2014, the site boasted around 279 million annual active buyers, and it’s been suggested that by the year 2017, more than $700 billion of combined sales could be made through it’s various websites and marketplaces including Taobao, Tmall and AliPay.
As well as cornering the Chinese market, Alibaba also has a huge global appeal. You can find, buy from and sell to companies and users in over 240 countries around the world. This gives you unprecedented scope to open up global markets, however small your business. Can you imagine how much time and money you’d need to invest on overseas travel, promotion and trade shows to open those markets up on your own?
Find the Right Suppliers
There are many components to success in e-commerce, but the vast majority of them revolve at least partly around supply chain. Whether you’re looking for manufacturers, exporters or wholesalers, Alibaba is a veritable gold mine for finding great suppliers, and sourcing quality products to sell online.
You can choose from over 10 million suppliers on Alibaba, and there are no fewer than 45 product categories available, with members from over 240 countries.
You’re able to communicate directly with consumers and suppliers through the platform itself, discussing every detail of your relationship with clarity and security.
One of the best things about Alibaba is that it’s available to everyone – even solo merchants can thrive and prosper. The group’s mission statement from day one has been about making it easier for smaller businesses to do business, regardless of size or location.
One such example is that they don’t charge listing fees, instead monetizing the platform through advertising solutions. This means you can place products for sale in a relatively risk-free environment – peace of mind, particularly, for the casual entrepreneur.
Staying Ahead of the Competition
In the small business industry, change is often the only constant, and we all know how important it is to continue to diversify your offering. This can give you a valuable head start over your competition. Alibaba gives you a great platform to find products that your competitors aren’t even aware of yet, and maximize the potential of opportunities they may not have even considered.
Find out more
You can find out more about the Alibaba opportunity – and how to get involved – in the free downloadable e-book, Instant Profits with Alibaba. The book, written by experienced entrepreneur, businessman and marketing strategist Issa Asad, contains detailed information about making money using Alibaba.com.