TECHNOLOGY

Enhanced Alibaba B2B marketplace features Office Depot, BigCommerce

BY Dan Berthiaume

Chinese B2B e-commerce marketplace Alibaba.com is opening its platform to U.S. small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs).

Alibaba.com, a business unit of Chinese online giant Alibaba Group, is now enabling U.S. SMBs to sell their products to Alibaba buyers in the U.S. and globally. The company is also unveiling an enhanced ecosystem of participants, including anchor sellers and B2B service providers.

Notable anchor sellers include Office Depot, who is expanding upon a partnership initially announced in March 2019, and Robinson Fresh, a division of transport company C.H. Robinson. Anchor sellers will provide extended product catalogs. Service providers include e-commerce platform BigCommerce.

Enhanced platform capabilities for U.S. sellers include streamlined ability to build and manage a store, transactional capabilities including online payment, and CRM, communication and digital marketing tools. Buyers will receive a more robust inquiry functionality that enables them to begin discussions and negotiations, expanded product selection, and improved search.

Alibaba.com is also co-producing a series of “Build Up” workshops and webinars with local chambers of commerce and B2B organizations across the country.

“Alibaba aims to empower entrepreneurs and help them succeed on their own terms,” said John Caplan, head of North America B2B at Alibaba Group. “With 10 million active business buyers in over 190 countries and regions, we are reshaping B2B commerce by providing the tools and services needed for U.S. SMB companies to compete and succeed in today’s global marketplace.”

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