In the wake of more than a year in and out of lockdowns, the way we function in everyday life has undergone monumental change, driving an evolution of our relationship with digital. But more than simple leading us to spend more of our lives online; both for work and for leisure.Now that the world is settling into a “new normal,” many new opportunities are emerging in the B2B market.
Let’s look at the 10 reasons for selling on Alibaba.com B2B eCommerce platform.
Of the 7.91 billion population in this World, 5.31 billion (67.1%) people are mobile phone users. 4.95 billion (62.5%) people are connected to the internet and 4.62 billion (58.4%) are active social media users.
Over the past year, there has been a major push towards digitalization in B2B trade. Since many in-person business operations were halted, online trade became the norm. Mobile phone adoption increases more than 95 million (+1.8%). Video conferencing such as Zoom, Microsoft Team, streaming apps such as Netflix, HBO, Disney+, online shopping apps such as Lazada, Shoppe increases internet usage to more than 192 million (+4.0%) users.
B2C eCommerce marketplaces were already very popular, so the digitalization of the B2C sector was a natural progression. Not only does digitalization make things more convenient for sellers, but retailers also prefer digital buying.
However, as more and more sellers going into B2C market, the competition gets more and more intense. Perhaps we should consider looking for opportunities in the B2B market?
This data above is from US International Trade Commission showing that B2B e-Commerce is 6x larger than B2C.
Coming from B2C perspective, you can only sell to end users which is the consumers.
However, if you are doing B2B, then your buyers’ range are wider. For example, a coffee bean farmer can engage a manufacturer to make coffee powder and then package it or repackage it to wholesale it to a distributor or a trading company. Which then sell it to retailers or sell directly to consumers via online platform.
When you create a storefront on a B2B eCommerce platform, you can reach a much larger audience. Alibaba.com, for example, has over 20 million active buyers from over 190 countries around the world who are looking to source items for their businesses.
Another perk of selling your products on Alibaba B2B marketplace is that it makes it easier to connect with warm leads. Buyers come to these platforms with the intent to buy. They seek out what you offer.
Selling to these warm leads is much easier than selling to cold leads that you’ve prospected. Alibaba understood the needs and therefore allow buyer to send their request and seller to provide quotation via Request for Quotations (RFQ). When you leverage on RFQs, business comes to you.
Alibaba B2B eCommerce platforms are equipped with tools for automation. These are meant to help sellers save time and redirect their resources to more important tasks.
Alibaba.com, for example, offers tools for automatic product listing. Some other popular automation tools take care of advertising, lead generation, translation, and more.
While all these tasks are important, the more you can delegate to an automated system, the better.
Let’s look at some of the automation tools Alibaba.com has.
What is Smart Response?
Smart Response is an automatic reply to buyers whom you have no contact history with in the past 30 days. It is an important feature, especially if you have limited resources but don’t want to miss any potential business opportunities.
By using Smart Response, you can;
1. Start Interacting Immediately
Buyer may have sent inquiries to multiple suppliers, whereby if you don’t response fast enough, someone else would have provided a more interesting offer.
Furthermore, buyers associate fast responses to suppliers who are professional business partners.
The buyer may lose interest in the product entirely if they have waited for too long.
2. Save Time
The Smart Response function helps you to gather basic information upfront, before even talking to the potential buyer.
This means you spend less time understanding their request and more time on finalizing the sale.
3. Screen Buyers
You probably have a good idea of the types of buyers you want inquiries from. The Smart Response function gathers basic information about buyers based on the questions you set up beforehand.
This helps you understand how to assign leads to employees, or indicate which high-potential buyers you should spend time talking to.
Smart Marketing is a new intelligent marketing tool for Keyword Advertising (KWA) which helps suppliers market their products effectively using big data, AI algorithms and customer behaviour analysis.
Why choose Smart Marketing?
1. Save Labour Costs
Firstly, all you need to do is to click start your campaign. There is hardly any manual effort required on your end and everything else is completed by the system.
2. Product Assessment
Secondly, the system will recommend products for you to include in your campaign via machine learning. This saves you tie and going through your inventory one by one.
3. System Generated Keywords
Thirdly, all keywords provided can maximize your reach using AI algorithms. In other words, you don’t have to select keywords yourself.
4. Smart Bidding
Fourthly, Smart Marketing handles your bidding costs for each keyword, sparing you the work of allocating daily budgets. It also helps adjusts your daily budget’s flexibility according to real-time traffic as well as bidding competitiveness.
5. Efficient Traffic
Lastly, this tool filters out high conversion traffic for your campaign, naturally delivering a higher conversion rate as well as potential.
Think of your Alibaba.com storefront like an offline store, the product showcase is like your shop window. You should;
Why choose Smart Marketing?
1. Display your best-selling items to attract a buyers' attention.
2. Showcased products can get up to 8x more exposure.
3. Showcased products can get much better rankings.
The most innovative B2B eCommerce platforms are equipped with customer relationship management tools. These tools allow you to communicate directly with your clients and keep track of who has purchased and who has not. Alibaba customer management tools help sellers assess the status of different leads to let you know which ones you need to continue to nurture. They also give you insights into your customers’ backgrounds.
Direct access to your client's contact information is also very important because you want to be able to contact them outside of the platform if the need arises.
Here is the Alibaba.com 5 steps of the CRM process;
1. Build Brand Awareness
The first step in building brand awareness is to introduce potential customers to your business. To do that, Alibaba.com provide you a B2B eCommerce platform where you can setup your own online store that showcases your brand with Alibaba Mini-site.
You can use smart showcase to create exposure, post your company video to let your buyer understand your company background better and display your products certificates to create confidence to your buyers.
2. Acquire Leads
After you set up your beautiful Mini-site, what’s next? You can start looking for your potential buyers through (RFQ) Request for Quotations or you can activate your Smart Marketing and let Alibaba AI algorithms to hunt potential buyers for you. Another way is to have Top & Super Products. The more you have Top & Super Products, the more it will attract new visitors into your online store.
3. Nurture Leads
Once you have the attention of your potential customers, you have to convert them into actual paying customers. One way to nurture your leads is through customer engagements. You may use content marketing such as making a product demo video, doing live streaming or display your product features.
4. Provide Excellent Customer Service
Besides fast response, Alibaba.com provide a secure online environment for global trade between suppliers and buyers. With Trade Confidence, your online orders will be protected.
Together with the support of channel partner, rest assure that your customers concern will be address quickly and smoothly. Therefore, becoming a Star Rating seller within the 1st 6 months.
Upselling is a sales technique for convincing existing customers to purchase more products or upgrade their original purchase. Offering a warranty in addition to a device is an example, as is informing a consumer that another product has more features than the one they have selected.
How do you convince customers to buy more products or go for a higher value option? Start by emailing personalized recommendations or New Launched Products to existing customers and then you repeat the process.
“Ever wonder why my products doesn’t appear on the first search results page?
Why other seller’s products appear there instead?
So what can I do to make my products appear there as well?”
Alibaba.com B2B eCommerce platforms are equipped with an internal search engine. When you properly optimize your product listings with the appropriate keywords, your ideal customers will be able to find you.
There are 3 types of online traffic tunnels at Alibaba.com:
1. Organic Traffic
It is based on Views-click-feedback logic, get organic traffic by posting products and exposure in listing page.
2. Paid Traffic
The fastest to gain online traffic. Keyword Analysis and Keyword Advertising (KWA) are two approaches you can take to maximize your discoverability on Alibaba eCommerce marketplace. Running ads and optimizing your product listings to rank high on the platform’s search result pages will bring more traffic to your digital storefront and product offerings.
3. Centralized Scenario Traffic
A rewarding features to all Global Gold Suppliers with a minimum of one diamond a.k.a Star Rating. Anticipate in March Expo & Super September Online Tradeshow or based on categories by monthly.
So where will your products appear?
“Why does exporting have to be so hard?”
You laugh when you say it—and it’s kind of funny—but it’s true, isn’t it?
Even though exporting sounds sexy and appealing, it requires skill and hard work to be successful.
Here are 5 reasons why exporting can be difficult:
Exporting requires some physical distance. which you don't have to deal with if you are selling to your neighbours or even to other cities within Malaysia. Exporting is hard because you have to find the right people, market to them, convince them, sell to them, and deliver to them. When you’re used to shipping your goods via truck and decide to become an exporter, you have to find other means of transportation as well as make sure you’re completing the right transportation documents for every shipment.
2. Language and Cultural Issues
It’s hard to be an exporter because you will face a language barrier. You may also face cultural issues, from unfamiliar business customs and norms to different time zone.
3. Trade Terms
If you’re a new exporter (and perhaps even if you’re a seasoned exporter), these exporting trade terms may make you want to rethink the gig completely. Incoterms can be complicated, they require even more knowledge and understanding.
4. Customs and Country Regulations
The very nature of exporting means you’re required to work with different customs authorities, varying country regulations, and myriad legal requirements.
5. Getting Paid
The last (but obviously not least) challenge of exporting? Getting paid! When you’re exporting to someone across the world, how do you make sure you get paid for your shipment?
You have to deal with different currencies, different banks, different documentation, and different financing structures, and all of these elements make the payment structure more difficult to navigate.
Is Exporting Worth It?
“If it was easy, anybody would do it.”
But there are strategies and tools that can make it easier:
1. Find the Right Partners
Alibaba.com has a long track of records when Jack Ma founded it more than 20 years ago. It offers a B2B eCommerce platform where you can trade in more than 190 countries and regions.
2. 16 Languages Translation
This platform comes with 16 languages translation and this will equip you with the tools you need to overcome these challenges and help you navigate exporting like a pro.
3. Logistic Partners
Alibaba.com Malaysia has appointed logistics partners such as Transcargo Worldwide and Forward Freight. If that is not enough, we have our own logistics partners as well in A&G Freight Services and Transvalasia to assist you select the best Incoterms for your freight.
Have questions about custom regulations and documentations? With the collaboration between Alibaba.com, Matrade and Newpages, your concern will be address quickly and smoothly.
5. Getting Paid
With Trade Confidence, rest assured that your online orders will be protected by Alibaba.com. Thus, getting paid depending on which incoterms you choose.
Brand awareness is very important for most businesses. One of the best ways to increase your brand awareness is by improving and expanding your online presence. Luckily, Alibaba B2B eCommerce marketplaces are designed to do just that.
When you create a digital storefront on Alibaba.com, you can incorporate your brand’s personal touch. When you add your logo and other information about your business, it brings it to life and gives buyers ease of use as they compare potential suppliers.
Of course, listing your products on Alibaba.com is simply one way to improve your online presence. This approach works best when paired with an independent website. Staying active on other social media platforms, especially LinkedIn is also great reinforcement.
As a wholesaler, you deal with large quantities of products. When it comes to food wholesaling, you may also have to deal with perishable items. If you’re selling fresh produce, for example, you have to deal with relatively short shelf lives.
Alibaba B2B eCommerce platforms are equipped with forecasting tools. This helps you to make major decisions for your business.
Forecasting tools such as Keyword Analysis and Keyword Advertising (KWA) were especially important throughout the pandemic when there was so much uncertainty. It is nice to have guidance from experts and data that would be hard to obtain on your own.
Growing your wholesale business may seem overwhelming. Luckily, Alibaba B2B eCommerce platforms provide personalized support to help you along the way.
In addition to personalized support from online consultants, Alibaba.com offers unlimited access to webinar replays, a learning centre, a fully loaded business blog, industry reports, and eCommerce playbooks.
With this sort of support on your side, it makes it easier to navigate your journey through the Alibaba B2B eCommerce in any industry.
Another great aspect of bringing your wholesale business to Alibaba B2B eCommerce marketplace is that a platform of this nature can support you as you scale.
The culmination of the features that we discussed above makes a B2B eCommerce platform the ideal tool for scaling your business since the keys to automation are automation, consistent lead generation, discoverability, brand awareness, and relationship management.
Sell on Alibaba.com
Want to know more about how Alibaba.com can help you trade globally and expand your business? Speak to an expert today.
14 Mar 2022