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What is Alibaba and How Can You Become an Alibaba Seller?

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What is Alibaba?

Alibaba is a global online marketplace that connects buyers and sellers, offering a wide range of products and services, from electronics to clothing, with a user-friendly interface and secure payment options.

In this video, Chris from the WebFX Internet Marketing team will give you an overview of how to sell on Alibaba.

Transcript: has over 13 million buyers around the world, so maybe it’s time you look into selling on the platform.  This is a great opportunity to expand your business-to-business (B2B) ecommerce presence into a new marketplace and generate more sales and revenue for your company.  Are you familiar with Alibaba? If not, I’ll tell you what it is.

What is Alibaba? 

You’ve heard of this little tech startup called Amazon, right? Well, Alibaba is like Amazon, but its main website is focused on B2B transactions When I say Alibaba in this video, I’m referring to   The homepageOverall, the Alibaba Group, which owns, has several online platforms, including its own business-to-consumer (B2C) selling platforms.  Put as simply as possible, Alibaba is an ecommerce platform that helps businesses sell to other businesses.

You may notice that many items come in bulk on Alibaba. Prices vary depending on the quantity someone buys. The average consumer won’t buy in bulk, but businesses will. 

Alibaba vs. AliExpress

As I mentioned, Alibaba does have platforms aimed at consumers. AliExpress is one of Alibaba Group’s B2C platforms.    The AliExpress homepageThe main difference between Alibaba and AliExpress is that the former focuses on B2B selling and the latter is B2C.  So if you sell products for businesses, how do you sell on Alibaba? I’ll give you a quick overview!

How to sell on Alibaba

You can’t become an Alibaba seller without an Alibaba account, so create that first. 

1. Choose your Alibaba seller plan

Paid plans aren’t too expensive and come with a lot of great features. Depending on where you sell from, you can choose between a few different plans.   Alibaba-pricing-plansThe paid plans let you post an unlimited number of products, include the ability to respond to inquiries, and give you access to customer support.  Choose the plan that works best for your needs and your budget.  When you open an account, you’ll also go through Alibaba’s Business Verification process to make sure you’re a real company.

Who Should Sell on Alibaba?

2. Add your products to Alibaba

There’s no point in using Alibaba if you don’t have anything to sell. You have to post your products to the platform after you create your account. While you can add items one by one, this could be a lot of work if you sell…I don’t know…more than five products. There’s a bulk upload tool you can use to make your life a lot easier.  Alibaba also uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help you optimize your product listings for its algorithm, so you don’t want to ignore that feature. 

You can also use SEO for Alibaba to improve the visibility of your product listings.

3. Make your store look nice

Just like Amazon has its storefront creation tools, so does Alibaba. You can create a digital store through Alibaba to show off your products. And you don’t have to be a professional web developer to do it.   An Alibaba store for camerasWhy not give people something nice to look at?  So you’re pretty much ready to sell after you’ve finished those steps.

Alibaba does recommend some additional strategies when you’re ready to start selling.

4. Enable Trade Assurance if it’s available to you

Trade Assurance is Alibaba’s way of protecting buyers by offering a secure payment option.  It aims to help buyers when there are any issues with product quality or shipping. Since a buyer knows their money will be protected if a problem arises, it makes them more likely to spend money with a business using Trade Assurance.  This program is free for buyers, and certain sellers have to pay up to two percent in transaction fees for every item purchased. 

5. Respond to customer messages

A regular consumer looking to buy a product probably won’t have many questions. A B2B customer, however, is dealing with their company’s budget and might not make an immediate purchase. Part of the Alibaba seller experience is managing inquiries. You may get messages with questions or people may contact you to negotiate a better price.  If someone is ordering 500 of a certain item, you can bet they’re looking to save as much money as possible.  Try to respond to inquiries as quickly and efficiently as possible.

If you’re not paying attention, another seller may snap up that large sale that could have been yours. 

3 tips for selling on Alibaba

Just listing your products and hoping for the best isn’t enough to be successful on Alibaba.

1. Look at your seller data

Alibaba’s platform gives you access to valuable data you can use to maximize your sales.  Look at your dashboards to see how your products are performing. If you’re not hitting your sales goals (which you should have whether you sell online or in-person), dig into the data to see what you can do better.  You might need to spend some time optimizing your product listings.  A few ways you can do this are by: 

  • Adding more details to your product names and descriptions 
  • Making sure your product names and descriptions meet the search intent of your target customers
  • Using high-quality photos and videos

Alibaba’s platform also suggests changes you can make to see a better product performance. Pay attention to those suggestions to see what you can do to drive more sales. 

2. Dive into Alibaba advertising

With Alibaba’s Keyword Advertising, you can boost your products’ exposure in the search results.  Your boosted products can appear at the top of the first page, on the right or below each search results page, or at the top of the app search results.    Alibaba adsYou pay for every click on your product, but within a specific budget you set.  If your products are more visible, and you have a properly optimized product listing, you’ll see more sales and a larger return on your ad spend. 

3. Emphasize great customer service

This tip might seem like common sense, but take good care of your customers.  Respond to their messages in a timely manner. Ship your products within the agreed-upon time frame. Make sure what someone receives matches the online description. Treat all of your customers well, so they turn into repeat customers. 

Thanks for tuning in to this video about how to sell on Alibaba. 

If you’re still wondering, “What is Alibaba?” then go back to the beginning of this video or check out more resources on the WebFX blog.  If you found this video helpful, give us a thumbs up and subscribe to our YouTube channel!  We also have an awesome email newsletter you can sign up for to receive the latest digital marketing insights.

The link to Revenue Weekly is in the video description.  See you next time!

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