Coming on the heels of Gateway 17, Alibaba announced Monday they launched Taobao Global U.S. Merchants Network.
Taobao Global is a dedicated cross-border e-commerce channel within the Taobao Marketplace, China’s largest mobile-ecommerce platform.
This new service from Alibaba allows small US businesses to reach over half a billion Chinese consumers by connecting with qualified merchants on Taobao Global.
The matchmaking service offered by Alibaba reduces the barrier to entry for small US businesses to the Chinese market. Of course, adding a partner in selling to China reduces margins, but it also avoids costly errors and mistakes.
The idea is to look at the Chinese market as a long term plan and utilizing local help makes the process easier.
The Chinese merchants on Taobao Global will work with small US businesses to build brand awareness and market the products properly to Chinese consumers.
“The merchants who join this network are experts on Chinese consumers and are continually seeking new, unique American products for the millions of Chinese consumers they reach on Taobao,” Alibaba President Michael Evans said in a statement.
The network encourages a collaboration between US businesses and Chinese merchants to build the brand and ensure products are offered that best fit the Chinese marketplace.
TAILOR PRODUCTS TO CHINESE MARKET VITAL FOR SUCCESS
As was mentioned by several speakers during the Gateway 17 conference in Detroit, tailoring products to the Chinese market is crucial for success.
This does not mean you pretend to be a Chinese company, actually the opposite is best, but you keep small details in consideration when offering products.
At Gateway 17, Martha Stewart used towels as an example.
She mentioned the size of washing machines in China is smaller. So towels must be adjusted in size to fit in the average Chinese washing machine.
By collaborating with a Chinese partner, a US business gains valuable insight in Chinese consumer expectations, customs, and desires.
If you are serious about expanding into China, this is another ground floor opportunity to bring your brand and products to China.
The network launched with over 300 U.S.-based Taobao Global merchant members. An onsite matchmaking event at last month’s Gateway 17 conference in Detroit connected 60 U.S. small businesses with 45 Taobao Global merchants.
WHY IS TAOBAO IMPORTANT?
In China, Taobao is known for its social and community-driven commerce. Chinese consumers consume content and engage with each other, brands and retailers via messaging, interactive media and live-streaming.
In China, shopping is a social experience very different from US or western shopping customs. Taobao embraces the unique Chinese shopping culture and is the market leader in shopping and products offered on its platform.
To learn more about this opportunity, you should contact an Alibaba office.