Why Alibaba.com isn't the holy grail

Launch your own PWA instead of selling through Alibaba.com.

7 months ago   •   2 min read

By Frans Buikema

Many promising Chinese factories making excellent products have a tough time figuring out the right strategy for selling to an international audience. Most of them end up joining Alibaba.com and sell online through this platform.

Although for some, this strategy works out great. After all, Alibaba.com is a huge success story. For quite a lot of Chinese manufacturers the results are disappointing. The Alibaba.com platform costs are steep, and if you don't pay attention you might even lose rights to sell internationally in other ways.

I advise ambitious Chinese manufacturers to keep control over their own destiny and sell to a global audience through their own dedicated channels.

Why Alibaba.com isn't for everyone

If you are a Chinese manufacturer, please consider that:

  • Alibaba.com doesn't have a positive brand recognition in all international markets. Alibaba.com is extremely successful in several markets and among quite some target groups. However you should be aware that there also a lot of professional buyers that don't like Alibaba.com for reasons like lack of trust, selling fake goods and more.
  • Alibaba.com can turn out to be an expensive sales channel. Being listed on Alibaba.com doesn't mean your buyers will find you. Count on lots of additional costs to participate in online promotions, expo's and more.
  • Most of the successful brands from China never included Alibaba.com in their sales strategy.

Launch your own Magento PWA

If you are a growing manufacturer or brand, and have global ambitions, I recommend you keep ownership of your sales channels. Presenting your company and your products on other marketplaces can definitely be worthwhile, but only when it is in addition and strengthening your own market position and channel.

A few things you should take into account.

  • Prospect buyers are less likely to come to mainland China and visit you in the coming years. COVID19 forever changed the world. An outstanding English online presence is more important than ever before.
  • New leads that find your company through organic search have proven to have the best and highest conversion rates. So make sure your website ranks high and offers an excellent customer journey.
  • First time visitors very likely come to you through mobile. So make sure your site is mobile-first.

Get started today

Now is a great time to invest in your own PWA. Contact frans@seo359.com and get started.

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