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Photo courtesy of iT.com.cn

In our last conversation with international buyers, we concluded that much of their needs from suppliers is “straight-to-the-point communication”.

They reiterated the importance of using plain language – English in the course of negotiating and contracting. Most often, they found suppliers’ replies perplexing since the language the suppliers were using could not be comprehend very easily. They simply could not get the information they need to make a prudent decision.

While it is forgiving that most Chinese suppliers and manufacturers are not native English speakers, a few buyers urged suppliers the need for clarity and accuracy in sending feedback.

Other clues come from suppliers’ online presence. In the next couple of posts, we would offer a few tips and tricks extracted from Alibaba‘s latest “Super Supplier” deal.

Part one will focus on Product Listings, Product Variety and Posting Frequency.

  1. Product Listings: Increase the numbers of product postings which will logically entice more inquiries
  2. Product Variety: Showcase a wide range of products in styles, colors and sizes as many as you can. Users have more options to choose from
  3. Post Frequency: Update new products often and repost products every week so that the trading platform can reflesh your product profiles accordingly

The above suggestions can be done easily but can also be overlooked oftentimes.

 

 

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Seeking for a right supplier to find the right product is the first and foremost issue to buyers. We also got the feedback that finding a reliable supplier to work with, reducing all the hassles in the process of negotiating and contracting is another major concern.

To most suppliers, gaining trust from their clients is the starting point to acquire business.

In an effort to to making suppliers’ profile more transparent to buyers. Alibaba suggested three third-party service providers to offer authenication and verification inspection to its supplier members.

They are

 

Alibaba services providers for authenications and vertifications

 

 

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Speaking at the e-Business Champion Awards Reception in Chicago, Arthur Chang of Alibaba told AuctionBytes that the Export-to-China would be beneficial to many international traders who are not very familiar with China market.

Export to China from Alibaba

International suppliers can take advantage of the program by building their storefronts in Alibaba.com. The storefronts would then be translated from English to Chinese, being accessible to most of its 25 million Chinese members.

Mr Chang, Vice President of Global Sales, quoted the latest import and export trading figures in China, saying that the business from “export to China” has jumped 4 times in the last five years. The findings expected another continued surge in the next 10 years.

He contemplated that the trend will go on because:

  • There is a strong and staggering demand for consumers’ items from the growing middle and upper classes in China
  • In the meantime, Chinese manufacturers, who aspired to stay competitive in face of India and Vietnam potential challenges, have imported components and parts with higher quality from other countries.

Mr Chang also said North America was the second largest user base of Alibaba  international site, their members could make use of the trading platform to do sourcing, reaching out to 5 million international users coming from all over 200 countries and regions.

“One of our suppliers can cut 50% of their time in sourcing for the right trade partner,” he concluded.

 Arthur Chang from Alibaba

The program is in line with what we have discussed – “Alibaba set her sight to  UK – “Export to China, Export to the World” earlier  in March 

 

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Please send your donations for Sichuan Earthquake Disaster direct to the Red Cross Society
or see more details in our previous post.

With Baidu launching its IM tool on June 5, Alibaba group and Taobao.com may face another serious challenger in consumer-to-consumer (C2C) market in the near future.

The challenge remains to be seen since the C2C marketplace is till towered over by Taobao.com (81.5%) for the first half of 2008, according to China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) latest release of online shopping statistics.

Dangdang.com comes into the second place with 16.6% market share, Amazon China subsidiary Joyo, 14.6%, Tom Online and eBay’s Eachnet, 8.4%, Tencent’s Paipai.com 7.2%.

Taobao.com currently has an IM tool – Ali Wan Wan to share with Alibaba group.

Ali Wan Wan

Baidu, which now dominates the Chinese search landscape with a 60 percent market share, served 3.3 billion searches in the global arena. It’s estimated that there are over 510 million users in Asia. But more to the point here, China has become the fastest growing internet country with the largest internet users base.

Baidu IM tool — Baidu Hi has recorded 200,000 downloads ever since its release. In the meantime, Alibaba group should not under estimate Hong Kong-listed Tencent (007.HK), which is posied to be one of the few major competitors due to its exponent growth in China consumer market.

 

 

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SuperDeals with China Buyer Directory

Open to all suppliers or exporters who engage in promoting their products in online trading platform, Alibaba International site kicked off a new round of SuperDeals Program to help buyers find what they want from the B2B site while in the meantime, provide a free service to suppliers.

So in the next coming program, it will feature 4 categories:

  • Minerals, Metals & Materials
  • Chemicals
  • Rubber & Plastics
  • Energy

What exactly is the SuperDeals promotion and how can users take advantage of it to improve the findability of their products?  It’s three-step approach is visually illustrated in its marketing page as below.

three steps approach

Users can now apply for the free promotion service from June 11-17th, 2008. As soon as the applications are processed, their products will then be promoted in the internet trading platfrom starting from 19-25th June, 2008. Additionally, users will get a chance to win a China Buyer Directory.

The only criticism we have to its marketing page is its copy. we find typo and inconsistent labels.  

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