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Following Aliuser‘s report on 13th Nov – Alibaba.com appeals to multi-language users, Alibaba.com (HKSE 1688)continues to make its inroad to other foreign languages – Russian, Italian and French. Users will be able to use and  access Alibaba’s products and services via these languages even though they are not very familiar with English.

Russian Alibaba

Russian Alibaba

Russian Alibaba

Italian Alibaba

Italian Alibaba

Italian Alibaba

French Alibaba

French Alibaba

French Alibaba

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In our last usability research, Aliuser confirmed that users had a very strong tendency to search products with photo images. We also discussed casually how photo images were handled in Photo Talks  in May.  Alibaba.com (HKSE 1688) is now developing its image search and has it first phase online.

To be more accurate, the image search does not let users search for product images, it’s more like a directory search. Unlike Google or Yahoo, users would not be able to see an image tab on the search bar and won’t be able to find the SERP with loads of product photos.

Instead, users will see an array of related product images that match the keyword at the bottom of pages after doing a keyword search. Once users click on a matched photo, it will lead to an image index page or directory whereas 20 images will be displayed.

According to the release, the first phase covers 288 Product keywords  only and the B2B company will devote more efforts to furnishing its tools. Aliuser sees it as a nice move while in the meantime, Aliuser thinks that the image match tool requires more hard work and time to make it perfect!!

Aliuser suggests the project team spending more effort in improving its search relevance and the way it presents the product images. For example, users should be able to choose how many products can be displayed at one time, pagination can be kept more closely with the products on the result pages and having the related photo images at the bottom of each page may not be very helpful since users tends to ignore them anyway.

On the pro side,  the UI helps users and robots to find product through numeric figures e.g. 3-wheel bikes, 4 ports USB hubs etc.

Want to learn how to make use of the image search?  You can visit Alibaba image match  

 

Alibaba Search image

Alibaba Search image

 

 

 

 

 

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Alibaba.com (HKSE 1688) takes a few steps to make the Business to Business website more accessible and usable by developing a set of entry points with different foreign languages other than English, Chinese and Japanese.

Aliuser manages to find the China internet company in Google both in Spanish and German versions. The exercise is expected to help users who are not English-native speakers click on the products and services displayed on the website.

German Alibaba

german-alibaba_google

German language Alibaba.com

German language Alibaba.com

 

Spanish Alibaba

Spanish Language Alibaba.com

Spanish Language Alibaba.com

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Alibaba.com provides a few tips to suppliers who want to escalate themselves to become super suppliers.  For those who succeeded in performing a 3-step task, they will get free promotion in the new Super Supplier Channel.  

 

Alibaba.com Super Supplier October Offer

Alibaba.com Super Supplier October Offer

Of those tips, Alibaba.com gives away 3 formulas: 

  1. Display more products so as to enable buyers can find them in search results.
  2. Downloading TradeManager, an IM tool, will gap the bridge between suppliers and buyers and get feedback faster.
  3. Upload your own portrait photos on-line in order to become more trustworthy. 

“Our Super Suppliers believe that you can set yourself apart from other faceless suppliers and buyers trust faster with a face picture”

On top of it, Aliuser would like to offer a few suggestions to enhance its usability, creating a more engaging users experience:

  • Given that ONLY Alibaba registered users are eligible for the Super Suppliers program, the following information – “Not a member yet? Let us make you a Super Supplier for FREE. Join now!should be placed in a more prominent  position for clarity
  • The content on the right and the left seems to be the same. Not sure how they are different from each other?
  • Instead of opening up new individual window for each step to complicate the process, it may be worthwhile to consider a three-in-one task while developing the user work flow so as to minimize drop off rate. It will definitely be beneficial to users but unfortunately create more work to engineers! Life is a trade-off though
  • Take away icons or graphics that are not value-added or are meaningless to users. It also can make the page lighter
  • May consider TM “Super Supplier”

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Alibaba Buying leads

Alibaba Buying leads

With good intent, Alibaba‘s “latest buying leads” are designed to provide the most updated information to suppliers to fulfil buyers’ sourcing needs.  Using the buying leads, however, pose a challenge to many users.

Briefly looking at the copy  such as, pc case, stationery, looking for plast.., they are so concise that we hardly know what the buyers really need. 

Users have to login to see the details. That’s very fair. Yet, another hurdle comes — users are required to be paid members. To get to this notice, users are supposed to go through three to four clicks. Should the users want to get an upgrade, they have to click again.

Er… I think it’s a bit too much, click after click.  It would be very frustrating to those who are new to Alibaba.com .  Alibaba should spend time on streamlining the users’ workflows.

It would be nice if the users can be acknowledged that the service is limited to paid members only when they come across the UI in the first place or they should be notified when they are in the second click.  Once decided to become a paid member, the upgrade information should stay with the membership information as to save another click.

Alibaba TrustPass Membership

Alibaba TrustPass Membership

Another concern is that we are not sure about if the national flag be meaningful to users?  Yes, we are watching Olympic Games now, we know our national flag very well, what about the flags of our neighboring countries? 

At Alibaba, we believe that the company is devoting effort to making things not only useful but also usable. “Usefulness” and “Usability” should come hand in hand, enabling users to get things done fast. To most of the users, time is money.

 

 

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