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With the world’s leaders unprecedently joining hand-in-hand to push forward bailout plans to save financial institutions and cutting short-term interest rates to increase liquidity in the banking sectors worldwide, Aliuser should warn everybody that we are facing a potentially severe recession in the foreseeable future.  

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernake

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke

 Photo courtesy of

The coordinated efforts, which involved the Fed, the European Central Bank, the Bank of England and others, came along with the People’s Bank of China’s decision to cut its key rate 0.27 percentage point yesterday to stop the snowballing effect of the widening global financial crisis. 

In the middle of economic meltdown, buyers and sellers would stay sideline, refraining themselves from spending money on off-line marketing program or attending trade shows.

There is an article “6 reasons you should invest in internet marketing during the recession” from Hubspot about this and suggests users shifting their gears to Internet marketing.

Certainly there’s no one-glove-fits-all solution, suppliers however can explore the opportunity of International TrustPass program offered by Ltd (1688.HK)  to maximize exposure to Buyers, looking for sales leads.

The key benefits covered in the program include:

  • Unlimited access to buying leads
  • Priority listing in buyer searches for both products and selling leads
  • Third-party Authentication & Verification

For more details, you can visit TrustPass Membership.


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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 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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TrustPass 5-year anniversary

Alibaba boasts her five-year establishment of TrustPass Sevices by offering additional value-added services to its paid members worldwide.

TrustPass members, so far, are one of the major sources of annual revenue for Alibaba B2B website, contributing a large portion of revenue to the Chinese eCommerce portal as of December, 2007.

Suppliers are entitled to have their products displayed at the very top of the products search results for one month as soon as they renew or upgrade to TrustPass during the period of April 1 to 20th, according to the 5th Anniversary campaign  information.

“In addition to our TrustPass Sevices, we are developing more value-added sercices to give you more business opportunities and keep up with the changing needs of our members. We are very confident our exclusive new services will assist you in your global trade!” Chief Executive David Wei told his customers in his opening message.

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