Alibaba, the Chinese mega-giant, is coming to America. Often compared to U.S. based Amazon and eBay, Alibaba is really more of a technology company…a technology company that controls 80% of the Chinese ecommerce market and is poised to rival Amazon and eBay as a serious threat.
The online shopping marketplace has filed a $1 billion IPO in May, although the ultimate offering is expected to be around $17 billion and happen sometime this June or July. This is roughly one billion more that of Facebook’s IPO. Sales forecasts for Alibaba in 2014 are estimated at $420 billion- more than double their 2012 sales, which totaled $170 billion. This swallows their closest competitor, Amazon, who’s reported sales were $74.4 billion in 2013. Ebay’s reported sales for 2013 were $16 billion- less than one-tenth what Alibaba did in their “leaner” year of 2012.
So what does this mean for sellers on Amazon and eBay? Well, it may be time to think about expanding your marketplace reach. Alibaba has already unveiled its first “direct-to-consumer” online shop in America. Their site, 11 Main, is ready to challenge Amazon and eBay on home turf, and intends to sell across a variety of categories such as fashion and style, home décor, outdoor, jewelry, watches, and one-of-a-kind products. The artistic, on-trend aura of 11 Main seems to most closely represent the vibe of Etsy. You can signup to sell on 11 Main here, and Alibaba has released a seller guide for store owners who want to get their products on the site.
11 Main may be in its beginning stages, but since its run by powerhouse Alibaba, we know this is a marketplace to watch. Keep an eye out for Alibaba’s expanding reach, and consider the possibility of adding another marketplace into the mix in the near future.
Loeb, Walter. “10 Reasons Why Alibaba Blows Away Amazon And EBay.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 11 Apr. 2014. Web. 24 June 2014.
Osawa, Juro. “Alibaba Tackles Amazon, EBay on Home Turf.” The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company, 11 June 2014. Web. 24 June 2014.