China’s biggest e-commerce site, Alibaba, is on a globalisation quest, and part of this involves establishing an office in Australia in late 2016. This could offer some significant benefits for Australian businesses marketing to China, and now could be the time to start getting ready for the online commerce giant’s move downunder.

How big is Alibaba?

In a word: it’s massive! Alibaba – these days sometimes referred to as China’s Amazon – was founded in 1998 as an online marketplace, and today is estimated to be worth more than $A250 billion. It also has over 400 million active buyers and about 60% of the online sales market in China.

The Alibaba group owns the following businesses (among others):

  • Social media sites Weibo and Youku Tudou.
  • Online marketplaces Taobao and Tmall.
  • AliExpress online international marketplace.
  • Alibaba cloud computing.
  • eTao comparison shopping website.
  • AutoNavi Chinese map supplier.
  • Alipay third-party transaction-fee-free online payment system.
  • South China Morning Post media outlet.
  • com B2B trading platform.

The potential impact on Australian businesses

Alibaba’s move into Australia could be very positive for Australian businesses, by providing them with greater access to e-commerce markets in China, and enabling them to set up Alipay accounts for Chinese buyers to pay in their own currency.

Businesses might also be able to take advantage of the company’s low-cost secure web-hosting services, which could help to ensure their sites load quickly and efficiently in mainland China.

Many Australian products are already popular on Alibaba’s online marketplaces. Baby products, beauty and skincare, and Blackmore’s supplements and health products are some of the more well-known and valued items.

Marketing opportunities to take advantage of

Alibaba could make it much easier for Australian businesses to take advantage of key marketing opportunities targeted at Chinese customers. These include:

  • The Double 11 festival – this 24-hour shopping fest is held on November 11 each year, and topped $US19 billion in sales in 2015. Favourite products included mother-care, fashion, phones, Nike sport shoes, appliances and auto.
  • Food and beverages – organic foods, dairy products, and wine and cheese are proving particularly popular.
  • Luxury items – handbags, fashion, and household goods are popular items on Tmall.
  • Health and beauty – health supplements, beauty products and cosmetics are in demand.

Our bilingual team at Digital Crew can assist you in making the best use of the Alibaba marketplace. Why not talk to us to make sure you have the right digital marketing strategies in place?

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