Alibaba has over 8.5 million annual active sellers on its platform, and it is one of the largest online marketplaces in the world. But does this mean that sales platforms like this are the right place for new B2B customers to find your business?
You need to consider your customers, your products and your competitors in order to make the right decision for your business.
1. Will customers find my product when they search through Google?
Most potential customers will start their search from Google, they will not go directly to a sales platform and then search.
This means the sales platform listing needs to appear on page 1 of Google to give your products a chance of being found.
You can use a website like this one to perform a search for your products in the country that your customers are in, this will show you whether the sales platform is ranking for your keywords.
Remember: Google Search is country specific, so searching for your products from your computer in Taiwan does not show the real search results. You have to search in each target country through Google to see the correct results.
Competitors’ websites often rank on the first page of Google but sales platforms may not be there at all. If this is the case, you need to follow the correct website design process to build your own website so your business can appear on Google page 1 as well.
If you are paying for ads within the sales platform like Alibaba remember that the benefits stop as soon as the contract finishes.
It might be better to invest in something you own like a website as that will deliver long term benefits for your business.
2. Are my products suitable for a sales platform?
If you manufacture simple, high volume products with a low price per unit, then a sales platform may be a good choice for you to find new customers as long as the products are competitively priced.
If you make industrial products that need customization or specialist installation, then potential customers are more likely to search for a manufacturer through a company’s own website than via a directory site.
Many companies on these sales platforms show the price of the product on the listing. Comparing your products on price alone with the cheapest and lowest quality products from all your competitors in other countries may not be the best way to find the right customers for your business.
3. Are my competitors using this sales platform?
In general it is not a good idea to use the same marketing company or website platform as your competitors. It makes it less likely that customers will choose your products as you are listed with many competitors. Compared to your own website, the money you are investing is actually reducing the chance of your products being discovered.
It would be better for your business to invest the money in designing a website that you own and creating content that will attract your customers rather than spending it all to list your products next to those of your competitors.
Some Alibaba Facts
- Over 8.5 million sellers listing products on the website
- Ranks number 17 in e-commerce websites in the USA
- Ranks number 686 in the USA for website traffic
- 16% of traffic is from the USA
- 19 % of traffic is from China & Russia
- 107 million visitors per month
(Source: Similarweb 2022)
If you want to find a company that does B2B marketing the right way and listens to your business needs, then please contact us.