Alibaba.com Launches New Services, Support and Grants Program to Fuel the US Small- and Medium-Sized Business Recovery and Success of “New Digital Entrepreneurs”
September 09, 2021 at 09:00 AM EDT
Alibaba.com, one of the world’s largest B2B ecommerce marketplaces and a business unit of Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA), is launching new Alibaba.com Dropshipping Solutions, alongside new platform tools and a grants program totaling $500,000 in awards to support existing ecommerce businesses and the rise of “New Digital Entrepreneurs.”
In 2020, 600,000 more new businesses started than in 2019 in the US. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, one third of these companies are retailers not tied to a physical store. Many of these 200,000 new online businesses are part of a newly emerging group of entrepreneurs. These “New Digital Entrepreneurs” are building digital businesses enabled by new online infrastructure that allows them to operate their own business-to-consumer (B2C) ecommerce stores on platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce and Wix or as third-party sellers on retail ecommerce sites like Etsy, Amazon and Walmart. Many of these New Digital Entrepreneurs already look to Alibaba.com for sourcing options and product demand insights. The new solutions and offerings being announced today by Alibaba.com will further fuel their ambition and support their future success.
“The disruptions of the last 18 months upended the small business sector, forcing entrepreneurs to adopt more digital business models and requiring new skills, services and capital,” said John Caplan, President of North America and Europe of Alibaba.com. “Over the last year, transactions involving US businesses on Alibaba.com were up by over 150% as US businesses rapidly turned to Alibaba.com to get digital and go global. This so-far-overlooked group of entrepreneurs is using platforms like Alibaba.com to become more efficient, spend less, travel for business less and worry less, all while selling and achieving more. Our new services, support and grants program all aim to support a new wave of Digital Entrepreneurs as they set out to reshape their futures.”
New Digital Entrepreneurs have among the lowest startup capital costs with 44% saying they needed $5,000 or less in the first six months. They come from all walks of life - from those leaving full-time employment to stay-at-home moms to college students and even retirees. Because of their size and level of investment, they face fundamental business challenges including inventory management, logistics, fulfillment, and finding promising products. Alibaba.com’s new services, supports and grants program are designed to help New Digital Entrepreneurs overcome these challenges.
ALIBABA.COM DROPSHIPPING SOLUTIONS
Many of the New Digital Entrepreneurs are leveraging dropshipping, which enables these small business owners to eliminate inventory overhead or to test new products before making larger orders. Now they can use new Alibaba.com Dropshipping Solutions to reduce their inventory risk, facilitate testing and bringing new products to market, get shipping transparency, and enhance their customer support.
These new dropshipping services give New Digital Entrepreneurs access to thousands of quality, vetted global suppliers and more than one million products at wholesale prices through the Alibaba.com Dropshipping Center. The Dropshipping Center brings additional Ready-to-Ship products to the already vast catalog of production capabilities that can be found on Alibaba.com, which includes flexible customization and full OEM/ODM capabilities.
With a new Alibaba.com app available on the Shopify App Store and a WooCommerce extension, online retailers can add new products to their retail stores in just a few clicks for free, making it easy to add products from Alibaba.com’s vetted dropshipping suppliers to their online stores. For online retailers, Alibaba.com’s Dropshipping Center automates the dropshipping process from payments and order fulfillment to shipment tracking through to their end customers.
Alibaba.com has also partnered with dropshipping partners, including Modalyst, Spocket, Syncee and others, to provide even more access to pre-vetted suppliers, quality products and transparent shipping for more than 10 storefront platforms.
“We are proud to be one of Alibaba.com's premier partners and are excited to integrate Modalyst, one of the largest networks of digital entrepreneurs globally and our dropshipping platform servicing hundreds of thousands of ecommerce retailers with Alibaba.com,” said Jill Sherman, Founder and CEO of Modalyst. “We see great potential in Alibaba.com and their ever-expanding network of suppliers and inventory to connect retailers to a wide variety of products at wholesale costs. This creates opportunity for retailers to bring the right product assortment to their customers, while earning an attractive profit margin on their ecommerce business.”
NEW PLATFORM TOOLS
Alibaba.com is continuing to transform and stay true to its core mission of making it easy for businesses to do business anywhere and help US SMBs access the $23.9 trillion global B2B ecommerce opportunity. To help SMBs overcome challenges posed by travel restrictions and supply chain disruptions, Alibaba.com has created new platform tools to help entrepreneurs to better access supply and demand digitally, including:
Product research and discovery services with partners, including:
“Small and independent merchants are at a major disadvantage when it comes to navigating supply chains, identifying appropriate manufacturing partners and sourcing quality products,” said Ryan Iyengar, Helium 10’s Chief Revenue Officer. “With this partnership, Helium 10 continues its staunch support of entrepreneurial-minded sellers, while simultaneously giving Alibaba.com customers the data and insights needed to validate their Amazon-focused initiatives. For the tens of thousands of Amazon sellers that use Helium 10 or Alibaba.com as an integral part of their business process, this integration levels the playing field and helps merchants succeed and compete against larger brands at scale.”
“The Helium 10 Google Chrome extension’s Alibaba.com Supplier Finder Tool has allowed me to discover products with high demand in low competition categories on Amazon.com and then easily connect with the Alibaba.com suppliers best suited to meet the needs of my growing online retail business,” said US-based Amazon seller Twinkle Gupta.
Digital exhibition and sourcing technologies and tools to facilitate business buyer and seller communication, interaction and due diligence without the need for costly and time-consuming in-person visits and travel, including:
“I have been sourcing from Alibaba.com for over 10 years and historically have set up Skype meetings for factory tours in order to better get to know my suppliers,” said Max Leahy, President, PNP Pets. “Alibaba.com Virtual Reality Showrooms will be a huge added benefit for my business. These on-demand tours will save us time and money when it comes to scheduling and travel while giving us the sense of security of knowing where our goods are coming from.”
Upgraded logistics services to ease the current supply chain burdens and shipping delays, including:
FIRST-EVER $500,000 ALIBABA.COM GRANTS PROGRAM
The Alibaba.com Grants Program** kicks off today to support SMB innovation and growth by offering entrepreneurs the opportunity to win hands-on support from ecommerce experts and compete for a total of $500,000 in cash grants. Alibaba.com is partnering with Hello Alice, a resource platform that aims to help small businesses through every step of the entrepreneurial journey, to host the grant program, which is open to any new or existing Alibaba.com account holder with an innovative product idea or go-to-market strategy.
Interested entrepreneurs can apply now until October 21 by submitting their product idea or go-to-market strategy through hialice.co/alibaba, where they will be scored based on their demonstration of the market opportunity, their business model/product innovation, and their plan for the funds.
In early December, the top 50 applicants will win $10,000 each in order to bring their innovative ideas to life. All applicants will be able to join the Alibaba.com Digitization Sprint for Retailers to gain integral know-how on key business topics such as ecommerce basics, marketing and customer engagement, sourcing and supply chain, finance and HR as well as overall business growth.
THE BIGGEST B2B ECOMMERCE SALES EVENT OF THE YEAR
The grants program, new platform tools and Alibaba.com dropshipping services all come during Alibaba.com’s biggest sales event of the year: Super September. With suppliers providing promotions all month long, Super September gives New Digital Entrepreneurs the opportunity to take advantage of Alibaba.com’s new products and services that provide added efficiency and allow SMBs to spend less, travel less and worry less, while selling more online.
*On-time Delivery Service applies to select products only and is subject to Terms and Conditions
The first business unit of Alibaba Group, Alibaba.com is a leading platform for global B2B e-commerce that aims to make it easy to do business anywhere. Launched in 1999, Alibaba.com is engaged in services covering all aspects of commerce, including providing businesses with tools that help reach a global audience for their products and helping buyers discover products, find suppliers, and place orders online fast and efficiently. It serves millions of buyers and suppliers from over 200 countries and regions around the world.
About Alibaba Group
Alibaba Group's mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere. The company aims to build the future infrastructure of commerce. It envisions that its customers will meet, work and live at Alibaba, and that it will be a company that lasts at least 102 years.