Alibaba.com is rolling out a new program that aims to make it easier for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to enter the world of global trading.
“Doing business online is the bridge for American small businesses through this crisis and into the next decade,” said John Caplan, president of Alibaba.com for North America and Europe. “Ultimately, our goal is to give SMBs even greater access to the $23.9 trillion global B2B e-Commerce market,” he said, in a Tuesday (June 2) press release.
Alibaba.com is a business-to-business trading platform that is a business unit of Alibaba Group.
Caplan said the goal of the new program, called Alibaba.com Payment Terms, is to “get both sellers and buyers quickly set up for success and provide the critical tools and services that are required for growth.
Alibaba said the program will “allow qualified buyers to order goods and pay for them up to 60 days after they are shipped.”
The company said that “prior to now, cross-border trade between SMBs typically required full payment upfront, and as a result, SMBs could not benefit from the global supply-chain financing programs that larger corporations and competitors used.”
In addition, Alibaba.com will now have “a digital, ocean and air-freight shipping solution built into the platform.” This program, called Alibaba Freight, will allow Alibaba.com customers to compare prices for air and ocean freight within the trading platform.
This setup will take “what is usually a daunting and extremely complicated task, and turn it into a simple, concise step-by-step process without allowing you to make any mistakes before you move on to the next step,” said Casey Heim, founder and CEO of Kansas-based Wake 10, a boating-industry manufacturer. “Alibaba.com Freight has helped us continue to source from overseas and expand our product line even during this global crisis, and we are set to launch four new products for the summer.”
As well, Alibaba plans “a series of digital trade shows that are category-specific and will connect U.S. manufacturers and wholesalers with business buyers in an engaging and live online format.” The first such “show,” for the nutrition and supplements sector, is set for July 7 to 10.
“We typically pay our suppliers upfront, which ties our cash up in inventory costs and keeps us from planning very far ahead and investing in our business,” said Necia Boston, founder of Greenville, N.C.-based B.A.A.B.S. Beauty, a makeup and beauty products retailer.
She added in a prepared statement that, “With Alibaba.com Payment Terms, we’ll be able to keep our costs competitive with larger beauty brands, plan for our future product lines and stock up far in advance of the back-to-school and holiday seasons.”