In recent years, people have largely welcomed online shopping and home deliveries. Online shopping is a blessing to consumers like us, who do not like to enter every shop. It is also a great opportunity for startups, entrepreneurs, and retail owners, who try to survive in a market.
Online shopping platforms help them to discover a larger pool of potential customers and hence grow their business. Moreover, with the birth of several online shopping applications, we can shop right from our homes.
Whether it is apparel, electronics, groceries, or other accessories, we have amazing shopping applications to buy almost anything. In today’s article, I am going to talk about one such app called Alibaba.
- Discover The Alibaba App
- Key Features Of The Alibaba App
- Alibaba Trade Assurance
- The App Is Extremely Easy To Use
- Getting Started With The App
- Find The Right Product
- Payment Options On The Alibaba App
Discover The Alibaba App
Alibaba is a part of the world-famous Alibaba Group founded by self-made billionaire and Chinese business magnate Jack Ma. It is one of the most popular and leading online shopping apps intended for global trade – one can buy and supply almost anything from any corner of the world.
As a buyer, I could find quality manufacturers, wholesalers, suppliers, exporters, and their products. The B2B marketplace is a secure and trusted platform that is currently used by millions of users who connect and carry out transactions.
It is arguably the biggest eCommerce platform around the world. Alibaba, users can even buy a single item directly with the supplier at a relatively lower price if they agree on selling. The major benefit of Alibaba is that users can directly deal with manufacturers.
I was able to purchase in bulk quantities, and that came with high discounts. Moreover, I was also able to customize products and ask the manufacturers to build them from scratch – I bet no other platform would do that!
The Man Behind Alibaba
Now let us talk about the mastermind behind eCommerce giant Alibaba. The founder of Alibaba Group is Jack Ma, a former English teacher from Hangzhou, China. He founded Alibaba in 1999 with a group of 18 people; Jack Ma led Alibaba.
Alibaba became a massive platform by 2006, and eventually, eBay decided to close all of its China operations. As of 2020, Alibaba has the sixth-highest global brand valuation and is today arguably the world’s largest eCommerce company.
Key Features Of The Alibaba App
Talking about the features of the Alibaba app, it features many cool features that make it a great app. Below are some key features of the app that I think are very useful and could not be found on other platforms.
Alibaba offers over 46,060 customizable products from over 40,000 item suppliers all around the world. These customizable products include paper boxes, customized hoodies, apparel, and imitation crafts.
Alibaba is home to numerous experienced custom item suppliers, who are also focused on fulfilling the orders from other platforms including, Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and Mercari.
With this app, I can also find the supplier of a particular item, negotiate the price with them, and place bulk orders at the best possible price.
Fast Shipping Options
Another great feature about Alibaba is its fast shipping options. The platform partners with the major freight forwarders worldwide to provide the fastest and the most reliable sea, air, and land shipping solutions.
Alibaba is also responsible for on-time delivery, fair shipping prices, and the safety of the product. However, the fee for shipping does not include customs duties and other taxes charged by Border Patrol and similar government agencies.
With the Alibaba app, I, as a shopper, am allowed to follow my favorite suppliers from whom I procure products regularly. By following the suppliers, I am notified about the latest offers and promotional schemes they provided. Additionally, whenever a new product is made available on the marketplace, the followers are the first to receive notifications about them.
Alibaba Trade Assurance
Alibaba Trade Assurance is a program on Alibaba that ensures the buyers will receive their orders and shipments within the time frame the buyer and supplier had agreed upon. Additionally, the policy also guarantees the quality of the product as promised by the seller.
Being a global shopping platform, Alibaba supports more than 16 international languages, including French, Italian, Mandarin, and English. What is more interesting is, Alibaba provides a real-time language translation that provides users with the benefit of real-time translation.
With all these features on board, I could easily communicate with sellers worldwide in my native language.
Why Buy From Alibaba?
Now there are several reasons why I choose Alibaba over other platforms. Let me guide you through some of the most common reasons why users prefer Alibaba over other B2B marketplaces.
The prime reason I use Alibaba is that it is a trustworthy platform. I, as a buyer, often have second thoughts while spending money online, especially when it is thousands of dollars. Alibaba has a secure payment portal that is backed by several guarantees of Alibaba.com.
The payment portal guarantees that our credit card numbers and other sensitive information are not compromised. Moreover, there is also the Alibaba Trade Assurance that ensures the quality of the ordered product.
The App Is Extremely Easy To Use
Alibaba app is extremely easy to use – all thanks to its user interface. The world’s leading marketplace is extremely easy to navigate, and most importantly, purchasing from Alibaba is like eating a piece of cake. Find the product, enter your payment information, and just like that, the order is placed.
Alternatively, I could also message the supplier to negotiate the price or customize the product according to my preference. Everything in Alibaba is straightforward.
The Pay Later Option
An important thing that I noticed why using Alibaba is the Pay Later option. If you are beginning a small startup and are short of cash – Alibaba’s Pay Later option comes in handy.
It offers buyers a fleet of credit options from $500 to $150,000 with 6-month of financing. Moreover, the interest rates are also minimal – 3.5% to be exact.
Getting Started With The App
As already mentioned above, using the app is extremely easy, and so is getting started. The first step is to download the app on your smartphone.
After downloading the app, I was asked for reasons for my sourcing – whether I was an online or offline retailer, wholesaler, or trading company. Based on the answer, Alibaba helps to match you with suppliers that are of good fit.
Creating An Account
Once I downloaded the app, the next step was creating an account. The sign-up process requires information about your country/region, email address, mobile number, company name, and address.
After creating the account, you can swipe through the product section.
Find The Right Product
The app’s homepage is a pretty wide space – here, I found top-ranking products, deals and promotions section, and products categories.
Alibaba features a wide range of products – from tiny things like hairpins to even used cars. There is also an electronics section, apparel, vehicles & accessories, and machinery. I could also search for products through the search bar on top of the homepage.
The Buying Process
The buying process is also straightforward. Once I find the items that I am interested in, I click on them. Later I am shown the overview of the product, which included all the product details. At the bottom of the page, there are options for Chat Now, Send Inquiry and Start Order.
Via the Chat Now and Send Inquiry options, I can chat with the supplier directly. Also, to initiate the order, all I had to do was press on the Start Order option, where I had to type in the shipping address.
Next, I had to confirm the order with the supplier. Finally, after providing the payment information, the order process was complete.
Payment Options On The Alibaba App
Talking about the payment options, Alibaba offers a few different ways to pay. These include PayPal, Debit or Credit Card, Wire Transfers, and Alibaba’s secure payment platform.
However, buyers can only use the Alibaba Trade Assurance Policy when they purchase with Alibaba’s payment portal.
Additionally, there is also the Pay Later option, which I have explained above.
How To Download The App
Alibaba, the global platform, is available on both Android and iOS platforms. To download the app on an Apple device, go to the phone’s App Store and search for Alibaba. Tap on the app, and click install to initiate the download and install process.
For an iOS device to run the Alibaba app without any glitches, the device should run on iOS 11.0 or above. Similarly, if you are using an Android device like I am, go to Google Play Store and find the Alibaba app.
There is also an app called Aliexpress, which is also a part of Alibaba.com. However, Aliexpress is a B2C platform, which means that the prices of products enlisted in Aliexpress are slightly higher. The device should be running on Android 5.0 or above for you to install the app.
The Bottom Line
To sum up, I have been using Alibaba for a few months now, and I feel that Alibaba is probably the best B2B marketplace I have experienced.
The best part about the platform that I am super amazed and impressed with is its Pay Later option that offers credit options to small entrepreneurs and retailers like me so that we can pay later.