Alibaba Unveils Digital Tools for US Small Businesses

Updated: Jun 10


Retail Dive | June 3, 2020


Before the coronavirus pandemic, Alibaba made efforts to expand its reach in the U.S. Last year, the e-commerce giant launched an English-language site and rolled out a U.S. site to help small businesses to connect with vendors and international buyers. Alibaba on Tuesday introduced merchandise transportation, financing and virtual trade show tools to assist U.S. small and mid-sized businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak.


"While [small and mid-sized businesses] often have difficulty getting trade financing from banks, Alibaba.com's Payment Terms provides the working capital they need to fuel their growth," John Caplan, president of North America and Europe of Alibaba.com, said in a statement. "This is possible for Alibaba.com because we know the buyers and sellers on our platform, and financing is offered for transactions that we know are real."


With Alibaba Freight, merchants can compare prices for air and ocean freight within the company's e-commerce platform. Per the company's statement, the platform allows merchants to arrange their bulk shipments with the ability to compare, book, manage, and track ocean and air freight in real time. 


Alibaba's Payment Terms allows qualified buyers to order items and pay for them up to 60 days after they have shipped, and the retailer's Online Trade Shows USA virtually connects American manufacturers and wholesalers with buyers, according to a company press release.


Other companies have also introduced tech, funding and money management resources to help small businesses during and beyond the coronavirus pandemic including Facebook, eBay, Builder.ai and Shopify.


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