Bigcommerce, an online store platform for small-to medium-sized businesses and Alibaba.com announced an integration today that will allow Bigcommerce’s merchants to source goods directly from Alibaba.com through its platform.
This will benefit sellers by making the process of finding wholesalers and dropship suppliers (companies that ship products directly from manufacturers to customers) easier. Bigcommerce vendors will also be able to access Alibaba.com services, including its payment protection program and quality control inspection, directly from the platform. Bigcommerce, which has offices in San Francisco, Austin, and Sydney, says it currently has more than 55,000 retailers on its platform.
In turn, the integration can help Alibaba.com’s vendors sell more products and improve the site’s reputation. Alibaba.com, a marketplace for wholesale goods founded in 1999, was Alibaba Group’s first business.
Though Alibaba.com is China’s largest global wholesale marketplace by revenue, according to iResearch, it’s been hit by scandals including two separate incidents in 2011 and 2012 in which some Alibaba employees (since dismissed) accepted payments from sellers who wanted preferential treatment on Alibaba.com and Juhuasuan, Alibaba Group’s daily deals site, which the company noted in its IPO filing.
In addition, it also said other risks associated with Alibaba.com include fraudulent activity by both sellers and buyers. Though Alibaba.com has taken measures to prevent fraud, it said in the filing that “there can be no assurance that such measures will be effective in combating fraudulent transactions or improving overall satisfaction among our sellers, buyers, and other participants.”
Partnerships like the one Alibaba.com has made with Bigcommerce, however, may encourage more vendors to buy wholesale products from Alibaba.com by offering them safeguards such as the payment protection program.
Alibaba Group also said in its IPO filing that it generates revenue for Alibaba.com primarily through fees from membership and value-added services, like premium storefronts and import/export services, as well as pay-for-performance (P4P) marketing services. An integration such as the one it announced with Bigcommerce can also potentially encourage more wholesalers to take advantage of those products.
In a statement, Michael Lee, director of global marketing and business development at Alibaba.com, said “we are partnering with Bigcommerce to make it easy for our customers to do business anywhere in the world. Alibaba.com and Bigcommerce together are building an integrated ecommerce ecosystem and helping introduce more small- and medium-sized merchants and online stores to the global market.”