It’s no longer news that selling online is one of the best ways to reach a wider audience and boost your business. However, you need a platform to sell what you offer, and this is where B2B marketplaces like Alibaba.com come in.
Alibaba.com is one of the first stops for buyers when sourcing products online. This makes it a suitable platform to reach a wider audience and boost your business no matter your location. In this guide, we go through everything you need to know about selling on Alibaba.com in Thailand, including tips to boost your sales.
Table of Contents
Alibaba.com is a top online B2B marketplace where buyers and sellers from around the world connect to make transactions. It is one of the most popular destinations for online business, making it an excellent platform for business owners to set up their presence.
Alibaba.com has millions of users and is equipped with many tools/features that make B2B transactions easier. Another great thing about this B2B platform is that it’s available for use in different countries. While many perceive Alibaba.com as a China-based platform for just Chinese suppliers, that is far from the truth. Alibaba.com currently serves 190+ countries, including Thailand.
Thailand is one of the leading countries in online shopping. In 2021, Thailand was identified as the 22nd largest market for e-commerce, with a revenue of $10 billion.1 Like many other countries, the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the rapid growth of e-commerce in Thailand.2 Meanwhile, after the pandemic, many Thai shoppers indicated that they are more comfortable shopping online than in physical stores.
What does this mean for you as an entrepreneur in Thailand?
It means that starting a business online is viable and likely to bring a lot of revenue, especially now that many Thai shoppers spend online.3 So, if you need to start a business, consider taking advantage of online business platforms like Alibaba.com to reach a wide audience. Alibaba.com connects suppliers with buyers from different parts of the world. Here are more reasons why you should sell on Alibaba.com as a Thai Seller:
With Alibaba.com, you don’t need to go through the hassles of coding or creating a website — you get a storefront! This makes it easy to display your products, build your online brand, and communicate with customers.
Setting up a storefront on Alibaba.com doesn’t only make it easy to sell to Thai buyers but also to people around the globe. Alibaba.com has millions of buyers from different parts of the world, and you do not have to limit your business to just your country.
There has been a shift in the way people shop for the past two years, primarily due to the pandemic.4 Many shoppers in Thailand prefer to shop for goods online, which means having an online business is an opportunity to sell more.
What makes Alibaba.com a reliable B2B e-commerce marketplace is that it offers tools to ensure sellers get the best from the platform. As a seller on Alibaba.com, you can:
As a seller on Alibaba.com, you are getting a global storefront and access to valuable marketing tools and features capable of helping your business grow. Here are some steps to start selling on Alibaba.com in Thailand:
Before you figure out how to sell, you first need to know what to sell. Fortunately, there are a lot of product options you can start selling online. If you already have a business you run, you can skip this step and start selling your products online. However, if you are a new entrepreneur, it’s best to choose a niche and determine what you can sell.
Is there a particular industry you are passionate about? You can start from there! If you don’t, consider conducting some research to help you choose the right business. One of the essential steps to take when determining what to sell is conducting market research. Here are some tips for conducting great market research:
Some nice online business niches in Thailand include baby care, jewelry, smartphones, and gadgets. Also, you can start with one type of business and then later expand it. For instance, if you start selling men’s jewelry, you can later expand into other fashion items like men’s clothes.
Whether you operate a large corporation or a small business, having a detailed business plan is essential. In fact, studies show that a structured business plan helps companies grow 30% faster.5
A business plan isn’t just for big companies looking for investors. It’s for everyone, including a small business owner who wants to keep track of their business goals and structure their strategies. Your business plan should highlight the following:
If you are not producing your products yourself, you’ll need to source from reliable suppliers. As a B2B seller, it’s best to find a supplier that sells at wholesale prices. This way, you can offer your products to buyers at a low price and still make you gain. If your products are handmade, you’ll also need to source for suppliers to get materials.
Once you’ve figured out what to sell, it’s time to create a seller account on Alibaba.com. There are different types and plans you can choose depending on your location. You can sign up for a free account or a paid version to improve your performance. The choice you make will depend on your budget and how many products you want to sell. To open a seller account, you’ll need to provide a little personal and business information. Afterward, you will verify your account via your email.
After setting up an account and verifying your business, it’s time to set up your company profile. Your company profile is what sellers will see first, and it's best to provide concise and thorough information. A thorough company page will show people what you offer and increase buyers’ confidence in buying from you.
Some information you will need to provide on your company page include:
On Alibaba.com, you get access to create a custom storefront dedicated to your business. A storefront lets you brand your business, making it easy for customers to find and buy from you. Some tips for setting up your storefront are:
Once you set up a storefront, you should expect some inquiries and messages from potential customers. Alibaba.com will let you know when you receive a new notification from a potential customer. It’s best to reply as fast as possible because inquiries with faster responses tend to have more follow-ups from potential buyers. According to research, more than 50% of buyers choose to purchase from the vendor that replies first.6 Also, be professional while speaking with customers and understand that there may be back and forth with negotiating deals/prices.
Note: You may not start getting messages immediately after you set up a storefront, and that’s okay. Alibaba.com has a Request for Quote feature that lets buyers post what they are looking for. As a seller, you can browse these quotations and reply to those looking for what you sell.
Once the buyer makes an order, ensure they pay before sending the goods over. Alibaba.com offers secure payment portals and multiple payment methods to make it easy to make and receive payments. It’s best to finalize payment through Alibaba.com’s secured methods. Also, you can consider integrating Trade Assurance to protect transactions further and encourage buyers to purchase from you.
Sellers are often responsible for shipping, and it’s best to work with reliable courier services to ensure orders are delivered. Also, Alibaba.com offers some courier services, especially for international shipping.
As an online business owner in Thailand, you need to promote your products for other people to see. This way, you reach your target audience easier and increase the chances of people buying from you. Therefore, build an online marketing strategy and take advantage of targeted ads and social media to boost your visibility.
Note: Alibaba.com offers some digital marketing tools and resources to help you promote your online business and reach a wider network.
Now that you know how to start selling on Alibaba.com in Thailand, let’s move to some tips to boost your new online business. If you want to operate a successful business on Alibaba.com, you need to go some miles to boost. Here are some tips to help expand your business on Alibaba.com as a Thai seller:
One of the things to establish a successful business is to conduct extensive market research before you start. You need to know your market, and you need to know it well. For example, if you are trying to sell jewelry, go online to see what jewelry is in trend, the people that search for such jewelry, and the average cost of the jewelry. With this information, you will be able to know what products you should sell, who will buy from you, and the average price they are willing to purchase.
One of the tips people usually skip when offering advice to new business owners is the importance of offering great products. When you offer high-quality products, your buyers are likely to drop positive reviews that will encourage more people to buy. Also, people who have great experience buying from you will return to do business with you again.
Poor pictures discourage people from buying from you, so you should ensure you post professional-looking pictures of your products. This is important because pictures are what people see of your products; they don’t get to see the physical products. In this case, they will judge the product by the picture you post on your storefront. A good phone camera and lighting are enough to take quality photographs of your products. If you have the budget, you can get professional photographers to take pictures of your products.
Many people research online reviews and ratings before making a decision to buy.7 On Alibaba.com, buyers can leave reviews on your page after purchase by informing others about their experience buying from you. You can encourage buyers to drop reviews and referrals after purchase. Also, ensure you offer a great experience to increase your chances of getting a positive review. The more positive reviews you have, the more people will buy from you based on your track record.
No doubt, everyone is in business to make money. However, it’s also important to be fair with your prices. People are more likely to buy from sellers who offer affordable and reasonable prices than those who offer high prices. Look for a pricing structure that lets you earn money without overcharging customers.
Your product name and description can determine how well people find you. This is because when people want to search for products, they type in specific keywords. For instance, if someone is looking for a blue tie for a man, they will probably type in blue ties for men. If you include this keyword in your product name or description, your shop page will rank higher when they search.
For this reason, it’s essential to be strategic with your product pages. Optimize them to rank for keywords people are likely to search when they want a product similar to yours.
When it comes to online business, it’s the perception buyers have about you that will determine whether they will purchase or not. If a buyer thinks you are legit, they will buy from you. Also, if a buyer finds your customer service excellent, they are likely to add your product to their cart.
Alibaba.com has a message center to help sellers manage communications with potential buyers. Ensure you are professional with your communication to increase the chances of people buying from you.
No matter what you want to sell, it’s crucial to market it. That’s how people know you, find you and buy from you. People are not going to buy from you if they’re not aware of your presence in the first place.
Alibaba.com offers some tools to help sellers market their products, and it’s best to take advantage of some of them. Some marketing features on Alibaba.com include keywords advertising to rank specific search terms and product showcases to promote some products in your catalog. The more you leverage these marketing tools, the easier it is to reach more customers and make more sales.
Customers are more likely to buy from suppliers with Alibaba.com’s badges like Verified Supplier, Gold Supplier, and Trade Assurance. These badges show that a supplier is verified and can be trusted. A great way to boost your business as a new merchant is by investing in these badges and certifications.
Alibaba.com has a dedicated page that offers educational and training resources for sellers who want to expand their business. If you want to boost your business, ensure you browse through these resources to get the best tips in the market.
Are you planning to start an online business in Thailand? You couldn’t have chosen a better time! Starting an online business on Alibaba.com is a great way to become your boss and boost your business.
Alibaba.com is an excellent marketplace for finding customers and selling to a wide range of buyers across the globe. With Alibaba.com, you get to build an online storefront, post your products, take payments, and reach millions of customers. Ready to launch your online business idea in Thailand? Open a seller account on Alibaba.com and reach customers from all around the world today!