This week I had the opportunity to join Bryan Pate from ElliptiGo and represent SDSI at the Alibaba Gateway 17 Summit in Detroit. As many members know we have had an ongoing conversation with Alibaba, but this was my first chance to attend a “how to sell in China” symposium centered on actually selling into the China market, as opposed to just talking about it. I jotted down a few items to call to your attention:
- Alibaba is a market place, it is NOT Amazon. “baba” holds no inventory.
- Alibaba is a platform, an extraordinary one, that provides all the services needed to import, sell and collect in China
- Their market penetration is hard to believe:
- there are 350,000,000 (350 million) new middle class citizens in China: average income $11,000 to $38,000
- there are 500,000,000 Alibaba users (yes, ½ Billion)
- average transaction per user: 27
- 270,000 are daily users, averaging several hours per user
- there are 1.1 Million people delivering Alibaba packages daily
- Alibaba ranks 21 in the world economies… ahead for instance of the total GNP of Argentina. The ‘baba goal; be the 5th largest economy worldwide within 10 years. Dom’t think so? On the Alibaba “Singles Day this year they clocked $17.8 Billion US $ in 24 hours…bigger than our Cyber Monday by far.
- China is transitioning from an export country to an import country…remember, their middle class exceeds the size of our total population
- Forecast: I personally believe that we are on the advent of the rise of the SMALL business. Let’s face it… big brands have had their run. The disruptive market forces, the arrival of the digital revolution and greying of management have made big global brands slow to react, dinosaurs with legacy retail networks in a digital world. The entrepreneurial world is dominated by under 30 year old players. Their focus is the future. They are the nimble businesses…and access to world markets make the small business equal to the big business, maybe better! Let me go out on a limb: 3 years from now we will see world wide deliveries direct to consumer within 72 hours... no matter where the order is from, no matter where the inventory is housed!
Can China be in your brand future? It can, but its not going to be easy. We will have a general membership meeting about the “how to” very soon. But in the meantime, challenge yourself to think about the possibility of China. For all young entrepreneurs, take heart in knowing that a mega opportunity is coming to the world, sooner than expected!
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