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Source: Internet Retailer Internet Retailer

An Alibaba B2B e-commerce rival takes its show on the road

Published: 09 Dec 2014 02:54:10 PST

Yiwubuy.com, a China-based online wholesaler of general merchandise, is building bricks-and-mortar showrooms in major overseas markets to provide local buyers the option of purchasing products offline.

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An Alibaba B2B e-commerce rival takes its show on the road

Yiwubuy.com, a China-based online wholesaler of general merchandise, is building bricks-and-mortar showrooms in major overseas markets to provide local buyers the option of purchasing products offline.

Yiwubuy.com, a business-to-business marketplace for products made in China, launched a bricks-and-mortar “product experience center” in Budapest, Hungary, last week to help suppliers sell more products to buyers in Europe, the company says.

The center could help to sell more products to Europe on its international B2B trading platform yiwubuy.com.  

The center, which encompasses 1,000 square meters, is located inside a Chinese products shopping mall, which covers an area of 43,000 square meters in the finance and trade zone of East Budapest, Yiwubuy says.

The construction of offline product experience centers is part of the global expansion strategy of Yiwubuy, whose competitors include the Alibaba.com marketplace for sourcing goods from China operated by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., China’s dominant e-commerce company. Yiwubuy says it will open several similar offline showrooms in several other major European cities, including: Warsaw, Poland; Lisbon, Portugal; Madrid, Spain; Prague, Czech Republic and Rome.

The parent company of Yiwubuy.com is a state-owned company, Zhejiang China Commodities City Group Co. Ltd, also known in China as Commodity City.  Commodity City also operates one of the largest household products bricks-and-mortar wholesale marketplaces in China, the Yiwu Market. The Yiwu Market includes more than 70,000 stores, which together sell more than 2 million products, including apparels, toys and electronics to wholesalers from 200 countries.

Commodities City  is also using Internet technology to help grow the Yiwu Market. It has started to provide Internet escrow payment services and a sellers’ online ratings system to help international buyers purchase more easily from the Yiwu Market. While considering a purchase from a bricks-and-mortar seller in the Yiwu Market, for example, a buyer can go online to check how the seller has been rated by other customers and make a purchase through an escrow payment system, which holds the buyer’s payment until he receives the goods.  

Although most services on Yiwubuy are similar to those on Alibaba’s B2B platforms, Yiwubuy has one edge that Alibaba doesn’t have, Yiwubuy marketing manager Yuan Ying says. “Our advantage is we have offline markets. We can tie online and offline closer so that buyers from all over the world can find trustable suppliers on our cross channel platform.”

The company has also been growing its online B2B business rapidly in the past two years.

“Sales on Yiwubuy.com were 60 million yuan ($9.8 million) last year,” Yuan says. “Only in the first nine months of this year, the web sales have jumped to 500 million yuan ($81.64million). “ She adds that Yiwubuy projects full-year 2014 web sales of 1 billion yuan ($160 million), with total offline and online sales of 300 billion yuan ($48.98 billion).

Sign up for a free subscription to B2BecNews, a weekly newsletter that covers technology and business trends in the growing B2B e-commerce industry. B2BecNews is published by Vertical Web Media LLC, which also publishes the monthly trade magazine Internet Retailer.

By Frank Tong Senior editor, China
November 17, 2014, 1:58 PM

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