Alibaba’s focus to help Canadian retailers succeed in China continues

By Chris Dawson May 16, 2018 - 11:56 am

Alibaba have just concluded the Canada leg of its North American roadshow in Vancouver by hosting the last in a series of workshops aimed at helping SME Canadian retailers sell to China.

The all-day event, which followed two others held in Montreal and Toronto, positioned Tmall Global as a launching pad for Canadian merchants looking to tap a Chinese consumer market on track for $2 trillion in new consumption by 2021. It’s also one that’s hungry for foreign goods.

“Canada has an abundance of products, as well as experiences, that Chinese consumers want, including in the fresh-food and travel and tourism categories. We want to bring high-quality Canadian products to Chinese consumers and bring the Chinese tourists to experience Canada.”
– Steve Wang, general manager of Alibaba Group North America

Last year, Alibaba hosted Gateway Canada, in Toronto, to showcase the channels through which the country’s merchants could reach those consumers, including multiple solutions for small businesses, larger brands, fresh food and agricultural products, as well as travel and tourism industry. Attended by over 3,000 people, the event featured keynotes from Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Alibaba say that leveraging their analytical capabilities and technology, Tmall Global provides overseas vendors insights into Chinese consumers’ shopping behavior and preferences, giving sellers greater clarity and confidence in targeting the China market.

With the events that Alibaba have held in both America and Canada, it would seem logical that at some point they will increase their activities in the UK and Europe. The EU taken as a whole is the second largest economy in the world, sitting between the US in first place an China which is the second largest. There of course language barriers for Alibaba in the EU, but realistically US retailers still need to translate their offers into Chinese and Canada is a dual language country anyway so the proliferation of languages in Europe shouldn’t be seen as an insurmountable difficulty.

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