Alibaba is China’s biggest online commerce company that offers consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumer and business-to-business sales.
First European AliExpress Plaza physical store opens in Spain
Alibaba have opened their first AliExpress Plaza physical store in Europe as they continue to test the waters of European ecommerce and look to grow their footprint.
Why Spain for the AliExpress Plaza and not one of the larger European ecommerce markets such as the UK or Germany? Well it turns out that Spain is the fourth largest market for AliExpress, only beaten by the home of Alibaba – China, along with the US and Russia. In Western Europe Spain is the marketplace’s biggest territory when measured by turnover volume.
“For the Alibaba Group, it is strategic to bet on Spain because it is the gateway to Europe”
– Rubén Bautista, Operations Director Spain and Portugal, Aliexpress
The 740 square metre AliExpress Plaza showcases around 1,000 products from 60 brands, some home grown Spanish, some global consumer electronics and some Chinese brands looking to break into the European market. However it’s more of a showroom than a store as if you want to actually buy something you have to order it online. This is an experience to drive offline shoppers in Madrid online to AliExpress to make a purchase.
As is always the case, although there are future plans to have the Madrid location used for Click & Collect orders, actual sales in the store aren’t the only aim. There is a desire to grow AliExpress in Spain from currently around 3,000 local sellers to over 10,000 by the end of the financial year. The AliExpress Plaza is about increasing awareness in what is already their largest Western European territory and getting a larger share of ecommerce.
Spanish ecommerce is often an afterthought for merchants in the UK, with Germany and France being more lucrative targets. Spain shouldn’t be ignored however and whilst eBay and Amazon both have a foothold in the country AliExpress should be one of your considerations too.