Find Importers & Exporters through B2B Channels

tendata blogMarket Insights

ten data blog21-06-2023

B2B channel is a way to conduct business transactions through the Internet platform, which allows foreign trade practitioners to directly establish contact with overseas buyers or distributors, display and promote their products and brands, so as to obtain more customers and orders. the advantage of B2B channel is that it can have an additional platform to display the company and products, to inquire about customers have procurement needs. However, B2B channels need additional promotion means such as through-train top show, high cost, peer competition, low quality customers, return single less.



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Alibaba

Alibaba International is the world's largest B2B e-commerce platform, with more than 26 million registered members, covering more than 200 countries and regions around the world, is an important channel for foreign trade practitioners to find overseas customers.


The advantages of Alibaba International Website are:

  • It is a platform with huge traffic. Since Alibaba International Website has powerful search engine optimization capabilities and extensive promotion channels, it allows our products and brands to be searched and browsed by more overseas buyers, increasing exposure and inquiries.

  • It is a fully functional platform, as Alibaba International Website provides a variety of functions and services, such as product display, online trading, RFQ, intelligent matching, data analysis, etc., so it allows us to manage and operate our own stores more easily and improve efficiency and conversion rate.

  • It is a platform of credibility guarantee. Since Alibaba International Website has a strict audit and management mechanism, as well as a perfect dispute handling and arbitration system, it allows us to trade with overseas buyers more safely and reduce risks and losses.


The disadvantages of Alibaba International Website are:

  • It is a highly competitive platform. Since there are a large number of foreign trade practitioners and products on Alibaba International website, it requires more money and effort to optimize your products and stores and improve rankings and ratings in order to stand out among many competitors.

  • It is a pay-based platform. As the functions and permissions of free membership on Alibaba International website are very limited, if you want to use more functions and services, such as exhibition promotion, keyword bidding, credit guarantee services, etc., you need to buy paid membership or advertising services.

  • Alibaba International Station is a third-party platform, sellers need to comply with the rules and policies of the platform, and cannot fully control their own stores and customers, nor can they build their own brand image.


Independent site

An independent site is an independent website that is both a B2B channel and able to be used as a B2C. It includes an independent server, an independent website program and a separate website domain name. Independent station is an independent business model of e-commerce, sellers can set their own rules, their own control of all the play. Independent site has a variety of building platforms and software, such as Shopify, Wordpress, Magento, etc..


The advantages of independent sites are:

  • High degree of freedom: independent site is the seller's own online store, according to their own needs and preferences, design the site's style, functionality, content, etc., to create their own brand image.

  • Low cost: Independent website only needs to pay for the building cost and server cost, no platform commission and other hidden fees, and you can choose the right package and service according to your budget.

  • Data security: The data of independent websites are stored on their own servers, which will not be accessed or leaked by third-party platforms, and can protect their customer information and trade secrets.


Disadvantages of independent stations are:

  • Less traffic: Independent sites do not have the traffic support of third-party platforms, so they need to invest time and money in marketing and promotion, such as SEO, SEM, SNS, etc., in order to attract and retain customers.

  • Technically difficult: Independent websites require certain technical skills and expertise to build and maintain websites, such as choosing the right domain name, server, program, plug-ins, etc., and solving problems and failures that may arise.

  • Weak service: Independent sites do not have the service guarantees of third-party platforms, such as transaction guarantees, logistics tracking, dispute handling, etc. Sellers need to provide quality services themselves and take risks and responsibilities.


Wordpress

There is also a B2B approach: Wordpress is an open source content management system (CMS), can be used to build various types of websites, such as blogs, news, shopping malls, etc. Wordpress has a wealth of themes and plug-ins that allow users to easily customize the site features and appearance they want.


The advantages of Wordpress self-built websites are:

  • High flexibility: Wordpress can be highly customized according to the needs of users, whether it is the site structure, interface design, functional extensions, etc. can be achieved through the theme and plug-ins.

  • Ease of use: Wordpress has a clear and concise backend management system that allows users to easily publish and edit content, manage comments, update plugins, etc.

  • Active community: Wordpress has a large community where users can find help, share experiences, download resources, etc., and also participate in Wordpress development and contributions.


Disadvantages of Wordpress self-built sites are:

  • Low security: Wordpress, because it is open source, may have some vulnerabilities and risks, users need to regularly update and backup the site to prevent hacking or data loss.

  • Slow speed: Wordpress due to the use of many themes and plug-ins, may affect the loading speed and performance of the site, the user needs to optimize the site's code, images, cache, etc., to improve the speed of the site and user experience.

  • Poor compatibility: Wordpress themes and plugins may have some compatibility issues, resulting in errors or abnormalities in the site, users need to test and debug the site to resolve possible problems and conflicts.


Shopify

Shopify is a professional e-commerce platform that allows users to easily create and operate their own online stores. Shopify offers a variety of templates and applications that allow users to customize the functionality and appearance of their websites. While it is mostly used as a B2C, it can also be a B2B channel.


The advantages of Shopify are:

  • Ease of use: Shopify has a clean and simple backend management system that allows users to easily publish and edit products, manage orders, update applications, and more.

  • Feature-rich: Shopify offers a variety of applications and solutions, such as smart matching, keyword promotion, live promotion, etc., to help users increase exposure and conversion rates.

  • Service quality: Shopify provides a variety of service guarantees, such as transaction guarantees, logistics tracking, dispute handling, etc., to protect the rights of buyers and sellers.


Disadvantages of Shopify are:

  • High cost: Shopify charges platform commissions and application fees in addition to site builder fees and server fees, which can be a burden for SMEs.

  • High dependency: Shopify is a third-party platform, sellers need to comply with the platform's rules and policies, can not fully control their own stores and customers, and can not build their own brand image.

  • Poor compatibility: Shopify's applications may have some compatibility issues, resulting in errors or exceptions on the site, and users need to test and debug the site to resolve possible problems and conflicts.


Conclusion

In summary, B2B channels have their own advantages and disadvantages, there is no absolute good and bad. Foreign trade practitioners should choose the right B2B channels according to their actual situation and target market, and combine their product characteristics, service level and marketing strategies to give full play to the advantages of B2B channels and make up for the disadvantages of B2B channels, so as to discover more import and export customers and establish long-term and stable relationships.


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