In today’s Shopify eCommerce podcast, my guest is Min Yang, the Director of Buyer Operation and Partnership at Alibaba.com
Nearly two decades of change took place in the past two years, as Shopify business owners realized that getting digital is no longer a good-to-have but a must-have. Alibaba.com, the global business-to-business ecommerce marketplace, facilitates digital sourcing and selling amongst over 20 million business buyers and over 200,000 manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors, from all corners of the world.
Min Yang joins us to discuss how Shopify sellers can tap into this global ecosystem to expand their reach, grow their margins, and scale their business.
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What You Will Learn Today
- How Alibaba made it easier for businessmen to find suppliers
- Difference between Alibaba and AliExpress
- Pandemic’s impact on Alibaba
- Catering to Alibaba's buyer and seller's needs
- The future of Alibaba
Links And Resources Mentioned
Connect With Alibaba
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alibabagroupofficial
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alibaba.group
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlibabaGroup
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/alibaba-group
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Hey there, it's Steve Hutt and welcome back to season five of eCommerce Fastlane. Now if this is your first time listening, this is an e-commerce show where we have honest and transparent conversations about building and thriving with your store powered by Shopify or Shopify Plus. Now if you're an ambitious lifelong learner, which you likely are, since you're here today, you're definitely in the right place. Now new episodes are available twice weekly with your favorite podcast players like Apple podcast Stitcher, Google Play, Spotify, and many more. You can also stream current episodes including a very relevant back catalogue and enter up to 240-ish episodes.
Now, a lot of amazing partners that connect to Shopify and a lot of problems. They're solving great apps marketing platforms. So go check it out ecommercefastlane.com. Now today's episode really excited. My guest is Min Yang, who is the director of buyer operations and partnerships at a company called alibaba.com. And they are a b2b business to business unit of Alibaba Group and one of the largest global B2B trading platforms. You know, alibaba.com makes it easy for businesses like Shopify to do business anywhere. I can guarantee you this is going to be an excellent conversation, a ton of learnings, me being merchant facing. I'm a trusted advisor, I get asked a lot about how can I expand my product range? Or my mix of products? And where can I go and product sourcing and private labeling? There's all these questions. People are trying to expand their mix and get into different verticals. It's so interesting. Today's conversation I think is going to open up your mind about what is available through alibaba.com. So hi Min! Welcome to eCommerce Fastlane.
Hi, Steve. Thanks for having me.
Oh, my pleasure. Now, I mentioned a little bit at the start of this episode. But I think people know or have heard of alibaba.com before. But I think it's better in a high level first, just to kind of understand from your side of the table like how are you really assisting commerce brands, people like brands are on Shopify like today, are you assisting them with alibaba.com.
So Alibaba, as you mentioned, is a global B2B e-commerce marketplace. And we connect over 20 million active buyers with over 200,000 suppliers around the world. And we were the first business Jack Ma launched with the mission of making it easy to do business anywhere. And it has since become a leading platform for global b2b. So through Alibaba marketplace business can access tools and services covering all aspects of e-commerce. For suppliers such as manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors, they can present their products and reach a global audience of business buyers, for buyers from around the world like Shopify brands and merchants. Many of them find their products and manufacturers on Alibaba, and we help them discover products. We help them find suppliers and place orders online in a very fast, efficient and trustworthy way.
You know what's interesting is like, I think there needs to be a little bit of clarity, I think between maybe alibaba.com and AliExpress because I mean, I've even purchased an AliExpress and I believe that's more like the B2C. There's still the end consumer goes and purchases goods directly from the site, almost like it's a Mega Mall of like amazing products for the end consumer. But where I think Alibaba position themselves a little bit differently, so maybe you can share to the audience today what the differences between those two are, of course.
Yeah, I think you're right. Yeah. So both alibaba.com and AliExpress are online marketplaces. And the difference is alibaba.com is B2B. And AliExpress is really B2C. So that's the major difference. And AliExpress is really tailored towards global consumers and they ship with an efficient way, and with individual orders and Alibaba, we usually do manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors with a bulk order and, and usually we do customize products.
Well, let's chat a bit about the origin story. It's always fascinating to me. I mean, you know, Jack Ma, I've read his book. He's been on a lot of webinars, he's been on a lot of video. It's very, very interesting being a teacher and just his whole career journey, but I just love to hear it. Because you're on the inside, you get to know the whole story behind Jack and others in the startup team. But how did all the pieces come together? Like where do you believe like the desire and the expertise came from to even want to create alibaba.com?
Yeah. So I think that's a really interesting question, because it's kind of a interesting story. Alibaba was established in 1999. And it was a time when the internet was already starting to happen in the US, but it was almost empty non-existing China. So Jack Ma was [an] English teacher, you know. And he did a lot of translation work. So in 1995, he had a chance to come to the US for work, and he learned about internet, it really opened his eyes. So he was searching on the internet lab about Chinese companies information, but he couldn't find anything. So he really saw the golden opportunity there. So he went back, he tried a few things, and in 1999, he gathered 18 people in his apartment, and he spoke to them for two hours about his vision. That vision in the internet would level the playing field by enabling small business to leverage innovation and technology to grow and compete more efficiently in the domestic and global economies. So today, we are still carrying on the same mission to make it easy to do business anywhere, especially for small medium business. So for the first 18 years, Alibaba functioned as a listing platform, more like a digital Yellow Pages for matchmaking for buyers and sellers. So back in 2017, alibaba.com, began a transformation to evolve from a listing platform where no transactions occurred to end to end trading platform. So we have digitalized all points through the B2B customer journey in the way that build trust between buyers and sellers, including product detail page, Supplier Verification, communication tools, order payment, etc. And we even have a live streaming and virtual factory tours on our website today. So we're really working on creating [an] ecosystem with partners and collaborations that offer shipping logistics and other services for real customers. So another milestone for alibaba.com was in 2019, when we opened platform to US sellers. And it was the true beginning of a series of new features and collaborations designed to reshape B2B e-commerce and to empower US SMBs to access this 24 trillion global B2B economy opportunity
Just had a quick look, there's actually two books that I actually have of Jack, I went into my account just to have a look. And one is ‘Alibaba, the house that Jack Ma built' was interesting. And the other book was ‘I'd never give up' from Jack Ma. So I'm gonna put those links in the show notes just for those that are interested in kind of the founder story and kind of like, you're right, it was so- early days in 1999. I mean, I think Amazon launched in 1996, and then just kind of continued on from there. And then yeah, then the.com really started happening in North America. And it's a very interesting story. And so you're mentioning a little bit about this global B2B kind of opportunity, this $24 trillion with a T like it's massive.
I'm just wondering how you believe the pandemic may have changed this opportunity now for Shopify sellers, the market opportunity is massive, but has the pandemic done anything to it? And who do you believe mostly can benefit from the alibaba.com platform? So it kind of a two-parter question; massive opportunity, but does the pandemic had any impact on that? And the Alibaba business in the end consumer and then Shopify brands, how does this all work now?
Yeah. Since the pandemic started, we did see nearly two decades of change take place as business owners realize that getting digital is not just nice to have, it's a must have. And our reason- US B2BSmall Medium Business Survey captured the reason SMB insights and sentiments we compare the findings to previous surveys conducted in December 2019, before the pandemic, and during the pandemic in September 2020. And the results show that more and more trade amongst SMBs are conducted online through e-commerce channels as of December 2021, about 47% of us SMBs trade volume was through e-commerce and nearly 12% point increase in two years. Also, not coincidentally, those who have digitalized are even more optimistic and seeing more sales growth over the past two years than their parts. More and more business are accessing nearly this 24 trillion globally B2B e-commerce market. And through alibaba.com SMBs are able to get digital go global and grow their business globally. on their terms for business that sell on Shopify, or through multiple channels. Before the pandemic, business buyers would travel internationally a few times a year. To me they pay their supplier partners, right. So for the past two years to travel between the West and East was almost completely shut down.
The trade shows like Canton Fair, and all the trade shows in the US were canceled or missing international exhibitors or buyers. So alibaba.com became really this one stop destination for buyers to look and find new suppliers. I have personally heard a lot of customers who told me about their experience, they just have no other way to travel or meet with people. So they come to Alibaba and find the suppliers adding the global supply chain disruptions you mentioned and with a growing demand, buyers are forced to expand their supplier base, it is usually more challenging for SMBs because they are not big enough to compete with larger companies in terms of resources and finances. So Alibaba is really kind of [a] free tool. And we offer a lot of free tools and services, we help them really get what they're looking for, especially when we have a vast kind of variety of suppliers, right? A 200,000 sellers, suppliers on the platform 200 million plus product options. So it's really helpful resource for Shopify brands, from a packaged goods brand sourcing packaging supplies to cosmetic company and creating a new product line, or makeup rush or a furniture direct to consumer brands sourcing special fabric and housewares, right so you name it. You can probably find everything for your store, even for your business operations on Alibaba.
Which was interesting. He made a comment about the fact that last two years has been like non existent as far as being able to meet in person. I know in the past; like I said, I manage many brands I know of many entrepreneurs founders that have actually gone to China directly to meet a few people. And it's so interesting. For those that don't know the market. It's so interesting where certain cities or certain like geographical areas usually produce very similar products geographically very similar to each other. So interesting is they they go into a certain market, if you're buying a consumer electronic product, that's a set top box for television or satellite, you'll go into a certain city, and literally they'll be like 50 factories that make similar but different products, but they're all like geographically close to each other. So interesting. I guess that's part of the sourcing and just how things go, I'd heard- even this may be anecdotal, but I even heard that Christmas ornaments. There's like one city, all they make is just Christmas ornaments and nothing else.
That's their whole business model. So interesting. And that's kind of how the world is and but the nice thing about alibaba.com and from what I've learned is now instead of having with a pandemic, not being able to meet in person, you've put together all the checks and balances now in place, so that we're having; number one you have access to, as you said, almost 200 million different products. You have these pre-qualified suppliers. I think that's phenomenal. But there's other things that you have to that I think is important maybe just to note for those listening today, trade insurance, that's important thing is different when you shake a hand and sign a contract in person, but no, no, there's some tools and things that are available directly on the website, as both the buyer and the seller. Logistics are always rolling off few things that I know of, even production monitoring the lead time to orders getting samples, and I'm thinking about private label, you know, even production monitoring. I don't know if you can expand a bit on any of those kinds of topics, because I think these are extra value add that you get, even though you can't be in person alibaba.com is helping facilitate these kind of trust things between the buyer and the seller.
You're exactly right. So I think for people who do business with business in the past, traditionally, you always meet with them, you shake hands, and you kind of get to know each other. But nowadays, I think this whole process is being digitalized. Right. So how can you build trust with people you have never met before? And how can you [form a] partnership with suppliers? Who can your whole process really rely on their product quality deliver on time? Right? You're absolutely right. So some of the tools you have mentioned, such as Trade Assurance is a very good example. So it's basically insurance is the policy we put in place to protect buyers. So if they're not happy with the quality, if its products not deliver on time, or if the customer has anything else they're not happy with, they can always file a complaint, we will investigate and protect buyers. And gradually, with all the tools in place, we hoped that buyers and suppliers will build partnership and they can really grow together. It's really interesting. I've just met with fashion designer recently, just like what you said, right? Like there's a lot of manufacturers, specially a special kind of zones and cities sort of fashion designer, she built her own fashion line sells in her online store. And she's very particular about fabric and she needs a supplier to make products exactly how she wants it. So she was just telling me her story about her crazy story about wanting one very particular fabric and her supplier, which she found out Alibaba traveled around different cities just to get the fabric for her. So it was a really interesting story.
I love it. Love it. Love it. So let's pivot a bit over to I guess maybe a first time alibaba.com user. So there's lots of founders, lots of marketers that have stores that are powered by Shopify and Shopify Plus they're listening today. And so like, what sort of suggestions are you recommending? They understand this is a wholesale marketplace. They understand there's a lot of checks and balances and processes in place for a secure trustworthy partnership between buyers and sellers. But like, how do someone get started? Like, maybe walk us through a few steps here that you believe are important?
Yeah, definitely. You know, this is my favorite topic. And what I enjoy most in my job is to help customers get started, get settled and learn how to use Alibaba. So I think first of all, I suggest the first time users take some time to learn about the platform and tools. Because we offer a lot of things on the platforms, we have different things tailored for different types of customers. So we offer a lot of resources and help center the help new users get started. And we have step by step sourcing guide. We have a buyer central with a lot of information knowledge. And we have a buyer Help Center where you can find answers to almost all of your questions. You can also contact Customer Online Support if you can find answers or need any other help. So I think getting started and [learning] about the platform and [getting] familiar with it is really going to make your whole sourcing journey easier. Second, I think we're ready for your first experience, have a list of your sourcing goals and needs. Really kind of take off a piece of paper and write down what exactly you're looking for and what is the must have. So this will really help you to mean to your target quickly and save you a lot of time. Because we have search and filter that gives you options. So you can really select the criteria that you're looking for. For example, we can select material type, color options, sizing, MOQ, you know minimum order quantity, delivery time certificates, and you can also put in your badges or price range and tree terms, and what kind of customization you're looking for.
So you can buy ready to ship products or you can work with a supplier who can make the products for you. Right So by understanding exactly what you're looking for and have a list ready will really help you get started easily and make the experience the last smoother. So you know sometimes buyers try to kind of [make a] game [out of] the system. So I would definitely suggest be honest. For example, when you're putting MOQ which is your minimum order quantity. Sometimes the buyers want to work with large manufacturers, so they put in a huge MOQ like a million pieces, but what they really look for is 50 pieces or 100 to get started. So in this case, the search results will show you a large manufacturers who only work with large MOQ. So you will have to restart your search process. So we'll be wasting your time and suppliers time as well. So you know, be honest and put in the right information you're looking for, you know, sometimes the smallest suppliers, they're just eager to work with you, they're more flexible, they want to grow with you. So that may be a much better match with you. Right? If you have a low MOQ. Now, we have seen a lot of good stories where suppliers and buyer they start with small but they grow together and become partners, it's really important to know, I think third I would definitely suggest is be proactive, and be very specific when you send inquiries and communicate with suppliers. Because a lot of times it's you know, you speak different languages, you're at different time zones, or you have kind of cultural differences. So try to be as clear as possible and try to over communicate, just double check if it's not clear, and be patient and keep communications [active] on the platform. We have a messaging Center, which you can see all the records of your conversations with suppliers. All the conversations [are] on the platform, so in case there's any sometimes it does need help. So we're trying our best to issues in the future, we can always go back and refer to the record. So I think the last [is] to provide insights, education and content. So our marketing team and content human constantly produce, how to help as a base to do business. We have a pro buyer LinkedIn page where we'll help people understand what's going on in the sourcing world, or industry insights, etc. So you know, hopefully, we can make it easier for buyers to really get started and learn about sourcing and learn about using Alibaba, we're always here to help if they have questions.
I love this. I love this a lot. I'm just thinking out loud here. I have a brand that I manage. Okay, I'll keep them nameless. But what's interesting about them, they're a beauty brand. They're in skincare and skincare devices. And so what I find interesting, and you mentioned about the different filtering options. And so let's just use like a hypothetical case here. But let's suppose this particular brand, and I may bring this back to them after this recording, but you know, they have a lighted makeup mirror I just checked, they only have one. And that's the one they're promoting right now. But I know that there's probably a handful, or hundreds of lighted makeup mirrors that are portable that are available, some are battery operated some plug into the wall. And so are you suggesting that maybe alibaba.com has the option to type in keywords and query the word ‘lighted makeup mirror,' and then find a range of products? And then that whole process starts your discovery phase of' hey, is there opportunity here?' Yes, I have one lighted makeup mirror and it sells really well. But would there be opportunity for me to have a second one or something that's more unique or compact? It fits in my purse, that's still lighted, it's USB, who knows? But I'm just curious, is that an interesting use case of expanding your product mix in a vertical you're already involved in? And can Alibaba come help with that sort of query?
Yes, definitely. That's a very typical growing business right, where you have very successful product line, you want to expand that. So there are different ways you can do that. So first, like you just suggested, you can continue searching for different similar products or suppliers who can offer similar products with a focus on that keywords. So a lot of suppliers, especially larger ones, they have their own catalog. So you can say ‘hey, supplier, I am selling this today, do you have similar products or a bigger catalog for me to use and use us as reference', they always will share that with you and they want you to you know, when you expand your product line, you're buying more, they're always happy, right? So second is if you have challenge finding very particular products through search [bar], you can always submit a request for quotation. So that's one of the tools we always recommend to like bigger buyers. So it's a one form that you'll fill in your product requirements. You can even have a drawing or picture or some kind of virtual assistance and you submit the form and within 24 hours, there will be a 210 suppliers providing costs for what you're looking for. Those that usually customize products so you if they make something for you today, they can maybe make some tweaks or adjustments or if you you want something very different you have your own design you can just send them the design and they will make it for you. So there are different ways you can really expand your product line and build on top of your already successful products.
So I went to alibaba.com, I typed in lighted makeup mirror, and they had lighted makeup vanity mirror. So that was already was kind of defaulted. So it's a category that's popular enough that the keywords already there or the longtail and then came up with a nice range of products. And it's interesting that it was ready to ship. And there's also paid samples that are available. And so it's interesting. So there really isn't great opportunity here. And I'm not sure what the sort order of these particular manufacturers, these suppliers, but they seem to be very relevant in the orders that they're being presented on page from a number of length of years in business verified and five star reviews, there seems to be a lot of things that looks like the cream is kind of rising to the top, so to speak, when I'm looking at this particular category, but what a great opportunity this is. For those. and you can choose the origin and you can check there's a lot of great things.
So I think goes back to your same comment the beginning you have to learn if alibaba.com is new for you, there's like a ton of resources for SMBs to learn about the platform. And there's education components, but then there's like, okay, let's- boots on the ground, how do we actually use the platform? And can we get a few samples of a few products that we can buy to make some decisions and then start making the larger wholesale purchase? I think this is really educational for me. I'm hoping those listening today, these are the sort of takeaways that it's important to us what alibaba.com is actually facilitating for Shopify brands today?
Yeah, definitely. You know, there are a lot of interesting things that like when customer discover they feel like, ‘oh, wow, that's amazing.' I'll give example. So when you look at the search page, and you click on compare, you can select multiple suppliers you like, and then you compare them on the same page. So it's really easy for you to say, ‘hey, I'm interested in working with this five or 10 suppliers,' let's compare what's their MOQ was their cost. And you know, how many years they have done business with Alibaba was their export major export countries, right? So now you can choose, okay, I'm gonna send inquiry to maybe a three out of them, or five. And they can send one inquiry to all of them with one's message. It's very efficient.
It's lovely, I just tried it, I just clicked on three compared links, and then it create a nice summary page for me almost like a spreadsheet and columns. It had, here's the supplier, how to contact a supplier and some high level stats about number of successful transactions and years in business, and yada, yada, yada and MOQ, the minimum order quantity you talked about. So it's really cool. It's hard on me in a podcast, explain it. But I think once you get in there and start playing with the platform, you'll see that there's some great opportunity for Shopify brands to find things in the category that they want to expand in. So this is great. I do want to make a little quick pivot, though men over to maybe with story, I think, you know, for this podcast, if people listening, like I said, they're founders, marketers, people that want to run, maybe they have small store, they're just maybe it's a side hustle. But they really are looking to educate themselves,
they want to be inspired by others and kind of what they're doing. And obviously, there's millions using the alibaba.com platform, you know, with 200 million some products and all these pre qualified suppliers. It'd be lovely if- hopefully I don't put you on the spot here, but are able to maybe share maybe a story or a case study of a recent kind of Shopify business, they're using alibaba.com as their wholesale supplier, I just would love to uncover anything specific that motivated them from their current product sourcing, kind of what they did, maybe in the past, but then found alibaba.com. And then what happened after finding Alibaba and then making a relationship or a partnership with somebody- you don't want be specific you don't want to be but it'd be nice to understand the discovery phase of a brand and then how they use the platform. And then what happened on their end when we know successfully purchasing, you know, wholesale product and then end consumer then you know, putting on your website and getting out into the wild. So we'd love to hear some stories if you have one to share.
Yeah, definitely one of the customers and also one of the 50 recipients of the first Alibaba grants program is Matt Jones. So he is the co-founder of a San Diego based company called The Crease Beast. So the company provides sneaker enthusiasts with most effective product for crease provision. So their team created a fruit sleeve that includes a custom shaped foam insert, aim to fill the negative space that cause usually cost natural and wanted crease in your shoes. So it's kind of very niche product, we're in a very niche market. So their design is very special. It's lightweight, it's breathable, and provide adequate, you know, fit support. So Matt's business started in the middle of the pandemic. You know, just like a lot of the entrepreneurs they started their business during the pandemic in December 2020. So the business has grown so much already and he has a Shopify store. So he sells his products in his Shopify store. And I'm really excited to see his future growth. So I think, as a new business, a new niche community, you can imagine it's kind of competitive in his market. And he started with no retailer reports support. And he's basically rely on the word of mouth through trade shows to take his product to the next level. And he heard about Alibaba in the past. And so when he was looking for suppliers, and he couldn't really travel that much in 2020, end of 2020.
So he gave a try off Alibaba and decide to use a platform and find manufacturers. And he told us, he was very surprised to see how easy the whole process was and how responsive his manufacturers were. So and also, I mentioned earlier, he was one of the winners for Alibaba grants program. So we had this program to support SMBs to launch their products. And so he was one of the winners. So we were able to provide financial support for him to really launch his business. So I think it was a really interesting story. And for me, I've met a lot of customers like him who started their business during the pandemic. And they use Alibaba to really get suppliers, they use Alibaba to really get support, not just from supplier, they also use our logistic tools, and they use online payments. And I have another customer who met his supplier from a different occasion offline, not Alibaba. And he wanted to do business with him. But he was not confident. But when he heard that supplier is also Alibaba, so he started doing business with a supplier a transacting Alibaba, because we have the protection. So it's kind of a story is really inspiring for the team to continue supporting them.
Yeah, no, I love it. I just love the fact that you have kind of this, like the Grants Program, or almost even have like a small business kind of funding center to it's interesting, I was just seeing some of the, I guess the end of last year, you announced all of the grant program recipients. And I'm just seeing a list of like, all these amazing companies that you know, have won the grant through Alibaba are you know, and sourcing, and likely most of these brands are probably on Shopify, no doubt getting to the end consumer. So it's great that you're kind of working on both ends, you're really helping facilitate the wholesale purchasing, but you're also facilitating the money, the capital and the education required to actually have a successful business. Right. So I do really appreciate that. That's kind of where Alibaba is going. It's great. Really great.
Yeah, definitely. You're exactly right. So the grant program was not just financial support. Our content and marketing team also put together e-commerce education programs to help those entrepreneurs to really kind of learn step by step, how to do e-commerce, what the challenges and issues they're facing. So I think that content was also really helpful.
No 100%. So Min, we aren't nearing the end of the show for today. But I would love to understand me what the future is going to look like, I know that you currently have a Shopify app that connects nice and tight with a Shopify store. But I just would like to understand me what the Northstar is for the remainder of 22 and beyond like, just how are you gonna continue to help the Shopify brands with product sourcing and lots of other services and things that you offer?
Yeah, definitely. So we do have a drop shipping app available in Shopify store. And we also work with a group of partners, who are also drop shipping apps as well in Shopify store. So that's one of the examples how we hear that people were asking Alibaba, how can we use Alibaba suppliers for drop shipping, and that's how we develop the app. So I think that's really coming to 2022. Our focus is really on the customers. So that's really our company's slogan ‘customers come first'. So for sellers, they're our customers. So we want to make it easy for global sellers, US sellers to go global. And for buyers, they're our customers, too. We want to help them use this one stop trading platform to you know, make it easy for them to connect with suppliers. So that's really kind of our fundamental in the past six months, you know, my team have really talked to a lot of customers on the buyer side. And we compiled a long list of recommendations collected from our customers, and the things that we can make their life easier. So we're working on that list. So the strategic partnership on collaborations are always open and we'll continue rolling out partnerships and collaborations when we can bring values to the customers, and Shopify is such a great ecosystem, where if there's any assistance needed from Shopify brands, if there's any opportunities we can collaborate to create values for both our customer base we're definitely open.
Yeah, and that's kind of the purpose of this podcast today to, really is to share the message. So I think there's a lot of, I'm gonna say ignorance in the marketplace where they don't really know what you do, but they know of you. More to the notoriety of Jack. But just overall, they don't really know, there are a lot of people who don't know. And so that's why I wanted to have you on today's [podcast] I wanted to make sure that we really shared the true alibaba.com story we understand it's a larger, larger group, but I understand what you're really trying to do. Now we're really trying to facilitate these opportunities with you know, Shopify brands, there's 2 million of them on the platform, a lot of them need to have products and they want to expand their product mix, they just don't have the platform to facilitate that.
Now that I think today's episode really gives them the education they need to understand more about that. I guess, before we kind of close off for today. And I think there'll be any insights or any takeaways that you believe are important, maybe just to kind of just, we just want to hit home with like, what's the main important topic today that we believe is important, good takeaway for those listening today about how Alibaba could potentially fit into their product sourcing mix,
I think, [we] really assess trends of going digital and going global accelerate. So we're really here to support us as a base, and we want to help them increase putting their trust in this tremendous digital tools and infrastructure available [in] Alibaba. You know, our teams are working really hard to make it easier to sell and buy globally. We're very proud of the growth. But more importantly, we want the team and the merchants, that Shopify merchants to know that we're here, we're available, we have a local team to help them if they need anything from sell, or buy, we're here to support them.
Perfect. I'm gonna have all of this in the show notes. I know, we had a few notes leading up to this recording. But there's even more things I want to add from all the education components and all the parts that you have. I'm sure we'll chat offline, I want to make sure I get all that in the show notes. So you be able to go over there and take a look. Sounds like most people should go to alibaba.com as the starting point. If you want to dabble a bit in the drop shipping side of Alibaba, then there's an opportunity with the Drop Shipping app. And other than that, is there anything else that you would like to close off for today?
Yeah. So thank you so much, Steve, for inviting me. And it's just great to speak with your audience. I work with customers on a daily basis. And, you know, it's not easy to be an entrepreneur. And it's not easy when you're work during the daytime with your customers and [at] nights working with suppliers. So I really respect customers. And you know, they're the reason we're encouraged to try our best every day and do our job. So I really appreciate the opportunity to be here. Thank you, and hopefully we can speak again.
Absolutely. You know, and one thing that I tell all my guests on the show that really Shopify does have a mission, it really is to make commerce better for everyone is kind of their slogan. And I'd also add that really, they are here really to build a path that leads to more entrepreneurs and more independent retail. And that's what I've learned today about Alibaba, I really believe you know, you are also entitled alignment, it sounds like you clearly do want to help Shopify brands to improve efficiencies by finding product and facilitating the whole the whole transaction from sample through to a wholesale purchase. So that's the efficiency side know the revenue growth is- will naturally come by expanding your product mix. So I'm all in on that. And I also believe that you really are trying to help brands just build lifetime customer value, because you're offering product mix and selection that maybe wasn't available prior. And I think that's what entrepreneurship is all about.
You're just helping facilitate the buyer and the seller kind of union. So I just massively appreciate that. And thank you once again for coming on the show and best of luck as you expand further into North America. This is really exciting.
Thank you so much.
Alright take care.
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Well that's it for today's episode. I'd like to thank you, a loyal listener of eCommerce Fastlane. It's my hope that this podcast is offering you a ton of value through growth strategies, tactics, and exclusive insider tips on the best Shopify apps and marketing platforms, all with my personal goal to help you build, launch, grow and scale with Shopify. Thanks for investing some time today and listen to the show. I'm so proud and excited that you have a growth mindset and our constant learner. I truly appreciate you and your entrepreneurial journey.
Enjoy the rest of the week and keep thriving with Shopify.