Promo Marketing Interviews North American Leadership Conference Keynote Speaker Annie Xu
In terms of the overall dynamic, for Alibaba.com, obviously lots of sellers are from China, right? And we are getting into other supplier markets as well, including India, Korea and so forth. But we also want to foster more U.S. sellers from other countries other than Asia-Pacific. We feel that there are lots of innovations in the industry that are not fully leveraged, you know, maximized. As a platform for Alibaba, we feel that more suppliers in the U.S. should be more active on the fight to expand into more markets, for example neighboring countries or even, you know, countries in remote places. ...
Right now if you go to the site, overwhelmingly more Asian sellers show up when you search products. For the site itself, I think we can do a better job in terms of featuring the international sellers, but at the same time, we want to encourage sellers to explore the global market. China for example is one interesting area. ... There's something we can do there, it's our home base, and we want to bring innovative and quality brands into the China market, so it's not only about export from China, but export to China, that we feel we have the core components to help.
That's also the shift of e-commerce in a global economy. With the currency exchange, the economic downturn elsewhere, when we look at the opportunities, Chinese local demand is staggering. It continues to increase and we feel we could, together with the suppliers in the U.S., capture and seize opportunities there.
PM: What are some lessons that American companies could learn from Alibaba?
AX: I think first of all to have a presence in the global marketplace is very important. Like any industry, it's always very competitive, but whoever is more savvy, whether it's finding or foreseeing cheaper and better sources, or utilizing a platform to reach out to markets, I think those are the ones that can get ahead. ... So to have a presence is a first step. And then to have a product that you can differentiate, either through quality or service or design, is also something very important. You know with similar products everywhere, product margins will erode over time. But those who keep inventing and coming up with new ideas, those are the ones that get ahead.