Will Alibaba enter the US market

There’s been speculation for some time as to whether Alibaba will enter the US market. Practical Ecommerce recently posted the following, showing it may becoming closer to a reality:

Now it appears that Alibaba may be looking at entering the American supermarket arena in a big way. Kroger, with 2,790 grocery stores, is considering multiple collaboration options — from a technology alliance to an outright acquisition by Alibaba. An acquisition could cost Alibaba $50 billion, four times more than last year’s acquisition of Whole Foods by Amazon. Working with Kroger could give Alibaba the ability to sell more American goods and access valuable data on American consumer preferences. Additionally, the potential partnership could give Kroger access to Alibaba’s marketplace in China, where consumers are eager to purchase American products.

Amazon has dominated the ecommerce landscape in the US in an ever-increasing fashion, so it’s interesting to see any large players that want to compete in the same market. Wal-mart has grown, but at nowhere near the same rate. Alibaba is yet another large tech company so it’s unclear if this would really be a positive move for sellers or buyers, in terms of creating a more fragmented competitive marketplace.

Amazon is looking well beyond the US, as evidenced by news of Amazon’s expansion into Brazil in the same post:

Argentina-based MercadoLibre, Latin America’s largest ecommerce site, will likely be hurt by Amazon’s move. B2W Cia Digital, based in Brazil, is another online merchant that will likely be affected by Amazon’s expansion in the country.

There aren’t many viable alternative marketplaces to Amazon currently. Even if Alibaba buys Kroger, they’d be a long way from the American ecommerce market. Speaking as someone who has experience sourcing products on Alibaba, I believe their marketplace would need a complete overhaul for the mainstream American market as it’s somewhat of a mess. Amazon has at least learned to clean up the search results somewhat, though a “clean” catalog is an ever-growing problem.
Regardless, it’s hard to look at tech giants as a savior for independent ecommerce business, even if they initially grant access to bigger audiences. At the end of the day, it’s important to control your communication with your customers. Check our ecommerce services if you need help with your business.

Andrew @ EcomLoop
Are you looking to start or grow a standalone ecommerce shop? I help independent businesses achieve success on the Shopify and WooCommerce platforms. As the owner of multiple ecommerce businesses, I've had the opportunity to get experience with nearly every aspect of the ecommerce industry. I started EcomLoop to help other quality independent businesses using my knowledge and experience. To stay on top of new ecommerce developments, I publish The EcomLoop Weekly Loop, a blog and email newsletter with original thoughts and curated links to help independent businesses improve their businesses.