Alibaba cuts sellers fees in European push
Written by Peter Walker
Alibaba has cut European sellers’ fees by nearly half as part of a move to overcome Amazon’s dominance in the West.
The Chinese e-commerce giant, which has around 1 billion users in Asia, is making concerted efforts to attract new merchants to its international platform AliExpress.
According to Reuters reports, the initial push is in Spain, Italy, Turkey and Russia, with commission fees in Spain for instance being reduced to between five and eight per cent.
Amazon currently charges €39 per month in sales tax, with an additional seven to 15 per cent commission. In April last year, Amazon announced plans to scrap its online marketplace in China after losing ground to the likes of Alibaba and JD.com.
Although Alibaba has stated that thousands of local sellers have signed up to AliExpress since it launched in Spain last year. However, six anonymous sources told Reuters that European fashion brands like Benetton, Mango and Tendam have been approached with limited success, with brands stating they did not feel the platform was the right showcase for their products.
Increasingly stagnant economic growth in China has forced Alibaba to look internationally to maintain its steep upward trajectory.
In November, the group revealed plans to raise up around £10 billion through a stock exchange listing in Hong Kong. Later the same month, it had another successful Singles' Day, with $12 billion worth of gross merchandise volume (GMV) settled in the first hour of the Chinese promotional event.
Also in November, Alipay announced a new target to support 10 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Europe over the next five years, through technology that will empower these merchants to better serve and sell to over two billion potential consumers travelling to the region from around the world.
Unveiled during its Partners Global Summit in London, the plans include an expanded collaboration with European acquirer Worldline, as well as a new initiative to serve airport shops around the world through in-app mini programs.
Meanwhile Alibaba Cloud, the data intelligence side of the group, partnered Spanish department store chain El Corte Inglés, to work on artificial intelligence and cloud-driven retail solutions.