Alibaba will let retailers in Italy, Russia, Spain and Turkey sell products on AliExpress, according to Engadget. The Chinese retail giant plans to open up the platform to retailers in other countries as well, giving them access to shoppers in 150 countries.
The move is part of the company’s “local to global” strategy, which started earlier this year. Additionally, expanding AliExpress to additional markets will help Alibaba in its competition with Amazon. The U.S. retailer recently shuttered its domestic Chinese e-Commerce business, though it will continue offering international products in the country.
Access to AliExpress could be a significant boon for U.S. retailers: 48% of global e-Commerce occurred in China in 2018, while the U.S. retail market is expected to grow by just 3.8% to 4.4% this year, according to the National Retail Federation. Selling through AliExpress could also help U.S. retailers tap into the 13.3% growth Forrester predicted for the global e-Commerce market.
However, Alibaba’s global expansion is doing more than bringing more e-Commerce options into China. The retail giant has formed a partnership with El Corte Inglés that spans retail, payments and cloud computing, with El Corte providing Alibaba support for its business in Spain. Physical stores also are in the works, including an AI-powered smart store pilot conducted with Guess.