Australia Post have announced a partnership with Alibaba’s 1688.com, which will enable Australian online retailers to sell wholesale to Chinese businesses.
Operating wholly in China, 1688.com is a business-to-business (B2B) online marketplace established in 2010 by the Alibaba Group. The marketplace is designed to help foreign businesses sell their goods in China at wholesale prices.
Today marks the official launch of Australia Post’s 1688.com ‘Australian pavilion’, which will provide a platform for Australian businesses to sell into China in bulk and reach a market of more than 100 million registered users.
Wine will be the first Australian product sold through the platform, due to the high demand for high-quality Australian wine in China. However, Australia’s reputation for high-quality products means that the partnership will expand to include other categories in 2016.
Australia Post’s Managing Director and CEO Ahmed Fahour calls this is “a landmark era in China-Australia free trade”, saying there has never been a better time to access China’s e-commerce sector.
“International expansion can be a daunting prospect for many Australian companies,” said Fahour, “but Alibaba’s B2B platform, 1688.com, offers the perfect solution for small and medium businesses to drive more sales in China.
“Our world-first partnership with 1688.com is a one-stop e-commerce, logistics and delivery solution that streamlines labelling, packaging, pallet consolidation, sea and air transport, customs clearance, warehousing and distribution.”
Australia Post currently operates a storefront on Alibaba’s businesss-to-consumer (B2C) marketplace Tmall Global, which allows businesses to partner with Australia post to sell directly to Chinese consumers. The new 1688.com partnership complements this by allowing Australian businesses to also sell wholesale to Chinese businesses.
“When you combine these two marketplaces and Australia Post’s role as AliPay’s exclusive agent in Australia, we now offer a complete e-commerce solution that can be tailored to any local business wanting to get into the Chinese market” said Fahour.
Michael Mang, Head of International Marketing and Business Development for Asia-Pacific, Middle East and North Africa, of Alibaba.com and 1688.com says, “Our ongoing partnership with Australia Post is a crucial part of our cross-border trade strategy. We are delighted that our agreement enables Australian exporters a direct sales channel to Chinese retailers with even greater wholesale opportunities.”
Who’s on first?
The Margaret River Wine Association collaborated with Australia Post in the launch of the store, and will be the first wine region to sell through the Australian pavilion.
Nick Power, CEO of Margaret River Wine Association said, “The 1688.com Australian pavilion is the culmination of many years of work to solve a major obstacle for the Australian wine industry, offering a simple avenue to sell and ship to China in bulk.
“We’re thrilled to be the first Australian wine region to showcase our premium wines on 1688.com. Ten different bottle varieties across the Margaret River region’s five participating wineries are now on sale to millions of Chinese people through this online store,” said Power.
“Putting local competition aside, we hope our partnership with Australia Post and 1688.com will pave the way for other Australian wine regions to get on-board and take advantage of this huge opportunity to enter one of the world’s largest consumer markets,” said Power.
Over the coming months, Australia Post will work directly with other premium wine regions to broaden the range offered on the site.
How it works
Australia Post’s 1688.com service provides Australian retailers with a direct route to sell in bulk to businesses and distributors in China.
Australian businesses and their products must meet a set of criteria to sell on 1688.com. Once these have been met, Australia Post will help with pricing, language assistance, import licensing, customer service, marketing and other logistics services.
Chinese buyers place orders directly through 1688.com. The Australian business receives the order, packs it and sends it to an Australia Post/Star Track 3PL warehouse. Australia Post will then organise shipment to a bonded warehouse in Shanghai where the freight will be customs-cleared by Sai Cheng Logistics Internationa (a joint venture between Australia Post and China Post). The buyer will then organise to collect the order from the bonded warehouse.
There are no set-up costs to sell on 1688.com. However, there are commission charges per sale.