Ali Express is an extremely popular online merchant service that allows users to purchase goods at low prices. Consumers have the opportunity to buy goods on this website in low denominations, making it easier for the average person to use Ali Express as opposed to similar websites like Alibaba, which happens to be Ali Express’ parent company. Before attempting to sell items on this website, however, you should come up with a business plan. Follow your plan to ensure that customers are able to find you and trust you as a retailer when they do.
Find a Niche
Do not try to sell a wide range of products, which can be overwhelming for the customer. Generally speaking, sellers who provide one type of product tend to offer lower prices because merchants with a variety of products on the market are usually trading companies.
When customers realize that you are potentially part of a trading company, you will see your sales drop; customers know that they can find better prices elsewhere. By focusing on one particular niche, you can establish yourself as a trusted source and increase your overall performance.
Keep in mind that visitors to Ali Express are looking to save some money and are often willing to sacrifice quality to do so. Someone who is in search of a water quality monitoring device, for example, probably isn’t looking for a top of the line device like the YSI 63 meter from Environmental Equipment & Supply. Instead, this individual would want something less expensive, even if it is lesser in quality.
Tell the Truth
Never try to trick customers into purchasing from you, as this strategy always backfires in the end. Provide the customer with your real location. Do not claim that you sell brand name goods if you do not. Most of the goods sold on Ali Express are not real brand name products, so customers are generally not looking for these items.
The customer does, however, want to save money on whatever he or she buys. Be upfront about the quality of the goods that you are selling. Attempting to convince customers otherwise could lead to negative reviews.
Set your prices in a way that appeals to the customers and is similar to the market value for your products. If you charge too much for your products, the customers will obviously go elsewhere for a better deal.
You might be tempted to use the Wal-Mart business model, where you undercut all of your competition and hope that you can put them out of business, but this is unlikely to work online, especially since most of the sellers are based in China and are prepared to offer even lower prices. Instead, focus on providing your customers with an overall great experience and be realistic about what you expect from your online store.
Provide Customer Service
When a customer asks you a question, answer it as quickly as possible. If you do not answer the questions that customers ask before the sale is made, the customer will view you as being unreliable and will be unlikely to bother with you further.
Customer service is often ignored online because there is no face-to-face interaction, but by making great service part of your brand, you can separate yourself from many of the other sellers on Ali Express. The money is there to be made; you just have to come up with a strategy that will work.
While you might find it difficult to compete with some of the other sellers on Ali Express right now, patience is key. This is because global expansion is likely in the coming years, due to the company’s recent level of sales and its desire to become a publically traded company.
Expansion is sure to drive the prices up in the marketplace. The website will be forced to start selling premium goods, much like eBay and Amazon do today. The combination of ultra-cheap goods and high-quality brand name products will attract a much wider segment of consumers, which is sure to bring more traffic to the products that you wish to sell.
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