In 2020, when travel ground to a halt and suppliers and buyers were unable to meet face-to-face at trade shows around the world, we saw an opportunity: why not create a forum online where ecommerce could continue, and even thrive, unabated?
The result was Alibaba.com Online Trade Shows, a place for leading suppliers to come together and showcase their latest facilities, technologies, and products via an enriched digital experience. Suppliers can now demonstrate their full range of products and services via digital booths, as well as debut their newest offerings through host-led product launch events.
The beauty of moving online, of course, is that buyers around the world no longer need to leave their homes or offices to attend, connect, inspect, and source, saving them valuable time and money – finite resources that increasingly determine whether a business will make it to the next quarter.
However, despite the added convenience of growing connectivity worldwide, we were also mindful not to lose touch with offline trade shows that managed to battle through the pandemic and bring people together. As such, we partnered with major exhibitions such as IFA in Berlin and Automechanika in Frankfurt, establishing on-site booths and bringing trade show-specific experiences to the Alibaba.com app and desktop ecosystems.
Through a growing array of tools designed to streamline ecommerce from afar, we have enabled online and in-person visitors to these trade shows to source efficiently. Such tools include:
- LIVE: Real-time streams of products as demonstrated by suppliers, boosting interaction, minimizing misunderstanding, and easing the overall sourcing experience
- Digital booths: Digital representations of a supplier’s capabilities, highlighting their experience in product customization, OEM/ODM, production and service capabilities, quality control, trade show attendance records, and limited-time offers, among many other pertinent details
- My Matches: An exclusive service that gives buyers direct access to suitable Verified Suppliers on Alibaba.com via private 1-on-1 online meetings, including moderator and language support
We hope that such services can bring business stability and ease to a world where uncertainty is increasingly the norm. By creating a virtual space for serious buyers to access a curated sourcing and networking experience, Alibaba.com Online Trade Shows look to boost business opportunities and help buyers be the first to access the newest products in their respective industries.
Since launching, we’ve held 20+ Online Trade Shows, serving over 2 million global buyers and nearly 100,000 suppliers, becoming a star event for global traders. This is only the beginning of what we believe is possible, and as internet-based technologies grow, there’s no reason why every trade show, supplier, and buyer can’t one day access Online Trade Shows from anywhere in the world – we look forward to seeing you there.