Alibaba is trying to lure European sellers away from its American arch rival Amazon: the Chinese giant has scrapped its monthly fees and is now charging lower commissions than its main competitor.
Alibaba’s offensive is currently primarily focused on Spain and Italy: the e-commerce giant has waived its monthly fees and is now only charging a sales commission of between 5 % and 8 %. Selling via Amazon’s platform is significantly more expensive: in addition to a monthly fee of 39 euros, traders also pay a commission between 7 % and 15 %.
Alibaba’s move has produced mixed results: a number of smaller brands have already made the switch to AliExpress (Alibaba's foreign platform), but larger chains (like Benetton or Mango) have reacted with caution, Reuters writes.
Larger fashion brands do not seem to find AliExpress, with its cheap image, the right place to be selling more expensive clothing. They see a greater benefit from a more "aspirational environment", though others are more positive, calling AliExpress a "work in progress". According to CEO Wang Mingqiang, foreign brands need time to understand the platform: they will get the space and freedom to design their own digital store, including the look & feel that they want, he added.