Will Alibaba’s New Online Marketplace, 11 Main, Change the Ecommerce Market?

by Gail Oliver, Small Business Marketing Consultant

In the ever-growing online marketplace, there is yet another new competitor, except they are not really new.

Opening later this month is 11 Main, owned by China ecommerce giant Alibaba, looking to take a share of the US ecommerce and online retail marketplace, projected to be $370 billion by 2017 (according to Forrester Research).

New Alibaba marketplace 11 Main

What is 11 Main

11 Main wants to re-create the shopping experience found on Main Streets across the United States, so it will be featuring unique, specialty-type shops. The categories of goods they will offer include Fashion & Style, Home & Outdoor, Jewelry & Watches, Baby & Kids, Collecting & Art, Crafts, Hobbies and Toys. And yes, this is for US sellers only.

How to Be a Seller on 11 Main

Currently to be a seller on 11 Main,  it is by invitation only (they initially hand-picked some top eBay sellers to join), but you can apply on their site. 11 Main will be taking 3.5% of the sale (similar to Etsy, much lower than eBay or Amazon), but no other fees have been mentioned. They have listed their selling guidelines, and it is obviously they want this to be a clean, streamlined, professional looking marketplace.

Alibaba is Big in E-Commerce

In China, Alibaba has always been considered a mix of eBay and Amazon. It controls 80% of e-commerce in China and has applied to go public on the New York Stock Exchange this year, estimated to give the company a value of $100 to $200 billion.

11 Main is being run from offices in San Mateo, California, with seasoned e-commerce executives recruited from eBay, PayPal and Wal-Mart

It looks like 11 Main has everything in their favor to be successful. Let me know your thoughts about this new online competitor.


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Author: Gail Oliver, Online Small Business Consultant

I'm Gail Oliver, an online marketing consultant. Welcome to my blog, chosen one of the Top 10 Small Business Blogs to Follow in 2014 by American Express Open Forum. If you need help with your e-commerce business, be sure to see MY SERVICES, above.