11 Main is positioned as a boutique e-commerce business, offering high-quality products from selected eBay merchants in fashion, tech and jewelry industry in the pre-launch phase. The site plans to charge a 3.5% commission fee when an item sells with a $50 cap, lower than eBay’s. No commission fee will be charged for selling printed books, DVDs and music.
The site aims to build a compelling platform which can offer different user experiences as compared with traditional e-commerce platforms like eBay and Amazon. The new marketplace has told sellers it will help them attract new buyers with special offers, advertising and funding opportunities. It also allows sellers to upload banners and logos so as to arrange them in a Pinterest-style.
The new site was conceptualized, developed and will be operated by Alibaba’s abovementioned two U.S. subsidiaries which it acquired in 2010.
However, as Alibaba is dominating the domestic retailer e-commerce market with Taobao and Tmall, overseas expansion is a natural step for further development. The group merged three international platforms of Alibaba’s AliExpress, Tmall International and the international division of Taobao into one marketplace last year, targeting at individual customers overseas.
Alibaba has launched U.S. office more than a decade ago. The company has invested in U.S. sports retailer Fanatics and later led a $206 million investment in U.S. e-commerce company ShopRunner in 2013. It also injected $15 million in luxury product e-commerce site 1stdibs this year.
In recent years, successful Chinese Internet giants started to set eyes on overseas markets by either acquiring or investing in foreign companies, big or small. Chinese internet giant Tencent has invested around $2 billion in overseas markets last year. A surprising deal is Tencent led a $150 million round in Fab.com, a US-based online retailer for design products.
image credit: Alibaba