Close this search box.

How AliExpress is cross-bordering marketplace success

AliExpress is a Chinese success story and stands out as the highest-ranking Chinese company in the Global Elite 1000.

The marketplace was launched by Alibaba in 2010, enabling business-to-business sales within China and outside of the country. Today, it has morphed into a larger platform encompassing consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer sales in 190 countries.

AliExpress operates localised warehousing in China, the EU and the US, enabling sellers to deliver products anywhere from one to 45 days. Fashion and consumer electronics are the largest product categories. Cosmetics, electrical, homeware, sports and outdoor, crafts and DIY are also listed.

Being focused on SME brands, retailers and individuals – particularly those that are located in China – the proportion of RetailX Top 500 brands selling on the site is very low.

Click here to view all coverage about AliExpress

Branded goods from these companies sit at around 25% and are often sold by third parties, rather than being listed by the brands themselves, according to research in the RetailX European Marketplaces report.

Revenues across Alibaba Group increased in its latest financial year – which ended March 2022 – up 19% on the previous year, with its international businesses namely AliExpress, Lazada, Trendyol and Daraz seeing combined order growth of 34% year-on-year.

However, this is largely the result of robust sales at Lazada, which surged 60%, and at Trendyol, where growth of 68% was generated.

Flat order growth for AliExpress was due, the company says, to the European Union’s removal of the value-added tax (VAT) exemption for cross-border parcels with a value below €22.

This took effect in July 2021. Also, supply chain and logistics disruptions due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine impacted the company. At the end of 2022, AliExpress continued to face challenges with cross-border ecommerce demand in Europe due to the depreciating euro and increasing logistics costs.

The company is improving the experience of customers in Europe by strengthening cross-border delivery capabilities to reduce delivery lead times in partnership with Alibaba’s logistics arm Cainiao.

Click here to view:

This company profile was originally featured in the 2023 Global Elite Top1000 report, which includes 48 pages of RetailX analysis, market-leading research and expert insight into the global retail market and a full list of the Top1000 Global Elite.

Read More

Register for Newsletter

Group 4 Copy 3Created with Sketch.

Receive 3 newsletters per week

Group 3Created with Sketch.

Gain access to all Top500 research

Group 4Created with Sketch.

Personalise your experience on