AliExpress Gives Thanks for Black Friday

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AliExpress Gives Thanks for Black Friday subsidiary AliExpress started out as a wholesale marketing website for Chinese suppliers wanting to sell products in small lots to overseas businesses. But the B2B service evidently has caught on with American consumers, too. AliExpress officials say that on Black Friday—the post-Thanksgiving start of the holiday shopping season in the U.S.—the number of overseas buyers trading on the platform nearly tripled compared with the daily number from 2010, while the total online transaction volume almost doubled.

The company did not disclose the value of transactions. Results were bolstered by a website-wide holiday promotion touting 20% price reductionsfromNov. 25 through Dec. 25 on more than 10 million products listed on AliExpress. The top five best-selling AliExpress product categories on Nov. 25 were all giftables: jewelry, palmtop PCs, mobile phones, women’s apparel and watches.

AliExpress officials said the strong consumer response was a good sign for the website’s ongoing overseas expansion. AliExpress has been trying to make the site more consumer-friendly by bolstering the quality and customer service of its Chinese merchants. The company is also moving away from its roots as an online matchmaking service for businesses. Instead, AliExpress is morphing into a transaction platform for online sales, backed by an escrow service to protect consumers.

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