Recently we got our Alibaba membership started that was bought 2 years ago and had not been used up till now. What we bought is Alibaba’s basic plan which costs RMB 29800 ( ). Alibaba membership is meant to gain inquiries from potential clients. When clients search relative product keywords on Alibaba, your products are supposed to be showed in the search results so that clients will find you. But with this basic plan, over past a couple of days we end up getting no inquiries at all. We have uploaded 16 safety shoes products with rich information. We think we have done everything right, but still get nowhere. After checking out the search ranks of some safety shoes keywords, we found our ranks lag behind very much.  This is because:

The competition on Alibaba are too competitive even though you bought their service. When you search the term “safety shoes” on it,  you will get tons of products from tons of suppliers.  Today’s Alibaba is no longer the one of ten years ago. 10 years ago, few suppliers were in there, but now half of the safety shoes exporters in China are competing the first page rank with you.

The so-called trade assurance is the major ranking factor that determines which position you are in on the search results. The metric of trade assurance is how much transactions you have made through trade assurance service so far. The more transactions have you done in the past, the higher your search rank will be. We are a beginner without any trade assurance transaction record, so we do not have ranks at all for the most important and most competitive keyword like safety shoes.

The first 5 positions on search results are for advertisement if the first position is not bought. You offer a higher price for each click than other people to get in top five positions. Your expense  on ads is up to how many times your rank is clicked. This is very much like Google advertisement, but Google does not charge you to rank for the rest positions.

We are finding ourselves in the middle of nowhere. Can we do something to improve our current hard situation on Alibaba?

We are suggested by Alibaba salesman to upload as many as products as we can. At least 300 products uploaded was advised. This is based on the logic that more products will bring us more exposure in the search, but the thing is all of these keywords supposed to rank are not hot keywords and are ranked far behind as well. This tactic might have some effect but does not make much difference.

So the most direct and effective way to improve our situation on Alibaba is to spend more to buy their ads positions. After accumulating some trade assurance transaction record through ads, our search rank can get improved. Ads might be the only way out for new comers like us. So your investment must be much higher, even several times higher than expected.

Another way to improve our ranks on Alibaba might be to get their Verification service named verified supplier. But the cost is very high and you have to think about if it is worthwhile. It is still questionable that it will get your rank improved significantly to use this service.