AliExpress to arrive in 2017

Polish media report that Alibaba Group, an Asian e-commerce giant, has plans to enter the Polish market in 2017. The news come from Alibaba Group’s Li Zhang, who shared it at the recently ended IFA exhibition in Berlin.

AliExpress, the group’s flagship online retail platform, is already gaining some popularity among Polish internet users. It does a lot to attract customers in the country by the Vistula river. AliExpress website already has a Polish-language version. Moreover, the company has purchased the Aliexpress.pl domain (it currently redirects to Aliexpress.com).

Platform’s payment system has been adopted to Polish user’s practices and is easy to use. Still, Polish customers need to pay for their purchases in a foreign currency. The currency conversion is done automatically, but the customer has to settle some additional currency conversion fees. This makes shopping more expensive and more complicated.

Aliexpress.com is currently available in 15 languages, including English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, and Polish. They offer deliveries to 200 countries worldwide and 24/7 customer assistance. It is said to be the most popular e-commerce site in Russia.

If the news comes to life, this means trouble for Poland’s key player in the e-commerce market, Allegro.pl. The bidding platform is a household name in the country and the most popular shopping destination for Internet users, even though it is being criticized for insufficient customer protection and high prices.

Poland still remembers the spectacular failure of Ebay. The American bidding platform sorely underestimated the domestic competition and despite global brand and presence and did not manage to attract enough users.

The country is still waiting for Polish Amazon store. The company opened here two distribution centres, but still appears to be uncertain about launching an online store for Poles.

Alibaba.com, an online platform connecting Chinese and international businesses, was founded in 1999. Today, Alibaba Group Holding Limited is listed at NYSE. In 1Q2016, it reported revenue in the amount of over 3,751 million USD. It employs over 46 thousand people.

The group’s head office is in Hangzhou, China. Its offices are also located in Hong Kong, Taiwan, USA, UK, Italy, and India. It appears the next one will be opened in Poland.

Polish e-commerce market is steadily growing. This year, it is expected to reach the value of 35 billion PLN (over 9 billion USD). Alibaba will surely want to get a piece of that cake.