Alibaba Announces New U.S. Main Street-Inspired Marketplace 11 Main

Chris CrumeCommerce & Retail

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Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba, ahead of its United State-based IPO (said to be the largest ever for a tech company), announced a new U.S. online shopping marketplace called 11 Main. The site aims to emulate the Main Street shopping experience that takes place in towns across the country.

11 Main combines specialty shops and boutiques, which are hand-selected by the site. The company says it "carefully selects" merchants, who make "some of the best and most differentiated boutiques available to shoppers."

The media is positioning 11 Main as a competitor to Amazon and eBay (which Alibaba itself already is), but this seems like more of an Etsy vibe, even if it's not necessarily focused on handmade items. The above video gives us that impression at least.

“At 11 Main, we’re passionate about the shops we invite and helping them grow,” said Mike Effle, president and general manager of 11 Main. “We’re constantly introducing new shop owners who represent the diversity of Main Street and featuring their new, amazing products in a beautifully designed experience.”

“Alibaba believes in 11 Main’s vision and its commitment to helping small businesses grow,” said Michael Zeisser, chairman of U.S. Investments, Alibaba Group. “11 Main brings something incredibly unique to the U.S. market, and we’re very excited to support the 11 Main team as they begin to realize this vision.”

The site is in beta for now, the company says, though if you visit it, it says it's opening soon. You can request an invite. The site will feature the following categories: Fashion & Style, Home & Outdoor, Jewelry & Watches, Baby & Kids, Collecting & Art, and Crafts, Hobbies & Toys.

If you think you might be interested in selling at 11 Main, here's a seller's guide. It's starting with about 1,000 merchants.

Image via YouTube

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.