The 1688.com operates in the model of B2B, wholesale, and product manufacturing. Hence, most businesses in the platform are trustworthy manufacturers who sell products at relatively competitive prices. Many Chinese businesses use 1688.com to locate products and other businesses for interactions and purchases.
In August 2017, 1688.com introduced an Industrial Mall dedicated solely to large industrial brands and official distributors. Since its launch in August 2017, the Industrial Mall has had over 3000 big-name manufacturing brands like Dow, BASF, 3M, Henkel, and Evonik.
The 1688.com platform seeks to assist brands to realize efficiency in all their processing activities, from supply chain management to product design through digitalization.
Due to the popularity and transparency of 1688.com, many businesses in the platform have started to provide low minimum order quality (MOQ) to end consumers in China. The 1688.com intends to close the gap between companies, the market, and the end consumers by helping them realize a consumer-to-business model (C2B). In a C2B model, the manufacturers’ strategies are dictated by the consumers’ demands in a bottom-up approach.
By adopting a bottom-up approach in a C2B business model, 1688.com intends to encourange manaufacturers in the platform to develop products based on the end customers’ demands, tastes, and preferences.
The 1688.com provides a quick messaging response to its customers. Suppliers have their salespersons on high alert to respond to customer inquiries within seconds.
However, the platform does not have an English customer support system. If one cannot understand the Chinese language used in the forum, they can find a sourcing agent or a translator to help them close the transactions successfully.
Domestic suppliers and manufacturers are paid using WeChat, Alipay, cash, and domestic banks.
For manufacturers and suppliers to be accepted in the 1688.com platform, they must first get a government business license. This is to certify that all the sellers and suppliers on the forum are genuine and not scammers. To assure customers that the supplier is legit, their details, including date of incorporation, company addresses, scope, and registered capital, are clearly shown on the website.