Why do foreign trade in 2023 must do independent station/official website?B2B platform vs independent station

Foreign trade independent site advantages
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Foreign trade self-built site (also known as independent site) refers to the third party or their own design and build, with independent domain name of the independent enterprise website. Different from B2B platform, self-built website has independent top-level domain name, website ownership and control in their own hands. It is suitable for placing Google ads for social media influence, etc.

Compared to third-party platforms like Ali International Website, the independent website can be fully customized in design and functionality, and the company has 100% control and ownership. The most important point of the independent site is independent, not subject to platform supervision and control, and will not display peer site recommendations.

Ali, Tencent cloud, Futong Tianxia, Vanke build a website, etc. have independent station business, in their platform independent opening website own design. These platform-type independent station are Saas builder, function and design have great limitations, control and ownership is not in the hands of enterprises, speed and SEO is not good optimization, not recommended.

Do independent station in order to SEO results and speed, must use foreign servers, with all the permissions, preferably using open source programs such as WordPress to build, scalable, easy to use.


Why must we do foreign trade self-built website?

Because it may be the best way out for small and medium-sized foreign trade enterprises at present. Many foreign trade enterprises may have the same feeling: the amount of orders from old customers is getting less and less, the price is getting lower and lower, while it is more and more difficult to get new customers.

Ali invested hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, hundreds of thousands of inquiries every month, but only a few quality customers can do down. Development letters sink into the sea, the exhibition received fewer and fewer business cards. Salesman is also bad to recruit, the ability to bear the hardships of the few and far between, feel that foreign trade is not good. In fact, the overall foreign trade market is getting better and better, and the export value has been growing. YesTimes and markets have changedForeign trade enterprises that cannot keep up with the pace of development are gradually abandoned by the times.


1- Increase inquiry/order conversion rate

Doing foreign trade is actually to do trust, only to obtain the trust of customers, in order to obtain orders. Customers will definitely choose their trusted company to place orders, rather than choosing only low prices or good quality suppliers.

Trust comes from understanding, the more we know about a person or a company the more we trust them, on the contrary we are always wary of unfamiliar people and companies. Independent website is the best way for customers to know us: convenient, with detailed and comprehensive information,.

If a company does not even have an official website for foreign trade, it is difficult to gain customer trust by relying only on a few sentences of corporate email to sell melon type self-promotion. Ali International Station also has detailed company information can obtain customer trust, but customers will certainly also go to peer stores to shop, fierce competition into a low rate, so the international station is not convenient to promote.


2- Low cost database

China's accession to the WTO so far (2023) has been 22 years, Ali International Station and other foreign trade platforms is a product of the times. With the rise of manufacturing in Southeast Asia, China's manufacturing industry to intellectual upgrading, Ali international station effect is increasingly declining.

If one day your company's AliExpress/Shopify website is not going to be renewed, the store will be closed. What about the products on it? What about the customers on it who can't find you? A standalone site can be kept running steadily for just a few hundred dollars a year, and the products on it will always be there.

The standalone site can be used as a low-cost permanent product data storage and display platform, and a way for customers to contact us.


3- Get inquiries to retain salesmen

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3- Customer acquisition

Doing foreign trade is actually doing traffic business, who mastered the flow of who mastered the order. Ali International Station is a closed circle, fierce competition, not suitable for SEO ranking or social media traffic, can only spend money to buy traffic. Independent station in the effect of traffic dumping Ali dozens of streets, very suitable to do SEO ranking and social media traffic.


4- Good for publicity

Doing foreign trade basically use enterprise mailbox to communicate with customers, and the company address, telephone and mailbox will be generally put under the mail. If there is an independent station with bound mailbox domain name, customers can visit the official website through the URL to further understand the details and advantages of the enterprise, and the trust and development letter effect is greatly improved.

For example, in the middle of March, a new customer of the inflatable factory will go to Dubai to exhibit, so we will do a good job on the website as soon as possible. Print the URL on the business card to the customer, the customer can quickly understand the details and advantages of the enterprise through the website.

In terms of publicity Ali international site to much worse, because it relies on trafficking traffic to make money, will certainly allocate the bulk of the traffic to the most burned business. If a company leads customers to the international station store, Ali will constantly display other peer store information on the store page, leading customers to visit peer sites, which is equivalent to giving others to do the graft.


Less and less traffic

The total global Internet traffic has peaked, and Google's total global search volume has not grown much in the past few years. With the development of the Internet and technological progress, foreign trade customer traffic has gradually moved from big platforms like Alibaba to various apps and social networking sites, such as Facebook, Link, Pinterest. Now foreign trade customers are looking for suppliers through a variety of channels, no longer limited to B2B platforms such as Alibaba.

enquiry from linkedIn

The emergence of Pindoduo let Taobao lost a lot of traffic, the emergence of Jitterbug interest in e-commerce let Taobao e-commerce position is at risk. Many foreign trade enterprises to obtain customers a single channel (mainly rely on Ali International Station and other platforms), can not avoid the loss of traffic.


Competition is getting fierce

The traffic is getting less and less, but more and more competitors, just like today's TaobaoThere is little meat and many wolves.Business is naturally getting harder and harder to do. Coupled with the rapid development of the Internet and technology, the development of foreign trade customers more and more efficient methods. Do not say that the same step, even if you run slower may also be peers thrown off a few streets.

As far as I understand, many foreign trade enterprises will buy some tools or courses to develop customers, such as

  1. Purchase of email tracking software to see if emails are opened by clients.
  2. Automatic customer contact search software that automatically searches for relevant customer contact information based on keywords based on Google text/image/map search and then sends a mass development letter.
  3. Collage group sending tool, automatic batch filling plus target customers as friends group sending station information / development letter.
  4. Whatsapp group messaging tool, which imports customer contact information into Whatsapp group messaging by automatically searching Google.
  5. Purchase of foreign trade courses such as MiCourse and Helping Class University.
  6. Build independent websites, do crazy SEO, invest in Google ads to get a lot of quality inquiries.
  7. Purchase of CRM management systems.
  8. Purchase of customs data.
  9. Ground promotion, visiting clients abroad, etc..

We may be complacent today waiting to place an order for a few quotes sent back to Ali, while our competitors have already used high technology to reach dozens or even hundreds of customers.

A week later we were still returning inquiries for quotes and struggling with why we hadn't responded to previous quotes, while our competitors were already talking to customers about sending samples/placing orders.

A month later we were still going back to Ali to ask for quotes, complaining about why we never met any big customers, while our competitors had already made several new customers and started contacting the next batch of new customers within the month.

Ali is a microcosm of the development of China's manufacturing industry, representing the era when China's manufacturing industry expanded wildly in the past, exporting low-end products and waiting for customers to come to the door. Relying on Alibaba and other platforms, the crazy competition between businesses, the practice of a big price war has not kept up with the development trend of the times.

The state encourages innovation and transformation, foreign trade enterprises need to do more brand image and less price war.Multi-layout customer acquisition channelsIn order to survive the white-hot foreign trade competition. Foreign trade self-built station must be the next place of foreign trade traffic competition, advance layout, theGet a head start.


Foreign trade enterprises how to get out of the foreign trade dilemma?

Change does not necessarily live, do not change must wait for death. The biggest problem faced by the vast majority of foreign trade enterprises is that there are few new customers, the cost of customer acquisition is too high. To get out of the foreign trade dilemma first have to get enough customer traffic / inquiries.

1) Get enough quality traffic

The essence of foreign trade business is traffic.Mastering the traffic is the ticket to board the foreign trade wealth train. The vast majority of enterprises will obtain traffic through the network, and a small number will choose to actively develop customers.

Web Acquisition

Network customer acquisition is mainly divided into Google customer acquisition, B2B platform (Ali, etc.) customer acquisition, social platform (Link, etc.) customer acquisition.

Social platform customers are mainly on the C-side, such as Linking has a good B-side customers, through the social platform to develop customers need to persistently higher requirements for ability. Most foreign trade companies do not pay attention to this piece of social media, and do not know how to develop, and even did not open their own Facebook, Linking page. It is recommended that we develop customers have free time to pay attention to this piece of social media, help increase exposure, improve customer trust.

B2B platform customer acquisition is the most popular method before, because it is very much in line with the thinking of the national people to open the through train can have a lot of orders and the effect is immediate. Many foreign trade business owners have less contact with the Internet, for the network customer acquisition skeptical attitude, feel invisible, the effect is not clear. They have seen and heard too many people through Ali, Taobao and other platforms to achieve success, Ali has also become the first choice of domestic foreign trade enterprises to the sea. But B2B platform dividend period has passed, the effect is getting worse and worse, only a few of the head / quality big sellers can earn money, most businesses are running along to get together, see below Alibaba store analysis.

Google customer acquisition is the main way to build the English website to get traffic, which has always been the best effect of customer acquisition, the lowest cost channels. Just before we understand the Internet is not very deep, business on the independent site to get customers know very little, in fact, there have been many secretly through the foreign trade website to make a fortune. Sam, the god of information, is one of the first batch of businessmen who made their fortune through Google, and there are many people in the foreign trade forum who share the case of the company's size doubling several times in the early days through Google.

These yearsRice classI believe the majority of foreign trade people have heard of or studied the rice course. Our company also bought the courses of Yi Bing, Material God, Wang Sheng and Yan Sir, and benefited a lot. Especially Yan Sir's online and offline stand-alone courses were very popular during the epidemic. Sam's method of active search and development of customers is also inseparable from the cooperation of independent websites. For more information about the independent website, please move to the independent website section.


Proactive customer development

Active development is mainly sending development letters, making phone calls, exhibiting, and ground promotion. Difficulty is relatively large, the effect varies from person to person. Before we do foreign trade salesman is very difficult, the company does not have much strength and dare not invest, only a basic package of Alibaba / Made in China network. Excellent quality inquiries are divided to the relationship, you know. We civilian salesmen can only rely on their own search for customer information and then send development letters, phone calls. Active development of customers is difficult, the success rate is less than 1%.Why is it difficult?

  1. It's hard to get in touch with the right person. It is not easy to find the person who has the authority to make the decision to place the order as well as valid contact information, and even if you work hard to find the email address, the person may not be in that position/company anymore.
  2. The other party does not necessarily need a new supplier at this stage. Even if they return emails, they may only ask for prices, ask for free samples to understand the market and so on, often without follow-up.
  3. Poor results. You can find customers, and so can your competitors. A client may receive thousands of development letters a month, most of which go into spam mailboxes or are blocked and have a low probability of being opened and viewed.
  4. Not a target customer. What is the customer's main product? What price point/quality? Is it imported or made in the country/neighboring countries...? Most of the people we send development letters to are not target customers, and even if we contact them, it is difficult to convert them into orders.
  5. High time cost. Searching customer profiles + doing background research + figuring out development letters to contact customers = huge time and effort. Choosing active development means losing time to maintain old customers and learn new knowledge.

P.S.: The contact information in the Canton Fair customer catalog book are false/outdated information, and the development letter 99% was returned.

The ground push is to go abroad to visit and so on, not many companies can do, not to chat in detail. The exhibition actually ended up being reduced to sending development letters, hahaha. The old salesmen of our group are all-powerful what will do: develop customers > arrange for proofing > do invoices > follow up orders > receive > shipments all by themselves. Before foreign trade companies do not have any customer acquisition channels mainly rely on salesmen to develop customers, and now the majority of young salesmen motivation and the ability to develop customers is not enough to rely on the company's channels and advantages of customer acquisition, to put it bluntly is sitting and waiting for customers to reply to the next email.

I've been using Fortis Global Eagle to automatically search for customer information and then send out mass messages. 6 years ago, most of the information searched was incorrect, and only a few letters were returned and not the target customers. Like digging for gold, this area has been dug by many people you still come to dig only by luck.

WhatsApp mass mailing


Build foreign trade independent website to get customers

Advantages of Independent Station
Low cost

Alibaba, Made in China, etc. have 40%+ of traffic from Google.Price increaseResell to members in the form of foreign trade express, etc. Independent sites get directly from GoogleFreeThe natural ranking traffic as well as low-cost Google advertising traffic, traffic costs less than Ali 1/10.

Independent sites just need to follow the Google ranking rules to do a good job of SEO (search engine optimization), you can enter the first 2 pages of Google search ranking to get a lot ofNatural Ranking Traffic. Click to view our SEO services ☞


Good effect
  1. The traffic is big. If the traffic is compared to fish, Ali International website is equivalent to one of the ocean, Google is equivalent to the whole ocean. Instead of spending a high price in the coastal sea with competitors to grab the dwindling resources, it is better to sail to the deep sea to catch big fish.
  2. High conversion rate. The inquiries from the international website are mainly from developed regions and B-end customers. The quality and conversion rate of the inquiries are much higher than Ali international website.
  3. Low cost. Diamo's whole site keyword SEO optimization is only about ¥5000 in total, and the ranking is valid for a long time. Time cost is also low, only dozens of products need to be uploaded, no bulk layouts are required.
  4. It is better to show the company's image and strength. A stand-alone website is also the official website of the company, with the URL containing the company name or brand name. The website can put the company profile, company introduction video, success stories, company development history, privacy policy, service policy, etc.. A beautifully designed stand-alone website is better than a cookie-cutter Alibaba store to show the company's strength and image and increase customer trust. Especially suitable forDoing branding and positioning high-endof foreign trade enterprises.
  5. Little competition. The vast majority of domestic enterprises on foreign trade and Google to develop customer contact is relatively small, and do not understand the advantages of the independent site and the effect. Most enterprises are still keen to open stores in Alibaba and other platforms, resulting in increasingly fierce competition on the platform, and finally reduced to a price war. In contrast, the independent site competition is much smaller, the market is also much larger, the product offer has greater profit margin.
  6. Management is more relaxed. Independent station belongs to 3 regardless, no platform supervision, do not worry about being complaints, infringement, closed store.



Do Ali / Made in China International Station is only temporary, not a long-term solution. The cost is getting higher and higher, and the effect is less and less is inevitable. If you don't renew the international station, the store will be closed and all the products uploaded before will be gone. Can not contact old customers through the international station, customers can not find you, how to deal with? The answer is an independent station.

In addition to having 100% control and ownership of an independent site, there is one big benefit: stability. Third parties do not have the right or the ability to take down products from independent sites, much less block them (as long as you don't break the law). The best way to contact customers is to use an independent site to upload products.

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Disadvantages of Independent Station

There are many advantages of independent sites, but one fatal disadvantage is that there is no distribution of traffic.Must upload quality articles, do Google SEO optimization, off-site traffic to reach the inquiry free.

Independent sites without good quality content support (articles), SEO optimization, generally will not have good rankings, not to mention natural search traffic and inquiries.

If you are willing to spend money, spend thousands of dollars to find someone directly Taobao or find us to help you write SEO articles + optimize Google SEO + teach you social platforms to attract traffic. We guarantee the effect, the effect is not up to standard free of charge has been optimized until you are satisfied, interested in private chat.

If you don't want to spend money, you can write your own articles, learn Google SEO, and sign up for mainstream social media platforms to post and attract traffic, which will also have good results in terms of inquiries. Our blog has corresponding articles tutorials, please move toBlog page.


Alibaba Customer Acquisition

Now the B2B platform is the same as Taobao Tmall e-commerce platform has passed the bonus period into the decline, the natural flow is less and less effective than before, but the cost is getting higher. B2B platform or a lot of businesses can make money, but the proportion is relatively small. The company's business is a major player in the marketplace, and the company's business is a major player in the marketplace.

Ali advantages

Although the effect is not as good as before, but Ali is, after all, ranked first B2B platform, has some quality sources, suitable for strong foreign trade enterprises. Foreign large companies orders are very huge, need a lot of suppliers. They like to find suppliers in Ali class platform, saving, efficient.

However, only the popular keywords ranked on the first page of the business to have more access to these large customers, and the strength of the business itself and product quality, price to be excellent in order to arouse the interest of customers to send inquiries.

I used to work in a Guangzhou trading company (more than 10 foreign trade salesman) mainly rely on 2 Alibaba account to get customers, an account a year to invest more than 300,000. From Ali inquiry to do under 3 large customers, a year of profits of tens of millions.


Ali disadvantages
High traffic prices

Google carries its own traffic, with roughly 4 billion searches per day worldwide. Google is likeFlow FactoryThe majority of traffic is monopolized by Google. Alibaba, Made in China, Global Sources, etc. all buy traffic from Google.

According to analysis, Alibaba international website has about 42% traffic from Google search (Google ads + Google natural ranking), 39% traffic from direct input / click URL visit (this data from the Internet, you can Baidu or Google search for related posts if you are interested). If you search for popular keywords of your products in Google, you will find that the first page will basically appear Alibaba, Made in China, etc.. Some are in the form of advertising, some are in the form of natural ranking.

Alibaba, like Taobao, is essentially selling traffic for profit, spending a lot of money to buy traffic from Google and other places, and then sell it to their own members at a higher price, traffic prices are naturally high. So Alibaba basic membership charge 29800 / year is also reasonable.


The inquiry effect is not as good as the independent site

AlibabaThe inquiries are gettingC-sideI used to work in the company's Ali international site received most of the inquiries from Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria and other non-economically developed regions. The content of the inquiry is to buy a few, dozens of. The B-side sellers' days are getting really bad.

Another reason for the poor quality of Ali inquiries is that customersSerious price comparisonThe traffic is getting less and less. Traffic is getting less and less, but more and more merchants are stationed, resulting in more and more intense competition. Visitors only need to mouse click 2 can easily send inquiries to dozens of suppliers, so many suppliers compete for a customer, customers tend to order to the lower price or more powerful one (most Ali inquiry did not reply to one of the reasons). Only a small number of sellers eat meat, most sellers are running with.


Easy to be penalized for not renewing the store shutdown

I saw a group of friends in the foreign trade station sharing group share: because the product is similar to the constant complaints, and finally the store was closed, so he taught himself to build an independent station.

If the Ali store is not renewed or blocked, all the previous efforts will be in vain, remember to backup the customer data. Foreign trade website inquiry information and product information in their own hands, you can always download the migration.

alibaba problem

Close alibaba shop


Ali summary.
Ali suitable for the strength of foreign trade enterprises, directly open the most high-end package, foreign trade express a year to invest more than 200,000, the main keyword screen, the inquiry effect is basically very considerable (different industries different effect, for reference only). Customers do not place orders also depends on product quality / price / service, etc., if the enterprise itself does not have any advantages, even if there is a quality inquiry is difficult to convert into orders. Some industries may not work well in Ali to invest more money is useless, after all, Ali is only a part of the entire foreign trade ocean, not what fish are there.

If you open a basic account of 39800, through train a year to throw not more than 100,000, the inquiry effect is generally not good, it is better to spend 1-2 million to do foreign trade self-built station.


2)Improve your competitiveness

The following is the process most customers use to find suppliers

  1. Searching for suppliers through the Internet, exhibitions, referrals from friends, etc..
  2. SelectionSome quality suppliers to contact via email/phone/whatsapp etc. for further information.
  3. Selection1-3 satisfied suppliers for proofing, sending samples to check quality, etc.
  4. Receive samples againSelection1-2 satisfied suppliers to start factory inspection/chat about price delivery, etc. (if none of the samples are satisfied, they will be re-sampled or go back to steps 1 and 2).
  5. SelectionSuitable suppliers to confirm the partnership.

The above process appears 4 times screening / elimination of suppliers, foreign trade business is like in the crowd across the one-way bridge. The enterprise itself product quality, price, service needs to be excellent in order to beat the competition to get customer favor.

If their own products can not price and no advantage, and then more inquiries can not be converted into net profit. Doing foreign trade for so many years, I have contacted many foreign trade companies and factories. Some companies continue to do dead old customers and new customers can not do up, resulting in orders gradually reduced. Some companies pay attention to the product and customer experience, the order volume is increasing.

At the same time to enhance the ability of salesmen, salesmen play a vital role in an order. The customer's understanding of the supplier's strength, products and whether to trust the company depends largely on the role played by the salesman. To negotiate a large customer may need to mobilize the entire company's resources, continuous efforts to cooperate, but to talk about the death of a large customer may only need a salesman a very bad email.

Each company has its own difficulties and shortcomings, and change is not something that happens overnight. We all know what we know, and wish each other well.


Article out of date? Have a better opinion? Have a question? Please leave your comments below and we will follow up.

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