Erica Chan
Erica Chan
Globalizing & Localizing Your Brand
On this episode, Erica talks about the importance of customer success, Alibaba’s focus on international sales, and the necessity to globalize, and keep a pulse on local markets.
Alibaba Group’s mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere. They provide the fundamental technology infrastructure and marketing reach to help merchants, brands, and other businesses that provide products, services, and digital content to leverage the power of the Internet to engage with their users and customers. Their businesses are comprised of core commerce, cloud computing, digital media and entertainment, innovation initiatives, and others. Through investee affiliates, they also participate in the logistics and local services sectors.
Information Technology & Services

Guest Bio

Erica Chan joined Alibaba Group in 2018 to lead brand and corporate strategy for Alibaba.com, one of the world’s largest B2B ecommerce marketplaces and a business unit of Alibaba Group. 

She helped oversee the brand launch in the U.S., when it unveiled its enhanced platform to enable U.S. small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to sell their products to millions of Alibaba.com buyers in the U.S. and around the globe. 

With a mission to make it easier for SMBs to do business anywhere, Alibaba.com is dedicated to making it easier for the nearly 30 million SMBs in the U.S. to access the $23.9 trillion global B2B ecommerce market, an opportunity that is six times larger than the global B2C ecommerce market.

Prior to joining Alibaba, Erica oversaw brand, corporate and customer experience strategy at OpenSky, a holding company of ecommerce platforms and tools for small businesses which was acquired by Alibaba Group in 2018.

Before OpenSky, Erica was Strategy Director at Interbrand where she worked with top global brands to build business and brand clarity, internal capabilities and winning customer experiences.

Erica has a B.S. in Applied Economics from Cornell University and a Master in City Planning with a focus on economic development from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Episode Summary

This episode features an interview with Erica Chan. Erica leads Alibaba’s Brand and Customer Insights Team in North America, where she works with over 20,000 sellers and 26 million buyers worldwide. 

On this episode, Erica talks about the challenges and misconceptions a Chinese company faces when breaking into the North American market. She also shares her insights on building customer trust, trade-show and content strategy, and much more.

Key Takeaways

  • You’re only as successful as your customers' success. 
  • There are over 30M U.S. businesses, but only around 1% do international sales. Think about how your marketing efforts can increase international sales. 
  • If you have a brand or company that you’re trying to globalize, don’t forget about the localization aspect of globalization. Local communities make up the global community.


“At the end of the day, B2B is a very human business. What we’ve found is that having an on-the-ground customer success team to pick up the phone or meet face-to-face with our customers to help them through this digital journey has been tremendous. For us, this is a gold mine for customer insights.” 

“We rely a lot on our ecosystem of partners to help us with content ideas and also content creation...we love creating the content with our customers. We feel very strongly that our customer's success is our success. We're only successful if our customers are successful and we love featuring customer success stories.” 

“We actually have a competition within our office...We want to encourage folks to talk and get in front of as many customers as possible. It's like a competition amongst teams... like a fun way for us to incentivize getting front and center and really listening to our customers.”

Episode Highlights

Episode Transcript