Ines Belakhdar, Founder of NYC-based BYNES New York, started her retail storefront in May 2020 with the goal of manufacturing and providing sustainable and ethically-sourced clothing and accessories. BYNES New York is currently focusing on women’s apparel, but they’re now working to expand into different segments, including menswear, baby apparel, and more.
Ines was initially hoping to find boutique buyers in New York to expand her customer base beyond her own store, but the COVID-19 pandemic caused both temporary and permanent retail shutdowns. This resulted in customers disappearing overnight, and when she was allowed to reopen her store, it took time for customers to return to shopping in-person, resulting in a dramatic drop in retail sales. Ines knew she needed to pivot her business model online to find new ways to reach customers and create a more sustainable and reliable income.
While still operating her retail location, Ines started to focus on ecommerce — both direct-to-customer on B2C platforms and online wholesale on the Alibaba.com platform. Ines had previously used Alibaba.com to source labels, so when she learned that the B2B ecommerce marketplace was open to US sellers, she knew it was a growth opportunity for her company. Ines was especially interested in the platform’s performance metrics and Trade Assurance, which is built-in order protection for orders on the platform that allows customers to transact securely and with confidence.
Since being on the platform for almost six months, Ines has new customers from the US, Canada, and parts of Europe. BYNES New York is growing triple digits month-over-month on Alibaba.com, and she is hiring new employees to meet the demand. Ines recently participated in the Alibaba.com Global Products Expo: Made in the USA, a virtual event in February 2021, where she met new creatives and brand designers, resulting in hundreds of new inquiries and multiple new customers and sales.
According to Ines, "We’ve tried a number of platforms, but have seen so much growth since joining the platform as a seller and find it’s the best by a landslide. What attracted us was the reach of the platform and the various features that facilitated conversions and built confidence between us and the buyer. There are millions of buyers and sellers from all over the world, so you can enjoy the network effects of Alibaba.com, and the platform’s buyer quality is fantastic. Most of our new customers have stemmed from Alibaba.com, and we will have to hire new employees to support the growing demand. There’s just nothing else out there like it."