The number one benefit of using alibaba.com is you have instant access to a countless number of global suppliers who sell just about any product known to man, and you can normally find low wholesale pricing. This can mean big profits by buying your supplies at rock bottom prices and selling at premium retail prices.
Another nice thing about alibaba.com is they do a good job of organizing products and categories so you can find what you want fast. For example, clicking "coffee" in the food category leads to a list of options that can be compared and there are filters on the side to narrow down the options even further. Additionally, this list has a familiarity to it as it looks similar to eBay, meaning American businesses will feel at home very quickly. This layout, use of community features, and their messaging system give Alibaba a friendly look and feel.