Profiling E-commerce giants Amazon and Alibaba
November 5, 2015
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Profiling E-commerce giants Amazon and Alibaba

With the market boom of e-commerce in Africa, there is so much to learn from these online stores who have paved the way for the exponential growth in this sector.

Amazon is the largest Internet based online retailer in the United States. The E-commerce and cloud computing company has its headquarters in Seattle, Washington. It started as an online bookstore but later diversified into selling DVDs, CDs, video and MP3 downloads/streaming, video games, electronics, furniture, apparel and food. The company also produces consumer electronics especially Amazon kindle e-book readers, Fire tablets and phone. Amazon has different retail websites for United State, UK and Ireland, France, Canada, Italy, Japan, China and India.

Ali Baba Group is a Chinese E-commerce company that provides electronic payment services, a shopping search engine and data-centric cloud computing services. The group started in 1999 when Jack Ma founded the website Alibaba.com, a business-business web portal which connects buyers abroad with Chinese manufacturers. Over the years it has evolved to provide consumer-consumer as well as business-consumer sales services. With its primary operation in China, on the date of its IPO 19TH September 2014, Alibaba’s market value was measured as US$231 billion.

Amazon was founded in 1994 after Bezo left his employment as the vice president of D.E Shaw & Co, a Wall Street firm. Bezos chose the name Amazon by searching through the dictionary and finally decided that the new business would sell books online due to the large demand for literature. Ma decided on the name Alibaba after conducting a survey on people from different nationalities – Germany, Tokyo, China, India and more.

Amazon has partnerships and operates retail sites on its website for brands like Marks& Spencer, Lacoste, Mothercare,Nikon, Panasonic, LG and so many more. Any serious brand retails on Amazon. It announced partnerships with DC comics in October 2011, for exclusive digital rights to many popular comics like Green Lantern,Batman, Superman and Superman.
Remember the cartoon, Alibaba and the 40 thieves; the password to their treasure was “open sesame”. Alibaba is a kind, smart businessman who has helped open sesame for small to medium sized companies, connecting them to a large base of manufactures that they may ordinarily may not have had access to. The AlibabaGroup also has many affiliates Taobao, China’s largest online consumer-to-consumer shopping platform, which offers a variety of products for retail sale. Alibaba Cloud computing aims to offer cloud computing services including e-commerce data mining, processing and customisation.

Two companies, similar ideas and both successful, what idea would come up with that would make a world of difference?

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