Alibaba - Discovering Asia’s Largest Ecommerce B2B Marketplace
The internet has truly altered the way we do business. In decades past, business was carried out in physical locations such as retail stores. Whilst traditional commerce is still common, a new type of commerce has flourished on the internet – ecommerce. It is now possible to buy and sell goods online without the need for a physical storefront. You can simply open a web browser, type in a web address, and make a direct purchase in a matter of minutes.
The evolution and prominence of ecommerce has paved the way for several mega marketplaces to emerge. One such platform is Alibaba. This article and infographic take a look at the history of Alibaba, and why it is the most popular ecommerce marketplace in Asia.
A Brief History of Alibaba
The Alibaba group was founded in 1999 and during its initial years of operation the company attempted to gain funding for its online marketplace “Alibaba Online”. From 2001 onwards, the renamed Alibaba.com achieved profitability, and its customer base grew quickly within China. Further investment and development of the online platform resulted in renewed growth and expansion into other parts of the world.
Today, the Alibaba group operates three main websites – the flagship Alibaba.com which is the world’s largest platform for online B2B commerce, AliExpress which deals mainly with small Chinese businesses, and Taobao which is a consumer to consumer marketplace akin to eBay.
This translates to revenue and transactions worth over 400 billion USD, something which the company looks to expand on in the years to come.
What Opportunities Does Alibaba Offer?
For sellers, Alibaba offers an immense customer base and millions of potential buyers. A seller can list her products for sale and communicate with buyers interested in her products and/or services.
The selling process is streamlined and intuitive, and sellers can easily create detailed product listings in a matter of minutes.
Buyers on the other hand benefit from the huge number of products and services available. Categories include electronics, home, construction, raw materials, health and beauty, auto and transportation, gifts and textile, to name a few examples.
There are literally millions of product listings available (for example, there is currently over 3.9 million agricultural listings). Furthermore, due to the high volume of listings, competition is intenseand prices are cheap.
The infographic below provides insight into the world of Alibaba, and allows you to see just how far reaching this online marketplace is: