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Alibaba’s Business Strategy Case Study

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Alibaba’s Company Overview


Alibaba is a Chinese e-commerce company operating online marketplaces for both international and domestic China trade. Alibaba is a family of internet-based businesses, which enables its users to buy or sell anywhere in the world. It has developed businesses in consumer e-commerce, online payment, business-to-business marketplaces, and cloud computing, and has now expanded into new areas such as mobile apps, mobile operating systems, and internet TV.

http://www.alibabagroup.com/

Country: Zhejiang

Foundations date: 1999

Type: Public

Sector: Consumer Goods

Categories: eCommerce


Alibaba’s Customer Needs


Social impact:

Life changing: affiliation/belonging, self-actualization, motivation

Emotional: badge value, provides access

Functional: makes money, reduces costs, reduces effort, avoids hassles, variety, connects, integrates, organizes, simplifies, saves time


Alibaba’s Related Competitors


eBay Groupon Earnieland Toys 4 Tails Barkbox Threadless

Alibaba’s Business Operations


Affiliation:

Commissions are used in the affiliate revenue model example. Essentially, you resell goods from other merchants or businesses on your website or in your physical store. You are then compensated for referring new consumers to the company offering the goods or services. Affiliates often use a pay-per-sale or pay-per-display model. As a result, the business can access a more diversified prospective client base without extra active sales or marketing efforts. Affiliate marketing is a popular internet business strategy with significant potential for growth. When a client purchases via a referral link, the affiliate gets a portion of the transaction's cost.

Auction:

An auction is a procedure in which prospective purchasers submit competing bids for assets or services. Providing a product or service for sale to the highest bidder is a standard business practice. Because they satisfy both businesses and customers, auction business models help to market sustainability. Companies gain because their product is accessible to a pre-existing market. Customers profit from the auction model since they have a say in the product's ultimate pricing.

Cash machine:

The cash machine business model allows companies to obtain money from sales since consumers pay ahead for the goods they purchase, but the costs required to generate the revenue are not yet paid. This increases companies' liquidity, which they may use to pay off debt or make additional investments. Among several others, the online store Amazon often employs this business model.

Cross-subsidiary:

When products and goods and products and services are integrated, they form a subsidiary side and a money side, maximizing the overall revenue impact. A subsidiary is a firm owned entirely or in part by another business, referred to as the parent company or holding company. A parent company with subsidiaries is a kind of conglomerate, a corporation that consists of several distinct companies; sometimes, the national or worldwide dispersion of the offices necessitates the establishment of subsidiaries.

Customer data:

It primarily offers free services to users, stores their personal information, and acts as a platform for users to interact with one another. Additional value is generated by gathering and processing consumer data in advantageous ways for internal use or transfer to interested third parties. Revenue is produced by either directly selling the data to outsiders or by leveraging it for internal reasons, such as increasing the efficacy of advertising. Thus, innovative, sustainable Big Data business models are as prevalent and desired as they are elusive (i.e., data is the new oil).

Channel aggregation:

Consolidating numerous distribution routes into one to achieve greater economic efficiency. A business model for internet commerce in which a company (that does not manufacture or warehouse any item) gathers (aggregates) information about products and services from many competing sources and displays it on its website. The firm's strength is in its power to create an 'environment' that attracts users to its website and develop a system that facilitates pricing and specification matching.

Digital transformation:

Digitalization is the systematic and accelerated transformation of company operations, processes, skills, and models to fully exploit the changes and possibilities brought about by digital technology and its effect on society. Digital transformation is a journey with many interconnected intermediate objectives, with the ultimate aim of continuous enhancement of processes, divisions, and the business ecosystem in a hyperconnected age. Therefore, establishing the appropriate bridges for the trip is critical to success.

Digitization:

This pattern is based on the capacity to convert current goods or services into digital versions, which have several benefits over intangible products, including increased accessibility and speed of distribution. In an ideal world, the digitalization of a product or service would occur without compromising the consumer value proposition. In other words, efficiency and multiplication achieved via digitalization do not detract from the consumer's perceived value. Being digitally sustainable encompasses all aspects of sustaining the institutional framework for developing and maintaining digital objects and resources and ensuring their long-term survival.

Disintermediation:

Keeping the purchase price low by avoiding mediators and maximizing supply margins is a win-win situation. In finance, disintermediation refers to how money is removed from intermediate financial organizations such as banks and savings and loan associations and invested directly. Disintermediation, in general, refers to the process of eliminating the middleman or intermediary from future transactions. Disintermediation is often used to invest in higher-yielding securities.

Disruptive trends:

A disruptive technology supplants an existing technology and fundamentally alters an industry or a game-changing innovation that establishes an altogether new industry. Disruptive innovation is defined as an invention that shows a new market and value network and ultimately disrupts an established market and value network, replacing incumbent market-leading companies, products, and alliances.

Easy and low cost money transfer and payment:

This business model makes cheaper and more accessible for users to transfer money and make and collect payments. Sending or receiving money for either payment of salaries, settlement of business transactions, payment of school fees, or for family support is common both for businesses and individuals. It requires efficient, reliable and affordable money transfer services whereby money can be deposited in one location and withdrawn in another in both urban and rural areas.

eCommerce:

Electronic commerce, or e-commerce (alternatively spelled eCommerce), is a business model, or a subset of a larger business model, that allows a company or person to do business via an electronic network, usually the internet. As a result, customers gain from increased accessibility and convenience, while the business benefits from integrating sales and distribution with other internal operations. Electronic commerce is prevalent throughout all four main market segments: business to business, business to consumer, consumer to consumer, and consumer to business. Ecommerce may be used to sell almost any goods or service, from books and music to financial services and airline tickets.

Ecosystem:

A business ecosystem is a collection of related entities ? suppliers, distributors, customers, rivals, and government agencies ? collaborating and providing a particular product or service. The concept is that each entity in the ecosystem influences and is impacted by the others, resulting in an ever-changing connection. Therefore, each entity must be adaptive and flexible to live, much like a biological ecosystem. These connections are often backed by a shared technical platform and are based on the flow of information, resources, and artifacts in the software ecosystem.

Fractionalization:

This business model has a varied tipping point in various markets because units or serving sizes of a product or service has been harmed/modified throughout the manufacturing process. The website's owner earns money by receiving a portion of the price of the goods or services. For instance, if you run a book club, you may sign a contract with Amazon or another retailer and then use their website to sell the books you're discussing, earning a portion of each sale.

Freemium:

Freemium is the sum of the words free and premium and refers to a business strategy that provides both free and premium services. The freemium business model works by providing essential services for free and charging for enhanced or extra capabilities. This is a typical practice among many software firms, who offer imperative software for free with restricted functionality, and it is also a popular approach among game developers. While everyone is invited to play the game for free, extra lives and unique game features are accessible only once the player buys.

Hypermarket:

Disrupts by 'brand bombing' competitors, often by offering below cost. Hypermarkets, like other large-scale retailers, generally operate on a high-volume, low-margin basis. They typically span a space of 5,000 to 15,000 square meters (54,000 to 161,000 square feet) and stock more than 200,000 different brands of goods.

Layer player:

Companies that add value across many markets and sectors are referred to be layer players. Occasionally, specialist companies achieve dominance in a specific niche market. The effectiveness of their operations, along with their economies of size and footprint, establish the business as a market leader.

Long tail:

The long tail is a strategy that allows businesses to realize significant profit out of selling low volumes of hard-to-find items to many customers instead of only selling large volumes of a reduced number of popular items. The term was coined in 2004 by Chris Anderson, who argued that products in low demand or with low sales volume can collectively make up market share that rivals or exceeds the relatively few current bestsellers and blockbusters but only if the store or distribution channel is large enough.

Make more of It:

The business invests time and money in developing in-house expertise and development that may be used both internally and outside to sell goods or services to clients or third parties. AWS was created to meet Amazon's cloud computing requirements. They quickly discovered that they could offer their services to end-users. At the moment, AWS accounts for about 11% of Amazon's overall income.

Micro-segmentation:

Micro-segmentation is a more sophisticated type of segmentation in which a small number of consumers are classified into very accurate categories based on various variables, including behavioral forecasts. Customer micro-segmentation is the process of segmenting a firm's customers into groups based on their relationship with that business. The purpose of segmenting customers is to determine how to relate to each segment's customers to optimize each customer's value to the company.

Niche retail:

A marketing strategy for a product or service includes characteristics that appeal to a particular minority market segment. A typical niche product will be distinguishable from other goods and manufactured and sold for specialized purposes within its associated niche market. Niche retail has focused on direct-to-consumer and direct-to-business internet sales channels. The slogan for niche retail is Everything except the brand.

Online marketplace:

An online marketplace (or online e-commerce marketplace) is a kind of e-commerce website in which product or service information is supplied by various third parties or, in some instances, the brand itself, while the marketplace operator handles transactions. Additionally, this pattern encompasses peer-to-peer (P2P) e-commerce between businesses or people. By and large, since marketplaces aggregate goods from a diverse range of suppliers, the variety and availability are typically greater than in vendor-specific online retail shops. Additionally, pricing might be more competitive.

Orchestrator:

Orchestrators are businesses that outsource a substantial portion of their operations and processes to third-party service providers or third-party vendors. The fundamental objective of this business strategy is to concentrate internal resources on core and essential functions while contracting out the remainder of the work to other businesses, thus reducing costs.

Product innovation:

Product innovation is the process of developing and introducing a new or better version of an existing product or service. This is a broader definition of innovation than the generally recognized definition, which includes creating new goods that are considered innovative in this context. For example, Apple launched a succession of successful new products and services in 2001?the iPod, the iTunes online music service, and the iPhone?which catapulted the firm to the top of its industry.

Referral:

Referral marketing is a technique for acquiring new consumers by advertising goods or services through recommendations or ordinary word of mouth. While these recommendations often occur spontaneously, companies may influence this via the use of suitable tactics. Referral marketing is a technique for increasing referrals through word of mouth, arguably the oldest and most trusted kind of marketing. This may be done by incentivizing and rewarding consumers. A diverse range of other contacts to suggest goods and services from consumer and business-to-business companies, both online and offline.

Reverse engineering:

It is a legally sanctioned technique of duplicating a technology in which, rather than beginning from scratch, one starts with an existing product and works backward to determine how it works. Once the product's basic principle or core idea is established, the next stage is to replicate the same outcomes using other methods to prevent (legally prohibited) patent infringement. The cost of manufacturing is significantly lowered.

Skunkworks project:

A skunkworks project is one that is created by a small, loosely organized group of individuals who study and develop a project with the primary goal of radical innovation. The terminology arose during World War II with Lockheed's Skunk Works project. However, since its inception with Skunk Works, the phrase has been used to refer to comparable high-priority research and development initiatives at other big companies that include a small team operating outside of their regular working environment and free of managerial restrictions. Typically, the phrase alludes to semi-secretive technological initiatives, such as Google X Lab.

Spectrum retail:

Utilizes a multi-tiered e-commerce approach. The firm first focused on business-to-consumer connections with its customers and business-to-business ties with its suppliers. Still, it later expanded to include customer-to-business transactions after recognizing the importance of customer evaluations in product descriptions. It now also enables customer-to-customer transactions by establishing a marketplace that serves as a middleman for such transactions. The company's platform enables nearly anybody to sell almost anything.

Technology trends:

New technologies that are now being created or produced in the next five to ten years will significantly change the economic and social landscape. These include but are not limited to information technology, wireless data transmission, human-machine connection, on-demand printing, biotechnology, and sophisticated robotics.

Two-sided market:

Two-sided marketplaces, also called two-sided networks, are commercial platforms featuring two different user groups that mutually profit from the web. A multi-sided platform is an organization that generates value mainly via the facilitation of direct contacts between two (or more) distinct kinds of connected consumers (MSP). A two-sided market enables interactions between many interdependent consumer groups. The platform's value grows as more groups or individual members of each group use it. For example, eBay is a marketplace that links buyers and sellers. Google connects advertising and searchers. Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are also bidirectional, linking consumers and marketers.

Why Alibaba’s Business Model is so successful?

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