At LinnSystems, we like to know what is happening in the eCommerce sector, we have built up a very effective network to do so. We are very much aware of markets where companies such as as Amazon and eBay are dominant, but we like to take a look at other markets too, to see if there are opportunities for ourselves and our sellers.
Another eCommerce platform has been the topic of many conversations recently, in a market that many people have yet to look at - Alibaba in China.
In the west we are familiar with Amazon and eBay, both of which are regarded as a fundamental part of the eCommerce environment as it is today. In the UK alone, we know that upwards of 17 million unique visitors log onto eBay each month, and that approximately 7% of the UK population are listing on eBay. These are fairly big numbers.
Now Amazon themselves, are the world’s largest retailer, competing with Walmart in many areas and developing an online marketplace which has accrued a customer base of over 30 million people.
We are all very much aware that eBay and Amazon are massive and have completely changed how the world of retail works in the last decade. However, how many of you have you heard of Alibaba? Quite possibly many of our readers have but you will be surprised at how many online retailers are not even aware of the eCommerce titan.
Alibaba Group is a private Chinese company, the largest business to business and consumer to consumer company in the world. The company dominates online shopping in their home market, however key to that success is driven by the Chinese customers themselves. According to a study published by Focus Money magazine, Chinese consumers shop online 8.4 times each month, substantially higher in comparison to 5.2 times in the US; 4.3 times in Great Britain; 2.9 times in Germany and 2.3 times in Switzerland.
Utilising this massive market opportunity in their home country is reflected in their gross sales figures.
eBay’s gross trading volume last year was an estimated $75 billion. Amazon exceeded that with an almighty estimated gross trading figure of $95 billion. To put this into perspective for you, according to reports, two of Alibaba’s portals handled gross sales of $170 billion in 2012 – more than Amazon & eBay combined.