History and Mission Statement
Alibaba is an online-based business that was founded in 1999 by Jack Ma. Ma, the company’s current chairman, named the business ‘Alibaba’ because the name was recognizable globally. Alibaba was the first company in China to deal with online business. The company was started in Jack Ma’s apartment but it has since grown to become one of the biggest businesses in the world. Alibaba has three major online-business subsidiaries namely; Taobao, Alibaba, and Tmall.
Alibaba took over the operations of China Yahoo in 2005 and the company started trading in the Hong Kong stock market two years later. In 2014, Alibaba broke a record in the United States when it conducted the biggest IPO in history and managed to raise over twenty-five billion dollars. In the same year, Jack Ma, Alibaba’s chairman was declared the richest man in China.
All these developments have made Alibaba the most dominant online business in the world. Alibaba’s mission is to make it easy to do business everywhere. This mission has since been achieved and it does not require to be changed. However, Alibaba’s mission statement can encompass the fact that the company brings the world closer to its customers.
Alibaba is a successful online marketplace company mainly because at its inception the business did not copy existing business-models. The company is able to provide its customers around the world with superior services in a number of ways. First, Alibaba provides its customers with a platform where sellers can meet with buyers.
In addition, the company provides customers with updated information concerning products, services, and new technologies. Alibaba also offers its potential customers with a business model that caters to their flexible, efficient, demanding, and information-based needs. Another superior product of Alibaba is the ‘business-to-business’ portal that has managed to maintain a steady revenue source to both the company and its customers.
The time factor in online-based businesses like Alibaba is an important consideration when delivering services to customers. Alibaba delivers time-based value by ensuring that it can realize the vision of a global market place. Consequently, Alibaba has to find ways of connecting people all over the world in record time. The time factor in Alibaba’s business model is catered for by the availability of good distribution channels and market segments. These two factors ensure that Alibaba’s customers are able to receive their goods in time.
In addition, good distribution channels also enable the company to meet its marketing objectives. Some of the factors that help Alibaba to deliver time value to its customers include an efficient internet intermediary.
The internet provides seamless connectivity between potential buyers and sellers throughout the world. Another factor that enhances the customer experience in Alibaba is market segmentation. Segmentation brings all traders together but reduces their connection-time by grouping them according to their needs and scales of operation.
Alibaba is able to provide quality services to its customers by ensuring that the company is able to satisfy their specific needs. Alibaba’s products are of superior quality because they encompass ‘the perceptions of the customers’. Alibaba’s products are not physical and for them to be ‘good products’ they have to satisfy their customers’ specific needs. For instance, most online transactions are burdened by various security issues.
Consequently, Alibaba adds quality to its products by making it possible for its customers to identify genuine online suppliers. In most of its online-market websites, Alibaba tags its most trusted suppliers with verifications such as ‘gold supplier’ in order to help buyers to navigate through its various subscribers.
Alibaba provides value to customers through its competitively priced services. Alibaba’s pricing strategies are enforced in relation to the prices of its competitors such as Amazon and EBay. Alibaba’s prices are also flexible in accordance with several pricing strategies such as penetration, competition, discounting, and value-addition.
Internal Business Perspective
Alibaba has several systems that deliver customer value but the most important ones include market segmentation and secure online payment systems. Alibaba is the only online market place that has managed to segment its customers successfully. For instance, Alibaba’s main website is segmented into three parts.
The first domain of Alibaba’s website caters to the Chinese local market, the second segment caters to the Japanese market, and the other domain caters to the rest of English-language market. Alibaba also offers its website services in other languages including Spanish, French, German, and Russian. Alibaba also delivers customer-value by providing secure and reliable online payment systems to its customers.
Alibaba can produce greater customer value by conducting comprehensive market studies on emerging markets. Alibaba has exerted its dominance on most major markets around the world but the company is yet to make a mark on developing and upcoming markets. The emerging markets have bigger room for growth than the existing market-leaders do.
Alibaba’s immense success as an online marketplace is as a result of several factors. The company has put in place the right marketing, pricing, and product packaging strategies. Alibaba has been able to cater to a wide range of consumers’ needs. In addition, Alibaba has been able to meet most of its growth prospects.
However, Alibaba faces various strategies including stiff competition from mobile phone-based online marketplaces. Furthermore, Alibaba is still grappling with issues of dishonest dealers in its websites. The company has made great strides towards improving its customer’s satisfaction levels and it is likely to continue its dominance in the online-marketplace business.