Analyst Insight by Filippo Battaini - Retailing Analyst
Alibaba has been featuring quite frequently in business news of late as the company piques investors’ interest with the issuing of its prospects for the planned IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. Notably with the opening of 11Mail.com, the Chinese e-commerce giant made clear that its presence in the US market will not only be limited to Wall Street or to Silicon Valley with investments in tech start-ups and that, with this move, Alibaba will attempt to compete against its fiercest global rivals, Amazon and eBay, in their domestic territory.
Global E-Commerce Competitive Environment
At present, and despite being mainly a regional player, Alibaba is the world’s second largest e-commerce company, with total B2C value sales of US$44.3 billion in 2013, according to Euromonitor International. However, when considering other indicators, in 2013 Alibaba was already the biggest online retailer in the world. For example, in terms of Gross Merchandise Volume, the Chinese company is bigger than Amazon and eBay combined, and also appears ahead of its two main competitions in terms of profits. So how do Alibaba’s operations compare with those of its main competitors?