Alibaba - the Chinese e-commerce giant that continues to expand its "new retail" concept. Alibaba is well known in Asia, but has not received similar attention in the west compared to for example Amazon. Alibaba is the biggest e-commerce company in China. It operates B2B, B2C and C2C sales services via web portals. They do not try to target everyone in one platform, but are instead looking from a holistic view to target different platforms to different target groups. This way, they manage to stay relevant and can tailor more to these segments.
Alibaba has grown to be one of the most influential companies in the world, and that is mostly because of their online presence. The past few years we have also seen their entrance into the physical retail world. Their concept Hema is a supermarket driven by synchronisation of online and offline channels. Their massive data collection through digital footprints of using smartphones is critical in developing suitable and targeted offerings to the customer. Another way Alibaba is gaining traction is their ability to pilot and innovate faster than anyone else. They are masters at testing concepts and see how the market responds to it. Their effectiveness allow them to quickly make adjustments and focus on what truly gives the customer value.
Alibaba's success also relies on their ability in partnering and acquiring companies. This gives them an edge as they expand rapidly into new territories. For example, Alibaba saw a great opportunity in developing their "new retail" initiative by acquiring Ele.me in 2018, Chinas leading delivery platform. “Looking forward, Ele.me can leverage Alibaba’s infrastructure in commerce and find new synergies with Alibaba’s diverse businesses to add further momentum to the New Retail Initiative,” Alibaba Chief Executive Daniel Zhang said in a statement. In addition to Ele.me, many other strategic partnerships have been important in their uprising.
A key in their successful development was their acquisition of Cainiao logistics, with a goal of expanding their global delivery capabilities. Alibaba has even taken the next step in establishing their own warehouse in Belgium to optimize the efficiency for deliveries in the European market with their bold ambitions of 72 hours delivery regardless of location. Alibaba's latest strategic partnership is with Starbucks, a plan to transform the country’s coffee industry.