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Comparison of eBay.com and Alibaba.com

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Thomas Liquori

Digitally signed by Thomas Liquori DN: cn=Thomas Liquori, email=thomasliquori@a ol.com, o=thomasliquori.me, l=New York, NY Date: 2010.09.05 16:57:16 -04'00'

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12/16/2009

Professor Reddi: BUS451 By: Thomas Liquori, Danauda Benjamin, and Anca Barbu


Comparison of eBay.com and Alibaba.com

TABLE OF CONTENTS

EBay.com Introduction ................................................................................................................................. 3

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EBay.com Products and Services .................................................................................................................. 5

Ebay.com Financial analysis .......................................................................................................................... 6

Ebay.com Last Three Year Financial Graphs ................................................................................................. 7

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EBay.com TOWS Matrix Analysis .................................................................................................................. 9

EBAY.com TOWS Matrix Graph ................................................................................................................... 13

Competitive Forces for ebay.com ............................................................................................................... 14

EBay.com Industry Rivalry........................................................................................................................... 14 EBay.com Threat of Entrants ...................................................................................................................... 14

EBay.com Supplier Power ........................................................................................................................... 15

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EBay.com Buyer Power ............................................................................................................................... 15 EBay.com Threat of Substitute Products or Services .................................................................................. 16 Ebay.com Core Strategies .................. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………17 EBay.com Differentiation Strategy ............................................................................................................. 17

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EBay.com Cost Leadership Strategy............................................................................................................ 18 EBay.com Growth Strategy ......................................................................................................................... 18 EBay Growth Trend Graphs......................................................................................................................... 19

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EBay.com Differentiation Strategy ............................................................................................................. 20 EBay.com Growth Strategy ......................................................................................................................... 20 Alibaba.com Introduction ....... ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………25 History of Alibaba.com................................................................................................................................ 27 Alibaba.com Products, Services, and Key Brands ....................................................................................... 29 Alibaba.com Last Three Year Financial Graphs ........................................................................................... 30 Alibaba.com Core strategies ....................................................................................................................... 31 Alibaba.com Growth Strategy ..................................................................................................................... 32 Alibaba.com Differentiation Strategy ……………………………………………………………………………………………………34 Alibaba.com Price strategy ......................................................................................................................... 35 Competitive Forces for Alibaba.com........................................................................................................... 37

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Alibaba.com Threats of New Entrants ........................................................................................................ 37 Alibaba.com Rivalry..................................................................................................................................... 38 Alibaba.com Supplier power ....................................................................................................................... 39 Alibaba.com Buyer Power ........................................................................................................................... 40 Alibaba.com Threat of substitutes .............................................................................................................. 40

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Alibaba.com TOWS Matrix .......................................................................................................................... 41

Alibaba.com Strengths ................................................................................................................................ 42

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Alibaba.com Weaknesses ........................................................................................................................... 42 Alibaba.com Opportunities ......................................................................................................................... 43 Alibaba.com Threats ................................................................................................................................... 43

Alibaba.com SO Strategy............................................................................................................................. 43

Alibaba.com WO Strategy ........................................................................................................................... 44 Alibaba.com ST Strategy ............................................................................................................................. 44

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Alibaba.com WT Strategy............................................................................................................................ 44 Comparitive Analysis ................................................................................................................................... 45 Group Investment Perspective ................................................................................................................... 46 Group Challenges ........................................................................................................................................ 47

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Works Cited ................................................................................................................................................. 48 Works Cited: Continued .............................................................................................................................. 49 Ebay.com Last Three Years Income Statements ......................................................................... Appendix: A

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Ebay.com Last Three Years Balance Sheets .................................................................................Appendix: B Alibaba.com Last Three Year Income Statements .......................................................................Appendix: C Alibaba.com Last Three Year Balance sheets.............................................................................. Appendix: D

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EBAY.COM INTRODUCTION

Once upon a time during the dawn of the internet, a man named Pierre Omidyar decided to sell a broken laser pointer online on his website called EBay, named after his consulting

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company Echo Bay. The site at that time during the year 1995 was not primarily an auction site,

the auction part was an afterthought and was named auction web. Auction web grew quickly

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among internet fanatics, and soon Pierre had to hire several employees to take care of the many tasks that involved his day to day operation. After two years, the site name was changed to EBay, a site that was devoted to online auctions, soon after, the worldwide obsession with EBay and

consumers. Currently, Pierre is ranked #40 among the 400 richest Americans in the country by

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Forbes, released September 30, 2009.

EBay’s mission statement says,” eBay's mission is to provide a global trading platform where practically anyone can trade anything." EBay’s vision, “pioneers communities built on

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commerce, sustained by trust, and inspired by opportunity. EBay brings together millions of people every day on a local, national and international basis through an array of websites that

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focus on commerce, payments and communications”. Comparing the mission statement to the vision of the company gives off the impression that EBay doesn’t have focused priorities .This means the mission statement seems clearly focus on the website, eBay.com, but their vision statement is focused on the array of subsidiary websites. During the year of 1998, Pierre hired an experienced CEO named Meg Whitman to

become head of the public exploding company who now had 130 employees and a spot on the New York Stock Exchange with a symbol as EBAY. Over the course of the next 10 years with Meg Whitman’s leadership, EBay mania grew into an enormous multinational company who two

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years ago employed over 15,000 employees in 39 countries. In January 2008, John Donahoe took over Meg Whitman’s place as CEO, and currently EBay has 16,200 employees (an 8% employee increase in one year) in over 30 countries. EBay is an online provider of marketplaces for the sale of goods and services. It also provides commerce, platforms, online payments services and

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online communications offerings to individuals and businesses. EBay’s foreign entry strategies

into other countries have played a key role in their success for worldwide domination in the

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online auction market. The products and services that EBay offers vary from online communication services to the sales of goods and services.

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EBAY.COM PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

The products and services that EBay provides is an online marketplace for the sale of

goods and services. The company’s key products and services include the following: •

Online services for the sale of goods and services

Online communication services

Online payment and transactional credit services

Online classifieds

Advertising

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The key brands that the company has and operates are a number of subsidiary websites that are under the EBay umbrella. These companies include:

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EBay's fixed price media marketplace Half.com

EBay’s payment solution Paypal.com: Bought by EBay in Oct. 2002 for approximately $1,492,504

EBay’s low cost connectivity communication platform Skype.com: Bought by

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EBay in October 2005 for $3B •

EBay’s credit at point of sale payment solution Billmelater.com: Bought by EBay in October 2008 for $910M

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EBay's marketplace to buy and sell tickets for events Stubhub.com: Bought by EBay in February 2007 for $292M

EBay's online shopping comparison website Shopping.com: Bought by EBay in

August 2005 for $634M

EBay's apartment listing service platform Rent.com: Bought by EBay in February 2005 for $415M

EBay’s Swedish online auctioneer Tradera.com: Bought by EBay in 2006 for

$48M •

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EBay’s green marketplace Worldofgood.com

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EBAY.COM FINANCIAL ANALYSIS

The company generates about 75% of its revenues from the US, Germany and the UK. The company recorded revenues of $8,541.3 million during the financial year ended December

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2008, an increase of 11.3% over 2007. The operating profit of the company was $2075.7 million in financial year ending 2008, an increase from $613.18 million in 2007. Net Profit in financial

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year ending was $1,779.5 million as compared to $348.3 million in 2007. The increase in profits

is attributed to acquisitions and increased revenues from advertising and the payments business.

The current stock price as of November 5, 2009 is $23.13, can be seen in the chart on the next page in the below bottom right table.

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The increases in EBay’s financials for the past three years have been impressive. According to Annualreports.com 2008 annual report for EBay, the company has seen tremendous increases and growth for the online giant. Some examples of the increases over the

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past year for EBay and some of its platforms include its payment option paypal.com. In 2007 delivered a total of $1.9 billion in revenue, as of EBay’s 2008 annual report, paypal.com not

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hosts nineteen currencies with more than $60 billion dollars in revenue. A tremendous increase in EBay’s payment platform suggests that more people are becoming comfortable sending and receiving money over the internet, as well as the number of internet users are growing as well. In EBay’s communication segment platform of skype.com, in 2007 skype.com hosted more than 276 million users, as of EBay’s 2008 annual report, skype.com now registers more than 405 million users. The increase of more than 47% shows that consumers are very comfortable with EBay and the platforms that the company provides. As of EBay’s 2008 annual report, there are more than $100 billion worth of pre-owned items on EBay, making it the world’s largest engine for reuse. BUS451

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EBAY.COM LAST THREE YEAR FINANCIAL GRAPHS

2007 Year Income

2008 Year Income $9,000.00 $8,000.00 $7,000.00 $6,000.00 $5,000.00 $4,000.00 $3,000.00 $2,000.00 $1,000.00 $-

$8,541.30

Revenue (Millions U.S. Dollars)

$6,313.20

$1,779.50

Fiscal Year Ending 2008

Gross Profit (Millions of U.S. Dollars) Net Income (Millions U.S. Dollars)

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$5,969.70 $4,713.00

$1,125.60

Fiscal Year Ending 2006

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$7,672.30 $5,909.40

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2006 Year Income $6,000.00 $5,000.00 $4,000.00 $3,000.00 $2,000.00 $1,000.00 $-

$8,000.00 $7,000.00 $6,000.00 $5,000.00 $4,000.00 $3,000.00 $2,000.00 $1,000.00 $-

$348.30

Fiscal Year Ending 2007

Revenue (Millions U.S. Dollars) Gross Profit (Millions of U.S. Dollars) Net Income (Millions U.S. Dollars)

Stock price as of 12/15/09: $22.50

Revenue (Millions U.S. Dollars) Gross Profit (Millions of U.S. Dollars) Net Income (Millions U.S. Dollars)

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EBay.com TOWS MATRIX ANALYSIS

EBay faces high risk of internet fraud due to which it is involved in various litigations. Below we will go over EBay’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, and strategies to get a better understanding of the strategic choices that EBay faces.

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The strengths that the company has can be argued that they were the first to enter the online auction business, as well as having a majority of the marketplace. The external strength

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opportunities of EBay can be consisted of a strong market position due to wide usage. This

strength can maximize EBay’s opportunities, over the years, the company has built a strong

brand, currently the brand value stood at $12.9 billion and was ranked 54th in brand value rankings. EBay’s internal strengths have focused on a swift increase in the number of users and

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number of product listings. As of 2009, EBay has 88 million active users and about 150 million listings worldwide and in any given day, has about 14 million listings. An increased number of customers contributed to the growth of the company, and it emerged as one of the largest global

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online auction website with presence in 39 countries. EBay’s strong customer base and market position provides competitive advantage and gives EBay considerable bargaining power which

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will have a positive impact on the top line of the company. EBay’s strength threats strategies can be consisted of reinforcement of marketing, management, and systems as a concentrated effort. EBay’s weaknesses can be favorably argued that the company has an insufficient

screening process to control counterfeit products. EBay does not have an effective screening process in place to control sale of counterfeit products on its market places. While some sellers commit fraud intentionally, some of them are unaware of any infringement. For instance, some sellers might not be aware that certain products are not allowed for resale. The company does not

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have effective tools to monitor and weed out such instances. In most cases, the company is able to identify counterfeit products only after the items have been listed. The weakness threat strategies can be categorized as having an exposure to large

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contingent liabilities due to litigations. EBay has consistently been involved in various lengthy litigations, stretched over a period of two to three years because of which it is exposed to large

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contingent liabilities. Many complaints were filed against EBay for offering counterfeit items.

This being the main area of contention, there were lawsuits filed by companies like Net2Phone, Netcraft Corporation, and PartsRiver which claim that EBay, Skype and PayPal have infringed their patent rights. In 2007, a lawsuit was filed alleging that EBay and PayPal, through various

anti competitive acts, were monopolizing markets. Most of these lawsuits filed in 2006 and 2007

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are still pending. Lengthy litigations are expensive, and they expose the company to uncertainty and large contingent liabilities. The damages awarded were as large as $56.8 million in a lawsuit

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which claimed that EBay failed to curb sale of counterfeit products. Other than having to pay damages, EBay might be prohibited from selling certain items or continuing certain business practices. This affects the operations adversely. Litigations are expensive, time consuming and

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they result in diversion of significant operational resources. EBay has to actively take measures to ensure it is not involved in any further litigation as they are counterproductive. The company’s weakness opportunities strategies can consist of diversifying into new

product markets, as they have been over the years. The company can also try to implement an online verification of goods being auctioned to avoid very expensive lawsuits and time consuming litigations that hurt the company. The weakness threats of the company can consist of the alliance with postal carriers implemented on the company’s website for sellers to choose from when shipping their items. BUS451

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Some opportunities that EBay faces are rapid growth of internet display advertising and classifieds. Online advertising, both display ads and through classifieds, has been growing at a fast pace. Revenues from interactive advertising which comprises search, display advertising and classifieds is expected to grow as at rate of 23.4% during 2007- 2012 and generate $147 billion

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by 2012. Increasing popularity of used goods is another opportunity for the company. In the

current uncertain economic situation where consumer spending has been decreasing, pre-owned

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items have been increasingly popular. Since 1998, EBay marketplace has facilitated the reuse of an estimated $100 billion in goods. Industry trends indicate the US consumers are buying used

goods as a way to save money. In 2008, according to EBay sources, 75% of adults purchased used goods to save money. More than a quarter of adults who had purchased used goods in the

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past six months (since August 2008) saved 76% or more off the retail price of the last item they purchased. Apart from this, 88% of Americans believe that buying pre-owned goods amounts to recycling and is therefore environment friendly.

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The threats that EBay faces are exposure to internet fraud that will increase costs and affect customer confidence adversely. Online marketplaces have a high exposure to different

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types of fraud. There are various types of internet frauds including the sale of fake or counterfeit products, credit card fraud or non delivery of goods, etc. According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center’s (IC3) statistics, internet fraud has been on a rise. During 2008, IC3 registered 275,284 complaints which indicate an increase in complaints by 33.1% from 2007. The total dollar loss due to these frauds has been $264.6 million which works out to be an average loss of $934 per complaint. Effectively eliminating frauds is costly as the company as to incur large recurring expenses to monitor and prevent such frauds. In case of litigations, EBay would have to incur legal expenses, and there is a possibility that heavy penalty or compensation

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would have to be paid. Another example of a threat for EBay would be the unavailability of services that leads to loss of income. System failures for long duration operational risk for EBay in 2008 had periods of interruptions for periods for as long as 22 hours, and PayPal was unavailable for five continuous days. In early 2007 Skype was unavailable for two continuous

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days. Repeated failures might lead customers to believe that the systems are unreliable and reliability is especially crucial for the payments division which is seeking to expand its merchant

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services business. Due to frequent unscheduled interruptions for long periods, the company’s reputation and reliability will be affected negatively.

EBay’s competitive analysis in the marketplace gives the company a higher advantage over their competitors such as ioffer.com, sell.com, and alibaba.com. Although the company has

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similar commonalities with their rivals, eBay has several different platforms and segmentations under the company’s umbrella to help keep them afloat. This is the difference between eBay and

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their competitors. Since they were the first to the market for online auctions, this gives the company an advantage of trust and well being to consumers who may be new to the internet as well as online auctions. Consumers and competitors alike recognize eBay as a dominant force on

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the internet, and they are aware of its capability of providing far better than competition.

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EBAY.COM TOWS MATRIX GRAPH

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Strengths – S

Weaknesses – W

Own majority of marketplace by being first

Poor screening process to control counterfeit goods

SO Strategies

WO Strategies

Diversification with the growth of consumers

Global expansion in products and services

Online product verification to control fraud

Threats – T

ST – Strategies

WT – Strategies

Reinforcement of marketing and management

Alliance to postal services

Opportunities – O

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Competition among rival internet sites

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COMPETITIVE FORCES FOR EBAY.COM

Porter’s Five Force model of competition is a key tool for diagnosing the competitive

environment:

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EBay.com Industry Rivalry

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Industry rivalry is high when it is easy for new competition to enter the market. In the case of eBay, it is not so simple for new entrants to compete with the online giant. Being that

eBay was first to the market in 1995, it gave the company an edge early during the dawn of the internet. Since then, the company has become a notable household brand name and customers are

confident using eBay’s online software for buying and selling items. The threat of competition

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and rivalry is still there for eBay, which will be talked about in the next force of Porter’s model.

EBay.com Threat of Entrants

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Recently, many new entrants have been trying to catch up to eBay. For example, Amazon.com has come long way as well since it opened up on the web a few years back, and

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earned customer loyalty very quickly among consumers. Some people might feel more comfortable shopping on this site more than eBay, because it is more commercialized in some ways. Another example of a threat of entry would be another auction site ioffer.com. Ioffer.com claims that they are an easier way o buy and sell items, and have been in competition with eBay ever since they popped up online in the yearly millennium. Instead of auction style listings, buyers and sellers can make offers’ to one another rather than waiting for an auction to end to purchase an item. EBay saw this type of strategy and quickly implemented it in the site to compete with ioffer.com by using eBay’s ‘buy it now or make an offer’ option.

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EBay.com Supplier Power

Supplier power is higher when buyers have fewer choices from whom to buy. The internet has increased the amount of supplier power to consumers. Buyers have an option now to become a supplier themselves by becoming a drop shipper for suppliers. The drop shipper does

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not have to store any items in a warehouse or factory with this option, thanks to the power of E-

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Commerce. Drop shippers can earn money by listing items for suppliers and forwarding the

orders to the main supplier. The logistics part is also at the main suppliers’ expense, really not having to do too much work on the drop shippers’ part except collect their share from the sale.

This type of supplier power gives an increase in products and services to the marketplace, and in

turn continues the growth of eBay’s online website. Especially for eBay, there are numerous

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drop shippers that have set up their own stores on eBay’s site. EBay gives sellers an option to set up an online store for a monthly fee where shoppers can browse through products as they please.

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EBay.com Buyer Power

Buyer power is higher when buyers have more choices. Businesses are forced to add

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value to their products and services to get loyalty. Many loyalty programs include excellent services that customers demand on-line. Customers want to solve their problems and many times they are more successful on-line than on-phone. Also, we see internet savvy businesses springing up offering more valuable goods and services at lower costs. Now with the advent of eBay, many people are assuming roles as drop shippers. Individuals can have a thriving business selling goods of larger companies without having to carry inventory, as mentioned earlier in supplier power. Another positive aspect for buyer power would be bargain shoppers surfing the web, especially eBay. EBay offers all prices for all items, especially for bargain and impulse shoppers. Both shoppers alike can find great deals at affordable prices from the comfort of their own home.

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EBay.com Threat of Substitute Products or Services

The strong competitive pressures coming from the attempts of companies outside of the industry to win buyers over have become more widespread in today’s E-Commerce market. There have been an increasing number of fixed price sales over auction style listings over online

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auction sites such as eBay. Search engine and price comparison websites are moving in the

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direction of online retailing and auctions. Yahoo shopping and price comparison search engines such as Microsoft’s Bing.com have recently been becoming a more popular way to price

comparison shop online. The internet offers avenues of competition to existing companies and

opportunities for start ups. Now businesses can enter the market on-line with few barriers to entry. Porter's Five Forces Model can help demonstrate the attractiveness of starting your on-line

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business or evaluating a current one such as eBay. The model below will help to better illustrate eBay’s five forces:

Threats

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Supply Power

Drop shipping for suppliers

Competition with rival sites

Rivalry Ioffer.com Amazon.com

Buyer Power Bargain shopper paradise

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EBAY.COM CORE STRATEGIES

EBay’s strategic statement describes EBay’s activities, “by allowing customers to create individual auctions and online stores in order to sell new and used products. This process is

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facilitated by the ability to create communities of interest, providing secure transaction services, and a peer review process in a global environment”. So what does this strategic statement

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actually mean to the consumers of eBay? The opportunity to have individual auctions and online

stores removes the physical barriers between buyers and sellers. The communities of interest creates added value through base of additional information. The ability to have peer review evokes customer confidence in buying from a seller that you never met or will see. The global

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environment is open to all and new markets alike. The strategy describes the core competencies of eBay through the several factors that are addressed. A competitive advantage will be created if eBay keeps it first mover advantage, and always stays one step ahead of their competition.

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EBay.com Differentiation Strategy

EBay pursues a cost leadership, differentiation, and growth strategy. A differentiation

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strategy that the company possesses is the quality service security that the online website offers, which is very impressive. EBay monitors many if not all of the listings posted on the site through the service of thousands of employees. Another impressive tool that EBay has was the first to implement as part of their differentiation strategy was the ability of quality control by offering peer review. Buyers and sellers both have the opportunity to “rate” how the transaction went. Whether the item was received as described and the shipment was fast, causing a positive rating, or the item was not as described or not received at all, and all buyers should beware resulting in a negative rating, or whether the transaction was just ok, resulting in a neutral rating.

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EBay.com Cost Leadership Strategy

A cost leadership strategy that eBay has is the ability to form alliances with numerous companies. An example of this strategy could be the alliance by eBay and Tom.com. In 2006,

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Tom.com and EBay Eachnet (eBay’s China Auction Site) decided to announce a joint venture agreement in China. The two companies would need to build a new China marketplace in 2007

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to compete with China’s top auction site rival Taobao.com. EBay would have a 49% stake in the

company and tom.com will have a 51% stake in the joint venture. In addition, EBay will

contribute its Eachnet subsidiary, while Tom Online will contribute local management expertise, technology, and brand.

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EBay.com Growth Strategy

Another strategy that an eBay implement is a growth strategy that involves the fight to keep up with rival competitors while still trying to grow and expand into an ever so competitive

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market. Amazon is significantly, methodically, and relentlessly eating away at eBay's market share. Amazon is the largest beneficiary of eBay's decline, but certainly Amazon is not the only

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company causing extensive damage to eBay’s growth process. Online retailers from Zappos to Newegg to Wal-Mart among others are all doing their part in taking share from eBay. In fact, many of eBay's changes are actually self-inflicting further declines. The three bright spots for eBay's quarter were: • •

Items sold were up 3% y/y Active users increased 4% y/y (a small acceleration, well big percentage-wise, but small in absolute terms) from the Q3 3% y/y gain.

Fixed price items are now 49% of GMV

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EBay Growth Trend Graphs

Here are some graphs from Jeetil Patel that show the trends in the item sold and active user metrics:

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The transaction growth chart shows that while eBay held onto a y/y growth on this metric, the trend is definitely decelerating. It will be interesting to see if this goes negative in Q1 or if eBay can hold the line here.

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EBay.com Differentiation Strategy

Some of eBay’s features to their cost leadership and differentiation strategy consist of

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offering all types of items, including innovative products. The ability of M-Commerce is a big plus for the online giant. By having the ability of a mobile application, users can use eBay on the

go through their phones, PDA’s, and laptops. Being user friendly and simple is the way eBay will stay on top of the competition. Also, having the ability of online verification against fraud

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and counterfeit products makes eBay a number one source for buyers and sellers to stay loyal to the company by having the confidence in the company as they keep up with the industry standards.

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EBay.com Growth Strategy

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EBay’s growth strategy has a very extensive and impressive portfolio, as it has gained

acquisitions and joint ventures over the years with global companies. In 2001, eBay joined forces with MercadoLibre (free market in Spanish) the leading online trading site in Latin America. MercadoLibre will acquire iBazar Com Ltda., the Brazilian subsidiary of iBazar SA, which was recently acquired by eBay in return eBay will receive a 19.5% ownership interest in MercadoLibre and will share best practices with the company. The relationship enhances MercadoLibre’s leadership position in Brazil and the rest of Latin America, and expands eBay’s reach throughout the region. In March of 2006, eBay invested in Meetup.com. Meetup.com is a local community organizing network. Over 5 million people have created and joined long-lasting BUS451

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local Meetup Groups around shared interests and purposes. These groups and clubs have held over 1 million local meetups. In April of 2006 eBay acquired Tradera.com for $48.3 Million USD. Tradera.com is an auction site based in Sweden. In June of 2006 eBay Inc. and PCHome Online announced that they have agreed to form

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a joint venture in Taiwan. Under the agreement, the companies will leverage eBay's global

experience and PCHome Online's local ecommerce expertise to launch a new co-branded website

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that will bring new online trading opportunities to buyers and sellers in Taiwan under the name

of Ruten.com.tw. Focused on the needs of Taiwan consumers, the website specializes in online auction-style trading and also offers the ability to buy and sell at a fixed price.

In January of 2007 eBay acquired Stubhub.com for $310 Million USD. Stubhub.com is

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an online marketplace for concert, sport, and Broadway event tickets. In April of 2007 eBay acquired Microplace.com. MicroPlace is a social business owned by eBay. It focuses on

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microfinance loans sent via the internet, utilizing PayPal, allowing users to choose specific lending clients and businesses and loan them money over a designated period of time. Unlike competitor Kiva, investments are returned to the lendee with interest. Microplace’s stated

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mission is to alleviate global poverty by offering investments that enable loans to hardworking poor people.

May 2007 was a busy month for eBay; they acquired three companies and invested in

another. The first company which was Stumbleupon.com that eBay acquired for $75 Million USD on May 1st. StumbleUpon is a website and content discovery service enabled by a browser toolbar. StumbleUpon uses positive and negative user ratings to form collaborative opinions on website quality. When users stumble, they will only see pages which friends and like-minded stumblers’ have recommended. More often than not, it’s something almost serendipitously BUS451

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interesting to the reader. The StumbleUpon site says they have nearly 7.5 million users as of April, 2009, up from 1.7 million in December 2006. Over 15 million personalized recommendations (“stumbles”) are delivered daily. The same day on May 1st eBay invested in Channeladvisor.com. ChannelAdvisor Corporation provides technology and services that enable

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online retailers to maximize their profits across multiple e-commerce marketplaces such as eBay, Amazon.com and Overstock.com, comparison shopping engines such as Shopping.com,

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Shopzilla, Nextag and Google Product Search and search engines such as Google, Yahoo and MSN. In 2007, ChannelAdvisor managed over $2.1 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV) on behalf of its customers.

Two days later, on May 3rd, eBay acquired Gittigidiyor.com, which in Turkish means

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going, going, gone. Gittigidiyor is a Turkish online marketplace similar to eBay that offers auctions, stores and fixed price listings. Gittigidiyor is Turkey’s leading online marketplace

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company. It was founded in 2000 by local entrepreneurs in Turkey and is headquartered in Istanbul. Auctions began at 5 February 2001. Gittigidiyor has over 1.5 million registered users and more than 500,000 daily visitors. Since 2001, 3.5 million sales have been successfully

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completed. Finally, for the month of May, eBay acquired Gumtree.com on May 19th. Gumtree.com was started in March 2000 as a local London classified ads and community site, designed to connect people who were either planning to move, or had just arrived in the city, and needed help getting started with accommodation, employment and meeting new people. Gumtree.com now covers 60 cities across 6 countries - the UK, Ireland, Poland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa - and are the UK’s biggest website for local community classifieds including flat share, flat rentals and jobs. More than 25,000 new rooms are advertised a month, which means at least 10,000 rooms are rented a month through Gumtree.

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Comparison of eBay.com and Alibaba.com

On October 4th 2007, eBay acquired Via Online. Via-Online GmbH is an auction management software company. The company operates web-portal, Afterbuy.com, which helps users manage various aspects of the selling process, with features like inventory management and item listing. The company is based in Krefeld, Germany. On January 1st 2008, eBay acquired

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Fraud Sciences for $169 Million USD. Israel and Palo Alto based Fraud Sciences offers

automated anti-fraud systems including SpotLight VFX and SpotLight T2T, merchant solutions

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they provide are transaction verification with fraud prevention. Fraud Sciences has been

integrated into eBay’s PayPal product to help fight against fraud prevention. On May 2nd 2008, eBay acquired Vuvox. Vuvox makes technology for presenting rich media in slideshows.

On September 25th 2008, eBay acquired Gmarket.com. Gmarket.com is a financial

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information company specializing in the delivery of global fixed income and capital markets data. The flagship product PILOT is a real-time desktop workstation for financial professionals

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delivered via the Internet. Pilot’s customizable desktop aggregates the world’s leading sources of capital markets content onto one singular platform for ease of access. It also includes a real-time direct interface to MS-Excel. They pride themselves on delivering quality content in one easy to

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use, flexible, and affordable package.]

In October 2008, eBay acquired Den Bla Avis for $380 Million USD. Den Bla Avis and

BilBasen are leading classifieds businesses in Denmark and operate dba.dk, an online classifieds site that generates more than 120 million page views per month, and bilbasen.dk, an online vehicle classifieds site that generates 66 million page views per month. Founded as printed classified advertising circulars, Den Bla Avis and BilBasen have successfully made the transition to fast-growing, profitable online businesses while maintaining the publication of its circulars. Den Bla Avis and BilBasen have offices in Aarhus and Copenhagen, Denmark. BUS451

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Comparison of eBay.com and Alibaba.com

During the same month and year of 2008, eBay acquired Billmelater.com for $945 Million USD. Bill Me Later, Inc. provides payment and marketing technology solutions to multichannel retailers. It offers PayCapture, a set of credit tools; and Bill Me Later that enables customers to pay for purchases without providing credit card information. The company supports

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and delivers a suite of web-engineered payment solutions; and offers consulting services in the areas of payments, risk management, marketing, and technology. Bill Me Later, Inc. was

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formerly known as I4 Commerce, Inc. and changed its name to Bill Me Later, Inc. in August,

2007. The company was founded in 2000 and is based in Timonium, Maryland. As of November 7, 2008, Bill Me Later, Inc. operates as a subsidiary of eBay Inc.

EBay has certainly taken their growth strategy process to new levels, buying every

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company that will give eBay a threat in the future. It is a very good strategic move on the internet giant to invest and acquire numerous companies around the globe. This strategy will only

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strengthen eBay as a company and brand name for years to come. EBay is in a league of their own and at that moment it seems like no competition can stop them or even compare to the market share that eBay possess.

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Comparison of eBay.com and Alibaba.com

ALIBABA.COM INTRODUCTION

Alibaba is a B2B e-commerce company founded in 1999 by Ma Yun. Alibaba is also the flagship company of the Alibaba Group. With more than 40 million users and 5 million virtual

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storefronts, Alibaba has been able to climb to the top as one of the most useful online ecommerce businesses.

Alibaba’s primary business is to serve as a directory of Chinese

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manufacturers connecting them to other companies around the world looking for suppliers. It connects companies with suppliers and manufacturers throughout the world. By creating the

connection for business, Alibaba specializes in trade between buyers and sellers. Its primary business is to serve the Chinese market with a directory of the Chinese manufacturers. Alibaba

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also offers business management software solutions to small businesses across China using the "Alisoft" brand. Alibaba was founded in Hangzhou, China. Alibaba.com has offices in more than 50 cities across Greater China, Japan, Korea, Europe and the United States.

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The mission/vision statement of the company can be defined as; Alibaba Group (Alibaba for short) is a global e-commerce leader basing in China. Alibaba has 7 subsidiary companies,

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which are involved in the business of B2B, C2C, online payments, software service, search engine, online advertising, local living, and consumption community, etc. Alibaba is committed to building the world's leading e-commerce infrastructure and high quality online living platform. CSR should be born from business model. Only by this, corporation’s can realize sustainable development. CSR isn’t a burden. Every corporation can find a point to combine itself with CSR. Everyone should assume social responsibility and can assume social responsibility in the convenient network environment.

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Comparison of eBay.com and Alibaba.com

While holding the Chinese market as its first customer base, Alibaba also works internationally throughout the world. Alibaba operates in two different marketplaces; the first is an international marketplace in English personalized to global importers and exporters in China; the second is a Chinese marketplace that focuses on suppliers and buyers trading domestically in

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China. It also reaches buyers and sellers in more than 240 countries around the world. Since September 2009, Alibaba.com had gained 45.276 million registered users, which add up to be an increase of 27% since the previous year.

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Of these users, 10.48 million were from the

international trade market and 35.8 million were from the Chinese trade market. Although

Alibaba started out as an independent company, Yahoo currently holds a 40% share holder in the parent Alibaba Group. Alibaba plans to raise $1.5 billion in the next year, making it the second-

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biggest Internet IPO ever, after Google’s $1.9 billion offering in 2004. The IPO will value Alibaba.com at up to $7.8 billion. The company recorded revenues of CNY 3,001.2 million (approximately $432.6 million) in the fiscal year ended December 2008, an increase of 38.8%

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over 2007. The company's operating profit was CNY 1,192.4 million (approximately $171.9 million) in fiscal 2008, an increase of 48.2% over 2007. Its net profit was CNY 1,205.2 million

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(approximately $173.7 million) in fiscal 2008, an increase of 24.5% over 2007. By the end of 2008, Alibaba launched business to business sites in six foreign language

versions, in order to make trading easier for foreigners. The International sites for Alibaba consist of: Spanish.alibaba.com, german.alibaba.com, Italian.alibaba.com, Russian.alibaba.com, Portugese.alibaba.com, and german.alibaba.com.

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Comparison of eBay.com and Alibaba.com

HISTORY OF ALIBABA.COM

1999

Alibaba Group was established

2000

Launched the Gold Supplier membership to serve exporters in China.

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2001

Launched the International TrustPass membership to serve exporters outside China.

2002

Launched the TrustPass membership to serve SMEs engaging in domestic China trade.

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Launched keyword ranking services in the international marketplace. 2003

Launched TradeManager Instant Messenger software for easy communication.

Established Ali-Institute to offer customer training and higher-education e-commerce

2004

certification in China.

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2005

Launched keyword ranking services on the China marketplace.

2007

Launched branded advertisements in the Chinese marketplace. Introduced the Gold Supplier membership to Hong Kong.

2007

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Launched premium placement display in the Chinese marketplace.

Launched an SME financing scheme in collaboration with leading banks in China.

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Successfully listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Re-launched our upgraded Alibaba Japan marketplace.

2008

Became a constituent stock of Hang Seng Composite Index Series and Hang Seng Freefloat Index Series. Launched Winport to help SMEs build their own presence in the China marketplace. Formed an associated company, Alibaba Japan, with Softbank to take over the operation of the Japanese marketplace. Launched the China TrustPass for Individuals membership to serve entrepreneurs engaging in domestic China trade.

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Comparison of eBay.com and Alibaba.com Introduced the Gold Supplier membership to Taiwan. Launched the Export-to-China service to help SMEs sell direct to China. Launched the Gold Supplier Starter Pack, on the international marketplace.

2009

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Launched Ali-Advance, a pay-for-performance based keyword bidding system Launched Gold Supplier International Edition

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Upgraded Ali-Institute to be a new business unit to better cultivate e-commerce talent for SMEs.

Acquired the Business Management Software division of Alisoft to further the goal of transforming from "Meet at Alibaba" to "Work at Alibaba."

Acquired controlling stake in HiChina to enhance our ability to provide additional Internet infrastructure services to Chinese small businesses

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Comparison of eBay.com and Alibaba.com

ALIBABA.COM PRODUCTS, SERVICES, AND KEY BRANDS

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Alibaba like eBay does not carry specific products, but a very different mix of items and brands. Some of the products the offer include everything from Agriculture to Transportation items. •

Agriculture

Apparel

Automotive

Chemicals

Energy

• • • • •

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o hT Environment

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Lights and lighting Luggage

Printing and Publishing Rubber and Plastic

Security and Protection

Service Equipment

Textiles and Leather Products

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Comparison of eBay.com and Alibaba.com

ALIBABA.COM LAST THREE YEAR FINANCIAL GRAPHS

2008 Year Income ¥4,000.00 ¥3,001.20

¥3,000.00

¥2,613.80

¥2,000.00

¥1,205.20

¥1,000.00 ¥Rev. USD: $432.6M Gross: USD: $171.9M Net: USD: $173.7M

Fiscal Year Ending 2008

Revenue (Millions of CNY Yuan) Gross Profit (Millions of CNY Yuan) Net Income (Millions of CNY Yuan)

¥1,000.00

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¥500.00 ¥-

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¥1,126.20

¥219.90

Fiscal Year Ending 2008

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¥2,500.00

¥2,162.80

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¥2,000.00 ¥1,500.00

¥1,882.60

¥967.80

¥1,000.00 ¥500.00

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2006 Year Income ¥1,500.00

2007 Year Income

¥-

Fiscal Year Ending 2008

Revenue (Millions of CNY Yuan) Gross Profit (Millions of CNY Yuan) Net Income (Millions of CNY Yuan)

Stock price as of 12/15: $18.12

Revenue (Millions of CNY Yuan)

Gross Profit (Millions of CNY Yuan) Net Income (Millions of CNY Yuan)

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Comparison of eBay.com and Alibaba.com

ALIBABA.COM CORE STRATEGIES

Alibaba Group is formerly the world’s leading business-to-business e-commerce company. It was started only 9 years ago, and so growth strategies are expected to be a main

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strategy of the company so that it can continue to effectively compete with world leaders in the industry. Despite the present economic crisis in the world’s economy, Alibaba has positioned

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itself to overcome that obstacle and move forward to declare an even bigger market share. An

aggressive expansion is underway to keep the company ahead. The company believes that given

the weak state of the economic environment that Allibaba.com will increase its revenue by 13 % billion Yuan this year. Alibaba.com CEO David Wei Zhe said the global economic crisis

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provided “a great opportunity to help more small and medium-sized enterprises move online, and expand our market leadership and investment for growth”. This

strategy included spending on a global marketing drive worth at

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least $30US million, the hiring of 30,000 employees and the

launching of a new service center in northern China. China is

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one of the few areas that survived the crisis remaining as one of the largest consumer markets after the economic turn. This is why the company maintains major operations in China because of its economic safeguards. It’s backed by 8 of China’s largest banks because it really is developing the economy of china by reviving entrepreneurial spirit. . It aims to help small and medium –sized companies conduct trade. The recent focus has been to increase the growth of B2B and B2C business.

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Comparison of eBay.com and Alibaba.com

Alibaba.com Growth Strategy

One of its recent strategic moves was the acquisition of Yahoo China. This was expected to have a large impact and allow the companies to integrate and join forces with their combined

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resources that will with time lead to growth. A restructuring strategy of Yahoo China began after Yahoo failed to generate profits. In December 2007, Yahoo China removed the three original

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departments: new media, network search and communications departments. In turn two new

departments: website operating and mailbox departments. Merging of network search and ebusiness and digging into the potential of network search will be the future direction for

development within Yahoo! China. E-business search technology will also be a main focus

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because the company believes that developing this technology will lead to greater profits. This strategy is extremely focused because Alibaba realizes that the acquisition of Yahoo represents an overwhelming opportunity to grow and gain a larger market share because Yahoo is such a

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recognized company. The company realizes that for optimal results changes within the company has to take place. Restructuring of Yahoo is a step in the right direction.

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Alibaba is very focused on expanding overseas Mr. Wei, chief executive at the company,

continued to explain that his strategic move is to attract more clients in markets including India and Japan, because according to Wei “more suppliers outside China will look for new markets like China.� At present, about 4% of its 400,000 users Alibaba have chosen to look more outwardly to Chinese markets. To show how committed the company was to broaden its boarders, it announced a joint venture with Japan’s Softbank Corp. This together with other international alliances has helped to elevate this company into the Global marketplace.

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Comparison of eBay.com and Alibaba.com

Another of Alibaba’s main strategies involves capitalizing on its international consumer base and driving a large successful marketplace between businesses. The company’s leaders have shown that they know how to seize market opportunities and to expand its strategy to the small and medium sized enterprises (SME) economic growth throughout Asia, USA, Europe and

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South America. In order to achieve this, the company uses its strengths. The combination of Eastern wisdom, western operational techniques and international capital invested in the global

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market reflect the power that this company manages to maintain in the industry. This strategy allows the company to be more flexible and efficient. Alibaba understands change and the ever

evolving of the external environment in which it competes and thanks to environmental studies

and expectation studies the company is well aware of these changes. Today, the company can

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fairly be referred to as a giant global trade market because the company is one of the most active in B2B marketplaces. Its main goal is to make conducting business easier for small businesses around the world which makes sure that each business capitalizes on all the advantages of having

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an international business. Furthermore, Alibaba operating as an Asian company wants to still be known as an inter-cultural organization that has an inter-cultural management team and thus focus.

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Alibaba is constantly working on ways to make business easier for its members. It

recently unveiled a new pricing model to draw more members. They launched a starter package for Gold Suppliers which offers fewer services for a 60% discount. Alibaba.com David Wei says that the program is interested in increasing website’s customers even at a risk of set backing its profit margins. He stated in an interview, “We believe if we increase our customers, we will increase our revenue later and the process will take care of itself.” This strategy is more of a long-term one that illustrates that the company understands that creating a loyal

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Comparison of eBay.com and Alibaba.com

customer/supplier base is what’s most important because loyal suppliers will eventually raise profits from the raised sales revenue. When this first strategy was introduced, signs pointed to a positive result in the first period under the new pricing model, total sales were higher than what the company usually receives in a month. Analysts seem to like the new pricing model. Citigroup

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says it expects the company to decline in 2009, but 2010 should be a rebounding year because” it should benefit from a more sustainable model, delivering a faster growth and higher margins.”

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Alibaba.com Differentiation Strategy

It has already been noted that Alibaba.com is presently the world leader in business to

business e-commerce. This is something that the company has capitalized on in the most unique

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way. Alibaba.com targets small to medium sized businesses. It focuses on buying and selling among small and midsized organizations, and it has more than five million suppliers. Alibaba.com has successfully recognized that it could fill a gaping market need that China has.

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The country has virtually no printed directories or electronic databases that allow companies to describe their products and help buyers and sellers find one another while still providing a

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certain level of comfort that these companies are on the up and up. Alibaba.com focuses on small family type businesses in China of which are many in number. According to Yuxin Chen, a marketing professor at New York University’s stern school

of Business, “Alibaba’s major advantage is that it is located in a country that has emerged as the manufacturing base of the world.” Most companies in China are these small businesses and Alibaba has put itself in the position to take advantage of this. Most companies exporting in China are not big companies, so for these companies Alibaba provides a platform. To continue to provide for this market of small businesses, access to Alibaba’s portals is mostly free of charge.

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Comparison of eBay.com and Alibaba.com

Membership fees are charged ranging from $300-$8000 and various membership programs is offered which provide different membership opportunities.

Alibaba.com Price strategy

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Alibaba’s primary revenue is derived from charging customers for value-added services

and from subscription fees, listing fees and secondarily through advertising avenues. In terms of

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the price ( membership fees) paid by B2B clients , the business buyers and supplier who want to find potential trading partners via e-commerce marketplaces have available to them certain

membership packages to appeal to the most varied amount of businesses. Fee-paying members

can enjoy “priority placement of supplier storefront”, priority listings in the industry directory

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and advanced search results at Alibaba.com marketplaces. Alibaba.com promises price savings that can’t be found through more traditional forms of business. The marketplaces provide many advantages to businesses; businesses can get access to the active global buyer community and

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vice versa for buyers, businesses can launch marketing activities to potential buyers in a economical way, buyers can get access to high quality and organizational information on

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products, potential sellers, and additionally the convenience which is real time and 24 hours services for both the buyers and the sellers. One specific pricing strategy that Alibaba has put in place is the Gold supplier premium

membership. This is a certification that the site offers to specific supplier companies which gives them the opportunity to post an unlimited number of products online. Gold suppliers also have more of an advantage with global trade because of the certification Alibaba has provided showing that this organization is authenticated. This means much more access to customers than the business man who doesn’t have a paid membership. Testimonials from gold suppliers speak

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Comparison of eBay.com and Alibaba.com

to the effectiveness of this pricing strategy. Customers believe that the price for the membership, which varies, is a small cost to pay for the services that are available as a registered member. The realm of possibility is great which makes global trade a possibility for small companies who wouldn’t have this opportunity otherwise. Customers are jumping at the opportunity to sign up to

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be a Gold supplier which gives Alibaba the upper hand and the opportunity to create revenue. Many spin off’s of the gold supplier membership have provided other services and benefits at

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lower cost to the customer but with fewer benefits. The gold supplier tag is more prominent still.

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Comparison of eBay.com and Alibaba.com

COMPETITIVE FORCES FOR ALIBABA.COM

Porter’s Five Force model of competition is a key tool for diagnosing the competitive

environment:

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Alibaba.com Threats of new Entrants

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Alibaba has always welcomed the idea of competing companies entering the industry. A spokesperson of Alibaba stated this in reference to the news that Chinese search engine firm

Baidu.com is beginning beta testing for an ecommerce site. Christina Splinder continued to say that “competition would help grow the entire ecommerce market in China.” The consumer ecommerce penetration rate in China is 33% compared to over 90% in developed economies

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such as the US and Europe. Early competition from eBay is what Alibaba credits for growing the ecommerce industry in China from several hundred million RMB back in 2003 to over 100

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billion RMB this year. They are also hopeful that the new wave of companies to come will further grow the company from then on.

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Evidently, this company is concentrated on limiting new entrants into the market because

of its goals as a company is build the consumer market in Asia and subsequently in the world. Of course, new entrants could cause external difficulties for this company, but with competition comes the success of being the people’s premier site to deal business. Alibaba has developed quite the reputation for new innovation and its Global influence, and it credits fierce competition for helping it to have developed this much.

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Alibaba.com Rivalry

Comparison of eBay.com and Alibaba.com

The auction ecommerce industry is quite the growing one. In recent years, it has become very concentrated with equally large global companies which have been able to develop core

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competencies in the industry. One of Alibaba’s rivals is eBay Eachnet. Both Alibaba and eBay Eachnet operate in the Chinese e-commerce industry, so it is understandable that these are close

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competitors. Alibaba acquired Yahoo! China as well as other subsidiaries to help grow its company and develop it into the company it is today. EBay is a global giant in ecommerce and it has the advantage of owning a recognizable brand that had global attention and had a loyal customer base in the US.

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AliPay is the payment tool that Taobao, Alibaba’s subsidiary uses for business –tobusiness e-commerce website. With this AliPay, buyers can deposit money into a bank account designated by Alibaba Taobao. The sellers receive payment when the deal is verified by buyers.

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EBay Eachnet the fierce competitor it is also announced that it would spend more than 100 million Yuan (Us$12 million) to launch a new online payment system as well. EBay plans to

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invest heavily to make sure that it has available a secure system for payment on their site. EBay Eachnet launched a payment system called Escrow in October very similar to AliPay which was set up to create a more secure online payment environment for members. EBay, just like Alibaba, gained success in the Chinese market quite rapidly but, Alibaba has a larger hold on the Chinese market because of its global reach and innovative systems.

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Comparison of eBay.com and Alibaba.com

Alibaba.com Supplier power

Alibaba has many alliances with companies that keeps the auction site running and on the cutting edge of technology in the external environment. VeriSign Inc is a well known provider of

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Internet infrastructure for Networked worlds. This helps companies and consumers all over the world communicate and deal commerce. The A&V is a product designed and launched by Asian

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Company Profiles Ltd. It is an application conduct B2B partner screening, pre-L/C beneficiary screening, and Para-legal support for contractual purposes. The American International

Underwriters China (China’s AIU) provides quality commercial and consumer insurance to the company.

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These suppliers are a key to Alibaba’s credibility and quality management efforts. Ecommerce organizations have to have safeguards available for its consumers and companies especially when large transactions are taking place. Each of these supplier companies help to

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make sure that the consumer is protected. These organizations have a certain level of power because if A&V decides to not partner with the company another company would have to be

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sought out to fill the need but it can be done. Just like if the insurance company doesn’t want to be affiliated with Alibaba anymore, it is at that’s company’s own detriment because Alibaba is a growing company that has a reputation of having a large member based which means large insurance dollars for the insurance company.

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Comparison of eBay.com and Alibaba.com

Alibaba.com Buyer Power

These are the core of the organization as an auction site. The success of the company is dependent on the customers who are willing to buy online products. Alibaba is a global company

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and so businesses from different areas of the world are a key to its success. Alibaba offers small businesses the opportunity to grow through its site, and they give these owners power to expand

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and really make their products available to a global customer base quite easily. This Alibaba

Company is a growing one and already has a large global marketplace the largest B2B one in the world, so buyer with the power that they have would be wiser to choose Alibaba as it is the

world leader and the opportunity for growth is great. Yes, there are other competitors, but

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Alibaba has established a loyal customer base and as a global leader in ecommerce it seems like it’s a secure professional site.

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Alibaba.com Threat of substitutes

Alibaba offers one of the easiest ways to conduct a small-medium business and that’s

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though ecommerce. It’s simple and offers a large global marketplace for transactions to take place. Any substitute to come along would have to be an easier, more effective way of conducting business on a global arena. No new substitute for the online auction industry has been introduced yet, but the opportunity is there. Right now online auction is the simplest and most effective ways to grow a small or medium sized business.

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Comparison of eBay.com and Alibaba.com

Alibaba.com TOWS Matrix

Strengths – S Alibaba.com, the

It has a reputation of

world’s largest ecommerce

organization, is one that generates income

through their site.

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• • • •

competitive technology

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Low degree of business e-commerce search

partnerships with

technology. •

Large Chinese cultural

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Acquisition of an American company in the internet industry could develop recognition in the US.

Profitably is slowing.

WO Strategies

ST – Strategies

Acquisition of a technology company experienced in developing ecommerce sites.

WT – Strategies •

Enforce differentiation strategies using the company’s influence in the marketplace to draw new members from innovation and quality controls.

Brand recognition is low.

SO Strategies

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Strong alliances and

A bold risk taking sprit.

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Threats – T China’s Google and the strength of the vertical sites. Growth of China’s ecommerce industry. EBay’s new subsidiary eBay Eachnet poses a competitive influence. Global Economic crisis. Development of a more

A international

Market share possibility in the US

growth strategies

organizational structure

Large untapped market potential.

Labor intensive.

Global Marketplace.

Possibility for growth in profits.

A strong whole in the

Opportunities – O

success and effective

leaders in the industry.

from influencing business to buy and sell

Weaknesses - W

Advertising more in international arenas to strengthen market share in areas of little brand recognition. The sponsoring of international events like the Olympics can help to establish the brand among the other global competitors.

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Alibaba.com Strengths

Comparison of eBay.com and Alibaba.com

Alibaba.com has much strength. It has grown quite rapidly and many great strategies were implemented to facilitate development. From my research, it was mentioned repeatedly that this company is a global one that has reach in several large countries in the world. This is always

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a great thing because the larger the market the larger the profit opportunity. A global reach will

only profit an organization especially with a growth strategy. Alibaba also used a great strategy

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of developing great acquisitions with other leaders in the industry such as Yahoo China. Acquisitions put companies in the position to grow quite rapidly and are generally a great mode

for entry in a new untapped market. The ecommerce market in China is growing and Yahoo being a global company with influence puts Alibaba is the position to control a large percentage

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of a Chinese market. The leaders of the company have shown how committed it is to being a global organization and has a staff and management team just as diverse as its customers.

Alibaba.com Weaknesses

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The main weakness that this organization has is its low level of technology. Other

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businesses in the market have more complex and attractive ecommerce sites, and this is really a detriment to the company. The company is also very labor intensive. It has 4000 employees all of whom are well paid which means a large amount of expenses paid in salaries. This company that operates most of its activities online should be able to limit labor expenses a bit more. Although the organization is known as a Global one it is still not well known in the US, which is one of the largest economies in the world. Efforts could be made to develop the brand more by increased advertising efforts and tapping into untapped markets. Profitability is a definitely a problem for the company. More cost strategies need to be implemented to decrease the expenses within the company.

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Comparison of eBay.com and Alibaba.com

Alibaba.com Opportunities

There is a great possibility for growth within the organization. Yes it is the largest ecommerce organization in the world, but this industry will get more competitive and just like

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Alibaba grew rapidly another company can enter the market and decrease Alibaba’s market

share. The company isn’t as well known in America, so there is an opportunity for growth in this

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economy where so many other large ecommerce organizations exist.

Alibaba.com Threats

The main threats that exist in Alibaba’s external environment is competition from highly competitive company’s CEO, Wei has been quoted as saying that he welcomes competition on

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any scale because competition makes other competitors work harder to improve business and its through competitive market that that industry will see growth. The Asian web search/

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ecommerce is growing quite rapidly through the penetration by other new companies into the market. Google China is a becoming quite a competitive force in the industry. Google is a very

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diverse company and so it has many vertical affiliations that are competitive forces for the business that Alibaba runs. Also EBay Eachnet is a competitive rival and recently has been developing Alibaba’s similar operations as to steal market share from the company. So far, Alibaba has risen above the Global economic crisis but this remains a threat.

Alibaba.com SO Strategy One strategy to get market share in the US by using it global power is to acquire a US recognized company. This could be very effective entry mode into this economy. It really isn’t BUS451

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Comparison of eBay.com and Alibaba.com

important if it’s another ecommerce company; the company would just have to be US based and have high brand loyalty. The growth possibilities are great as well. Gaining resources and information from another successful company can grow a company dramatically.

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Alibaba.com WO Strategy

In order to improve on the weakness of low technology level and take advantage of the

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opportunity for growth, they could acquire a small technology company. There is a lot of

advantages to doing this. A company with experienced staff who are capable of upgrading technology can help to move the company into a more competitive place, technically. Also, this is a growth opportunity for the company as well.

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Alibaba.com ST Strategy

In order to combat competition and to take advantage of the company’s influence in the

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Global marketplace, Alibaba could implement differentiation strategies that set them apart from the other global companies in the industry. Differentiation strategies are extremely effective in

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developing customer loyalty and grabbing a large market share for growing companies.

Alibaba.com WT Strategy

In order to improve brand recognition in the US and strengthen market share the

company should develop a real commitment to marketing on a Global scale quite like Coca Cola. A good marketing strategy can be a real turning point for a company and increase profits dramatically. It’s something worth developing especially if being a global company is an important outlook as is the case with Alibaba.com

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COMPARITIVE ANALYSIS

Putting it simply, e-commerce is a form of business where an online transaction takes place via the internet through a site that links a computer system of the vendor, host and buyer.

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Electronic transactions involve the transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer of that good

or service. These two companies, eBay and Alibaba, are world leaders in the auction e-

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commerce industry. EBay operates out of the United States and Alibaba operates out of the People’s Republic of China. These companies had quite different beginnings, eBay started as a

virtual monopoly in the American market introducing a new large scale way to conduct business.

Alibaba entered the market by acquiring the market leader at the time eBay Eachnet. Both of

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these companies sky rocketed to success really early with very little competition to affect rapid growth.

Both companies have a similar mission and that is to promote global trade and make

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trading easier. Together, these companies have dominated the auction site industry and seen extreme growth levels after only being in the industry for approximately 10 years. The product

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lines for both companies are quite similar, as both companies sell goods and services, communication services, and advertising. Alibaba focuses more on the business to business sales which can be argued is a more revenue generating route. Both companies have their portion of competitors and essentially are each other’s

competition. They are extremely confident in their competitive advantages. EBay considers itself as the company to lead the industry with the introduction of such auction sites, but Alibaba thinks it has propelled past the competition because it manages to capitalize on the strategies instituted by EBay Eachnet to a develop a global outlook. Alibaba took a hold of the business to

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business segment of the market and took it to another level. This is now Alibaba’s niche market of suppliers. EBay however has no real supplier preference, and so markets to the average consumer and businesses. Thus, they have competitors like Amazon which features a rather complex e-commerce environment.

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The business model of Alibaba compared to EBay is far more simplified yet focused on

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achieving particular goals. Both companies seek growth, but Alibaba has the way in which they will go by doing this clearly outlined with effective ways of entry. Alibaba is a world leader in

business to business e-commerce and this was its route to the world and globalization. The move, whereby it purchased its own fierce competition, EBay Eachnet, was the smartest move they could have made towards growth. EBay’s goals are far reaching and not as concentrated.

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Both companies made smart moves in the acquisition of well noted international companies like eBay did with Swedish company, Tradera.com. Evidently, both of these companies are smart in

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their moves to acquire companies that will give them; 1) an entry into new global markets, and 2) give them the upper hand against threats of competition.

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Group Investment Perspective

Based on the financials, eBay has Alibaba beat. The company has almost double the

revenue that Alibaba had in 2008 at $8,541,126. For this reason, we as a group think that eBay is the better of the two companies. The main goal of business is to make sustainable income, and this company has shown us that smart moves, global acquisitions and aspirations will enable companies to be financial sound. EBay’s marketing efforts are quite great and recommendable in areas that Alibaba lack. We expect Alibaba to continue to compete because this company is nothing sort of impressive. Alibaba has managed to elevate and inspire entrepreneurial spirit

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around the world and make business easier for people that otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity. EBay just seems, to our group, to have the best tools for growth in their possession and we think it’s almost impossible to compare two equally very powerful global giants in this rather small industry.

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Group Challenges

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As a group, we never underestimated the enormity of the task set before us. It was a tall

order to organize a project of this magnitude with our many different schedules and personalities.

We knew it would have to be communication that led to success of this project, and so many emails were transferred between the original four group members. Originally, we couldn’t even

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agree on the two companies to research we went back and forth between entertainment companies, airline manufacturers and the online auction companies. Choosing these particular companies was definitely a learning experience for most of us. We learned what drives these

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companies technically. At the beginning, of the quarter we had originally four members: Anca, Thomas, Angelica and Danauda. Due to illness, (our presumption) communication with angelica

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was cut off. We had to make a fast decision fast and split the responsibilities between the remaining members. We gritted our teeth because of the added work, but thankfully, we completed it. Mostly we were working with three different leadership styles, so figuring out how to work as a group was definitely a challenge. Compromise and allowing everyone to vote was important when deciding things. Early on, we set goals and deadlines for when the work was suppose to be ready etc. Deadlines were mostly met (at least by the remaining members), and afterward, further goals were made until the completion of the project. In all, we learned a lot about working in groups and how to compromise to see that all our expectations were met within the timeframe allotted. BUS451

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WORKS CITED

COMPARISON OF EBAY.COM & ALIBABA.COM PREPARED FOR BUS451

"Alibaba Company Profile." CrunchBase, The Free Tech Company Database. Alibaba.com.

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Web. 26 Nov. 2009. <http://www.crunchbase.com/company/alibaba>.

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"Alibaba obvious weakness Netsun carry low memeber price breakdown B2B Market." Review. Web log post. Compass Blog. 19 Aug. 2008. Web.

<http://compassblogger.blogspot.com/2008/08/alibaba-obvious-weakness-netsun-carry.html>. "Alibaba.com Limited." Business Source Premier. Berkeley College. Web.

<https://my.berkeleycollege.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_id=_18_1>.

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"EBay annual report." File.shareholder.com. Investor.ebay.com, 19 Feb. 2009. Web. <http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/eBay/765967544x0x281367/1b773a7c-8c14-

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45b8-915a-1716ca37dda0/eBay_2008AR.pdf>.

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"EBay Inc." Business& Company Resource Center. Web. <http://http://galenet.galegroup.com.ezproxy.library.berkeley.org/servlet/BCRC?vrsn=un known&locID=nysl_me_berk&srchtp=glbc&cc=1&c=1&mode=c&ste=60&tab=1&tbst= tsCM&ccmp=eBay+Inc.&mst=EBay%2C+Inc.&docNum=DC441427&bConts=3&final Auth=true>.

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WORKS CITED: CONTINUED COMPARISON OF EBAY.COM & ALIBABA.COM PREPARED FOR BUS451

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"EBay Inc." Datamonitor Company Profiles Authority. Berkeley College. Web. 1 Dec. 2009.

<http://http://web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.library.berkeley.org/ehost/detail?vid=5&hid=5

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&sid=4433627e-29ed-47fe-b3c5-

a33c3f4bac0a%40sessionmgr10&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=bu h&authdb=dmhco&AN=FCDBE4F6-2C00-4977-BF8F-1865C7FD2F86>. "EBay Inc." Hoovers.com. Proquest. Web. 01 Dec. 2009.

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<http://http://proquest.umi.com.ezproxy.library.berkeley.org/pqdweb?index=0&did=168 214571&SrchMode=1&sid=2&Fmt=3&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VNa me=PQD&TS=1257437448&clientId=11195>.

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"EBay: The World's Online Marketplace." EBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices. Web. 12 Dec. 2009.

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<http://pages.eBay.com/abouteBay/thecompany/companyoverview.html>.

"Online Auction Market in China: eBay/EachNet vs. Yahoo!/TaoBao -- Seeking Alpha." Stock Market News, Opinion & Analysis, Investing Ideas -- Seeking Alpha. 24 July 2006. Web. 09 Dec. 2009. <http://seekingalpha.com/article/14162-online-auction-market-in-china-

ebay-eachnet-vs-yahoo-taobao>.

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