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Ali Baba is an e-commerce company, whereby it sells commodities to customers through online platforms. The company has got a unique supply chain, where there is the supply side and demand side, which meet on the online platform. The supply chain is the reason behind the success that the organization has been capable of achieving over time. It is well planned, whereby commodities are sourced and sold to various buyers in different locations across the world. Through its operations, it carries out the business to business, business to consumers, and consumer to consumer models. Through the models, the needs of various customers are met; and the organization is capable of making profits in the long run. In its operations, there are two significant sides; upon which transactions are based. That is the sale side and buy-side activities. These are the basis of the operating activities of the organization. That determines the supply chain activities that the organization engages in. Through the sale and buy-side events, there is utility creation, and the organization earns its revenue.
The sale side activities are the activities that are undertaken by the company to customers. That is where the company handles orders from customers, and the delivery of the products is undertaken. That is based on the business to business and business to consumer models. The sale side activities are controlled by Ali Baba; through three segments. That is Ali Baba, Taobao and Tmall; where Alibaba is a B2B website, Taobao connects consumers or consumers to businesses, and Tmall focuses on specific brands and a given type of customers (Anwar, 2017). Thus, on that basis, various activities are undertaken on the sales side. First is marketing, which is aimed at attracting clients to the Ali Baba website so that they can purchase commodities that they need. That is done through the company undertaking promotions on behalf of the brands that are listed on their website. When the marketing strategy is successful, more buyers are attracted to the site, and more commodities are sold in the long run. The marketing forms the initial point of contact between the company and most of the buyers. In marketing, there are various activities, such as targeting and segmentation, customization, and other offers meant to attract customers.
The other sales side activity that the company undertakes is under the operational category. That is the basis upon which most of the organization's activities are enabled. Here, the dominant undertaking is service design, where the commodities on offer are placed on the website so that the customers can view them, and their descriptions. Connecting buyers to sellers, with Ali Baba as the intermediary is the other operation. The company acts as the middle man, and it is on this basis that the company earns the most of its revenue. That is because it enables the sellers to reach most of its customers by providing the platform.
Moreover, it allows the buyers to get access to a wide variety of commodities, which they would not have accessed on their own (Wulf, 2010). Thus, by creating convenience for the buyers and sellers through their platform, the organization makes its earnings. Leadership is the other sales side activity, which is done by the organization's top management. That is whereby all the operations in the company are controlled. The leadership is tasked with the responsibility of monitoring, planning, directing, and coordinating the various activities that the organization undertakes. Based on the administration, the organization is capable of achieving the strategic plan and objectives that it has for its operating activities in the long run.
The other supply-side activity that is undertaken involving Ali Baba involves the suppliers of commodities. They are the significant players on whose operations Ali Baba's activities are enabled. The suppliers post commodities on the organization's platform so that the customers can buy them. That is because Ali Baba is an E-commerce company and is not involved in any manufacturing activities. Reaching international buyers is the principal objective of the suppliers that have their products on the platform. They have a brief description of the nature of the commodities and the prices that are charged. Later, when a potential customer is impressed by the product that is listed, contact is made, followed by negotiations, then a purchase can be made at the end. The other undertaking by the sale side is customer service, which is the assurance the company makes so that its rules and regulations are respected by the parties that use its platform.
Various buy-side activities are associated with the company, which are undertaken by buyers. The buyer side activities are shaped by the nature of the company's operations, which is e-commerce. Therefore, they are unique as compared with other organizations. That is because there is minimal physical interaction with the company or any of its staff. The reason for this is the fact that the company is e-commerce based, and acts as an intermediary. The first activity that the buyers engage in is commodity search. That is where the buyers look for a commodity that is in the best position to satisfy their needs (Qing, 2008). That is based on the characteristics of the product and its budget. They search for their favorite or preferred brand's availability. That is the initial point of contact with the company. For the convenience of the buyers' search, the commodities are arranged based on types, such as household and office. Furthermore, there is a search section, share one can specify what they need from the company. Based on the search, various suggestions come up, and the customer checks the suitability of the recommendations to their needs.
The other activity that is undertaken by the buyer side is posting the listings to buy. That is where the customers specify the needs they have, which can be satisfied by the various sellers on the platform. Based on customer needs, then the suppliers can provide commodities that are capable of meeting their preferences. On that basis, both parties have their aims achieved on the platform. The activities on the buyer side can be illustrated based on a chain of the flow of events. That describes the chain of events that the buyers engage in as they satisfy their needs. First is the search for the commodities that they need from the platform. Later, there is an evaluation of the options that come as a result of their search on the platform. That is based on multiple parameters, such as brand preference and price. Negotiation is the next activity that the buyer engages in with the supplier. The customer's preferences are discussed with the supplier so that the terms are more favorable for both parties. When an agreement is reached, a deal is sealed between the parties for the buyer to purchase the commodity. Lastly, there is the transaction; where the buyer pays the price that is stated and takes possession of the product. That ends the deal when the commodity exchanges ownership between the two parties. Based on the analysis, it is evident that various activities take place between the sale side and buyer side in the transactions based on Ali Baba. There is a great deal of organization and convenience for all parties, which makes Ali Baba grow.
Alibaba: Entrepreneurial growth and global expansion in B2B/B2C markets. Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 15(4), 366-389. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10843-017-0207-2
Qing, H. (2008). A model for value-added e-market provisioning: Case Study from Alibaba. com. In 2008 Second International Conference on Future Generation Communication and Networking Symposia (Vol. 1, pp. 47-52). IEEE. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/4813490
Wulf, J. (2010). Alibaba Group. Harvard Business School Case, 710, 436. http://nesha-group.hec.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/CASE_Alibaba_Group.pdf
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