As Alibaba heads out on a road show to promote its upcoming IPO, it is time for us to get to know the giant wholesaler. As I checked them out, I learned a great deal. one thing I learned — we marketing professors should all get to know Alibaba.
Let me share a few of my favorite sources so you an be up to speed. I was shocked at how big the online Chinese reseller is. Alibaba sold $248 billion through its collection of online resellers — that number is twice Amazon’s and three times EBay’s revenue. Alibaba has a different business model. Bloomberg Businessweek looks at the competitive threat to U.S. e-commerce in “Alibaba’s IPO May Herald the End of U.S. E-Commerce Dominance” (August 7, 2014). A Planet Money podcast “The Story of Alibaba” (September 3, 2014) offers a customer perspective that gives you an idea of the needs Alibaba fills. It is worth the relatively long 15 minute listen.