The Alibaba Group and Online to Offline (O2O) Sales
(9 pages of text)
Case (Pub Mat)
In the fall of 2014, the Alibaba Group, an e-commerce company that operates domestic and international marketplaces and provides Internet-based services from its headquarters in Hangzhou, China, startled the world with its record-breaking initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. The company’s business plan differs from other major Internet companies such as Amazon and eBay by its strategies that are tailored to the particular circumstances of the Chinese economy and Chinese consumers. Now, the executive team has set its sights on achieving the next big thing — developing its online-to-offline business, a market sector estimated to be worth a trillion dollars in the age of the mobile Internet. However, the company faces stiff competition from Tencent, the other Internet titan in China. How can Alibaba integrate online and offline activities to increase sales and improve the consumer’s experience — and, therefore, improve its own bottom line?
This case is appropriate for introductory undergraduate to MBA courses in marketing, strategy or online marketing or any course considering the measurement of success in business. Its objectives are:
- To better understand how technological advances can change business plans.
- To understand how online activities can be integrated with offline sales.
China, Large, 2014
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