Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba is moving into the territory of its American competitor Amazon, as it launches 11main.com, its own American-based site. However, Amazon is not sitting back, because it too will be expanding its American foothold.
Steady American expansion
Alibaba already has the Chinese ecommerce market in its back pocket, since it controls 80 % of all Chinese ecommerce with its own B2B and B2C networks. Its latest numbers (regarding 2013’s third quarter) show a 1.31 billion euro turnover, mostly thanks to its Tmall and Taobao websites.
Still, Alibaba is not the same powerhouse outside of China, which is what the online giant hopes to remedy fast with its own site in the United States. Vendivo and Auctiva, two American subsidiaries, will collaborate to make it happen through 11main.com, a site which will focus on quality fashion and jewelry.
As the American internet sales are part of Alibaba.com, not the biggest part of the Alibaba group, this move cannot be considered a frontal attack on Amazon. Nevertheless, Alibaba seems to ready itself for an upcoming battle, as it had already acquired minority stakes in 1stdibs, an American luxury seller, and ShopRunner, a retail website.
Amazon will push on with its own expansion by hiring 2,500 new people in the United States. These new recruits have to help expedite orders from one of Amazon’s warehouses at Petersburg, Chester, Coffreyville, Dupont and Murfreesboro. Amazon already has quite an extensive personnel list, with 117,300 employees at the end of 2013 - not too bad for a company which only started out in 1995.