The e-commerce business is a growing trend in our world today. Consumers can easily search the web for the products they want, see prices, build an order, then buy their products with just a click of a button. They can now shop for the things they want and need without setting foot out of their homes or offices. In fact, a great number of stores in the world are closing because the mode of shopping is now shifting to online. The number of people who are physically going to malls is declining. In the United States, the country with the leading retail space per head, experienced its major department stores, like Macy’s, Wal-Mart, and Kohl’s, to close down hundreds of its stores to make up for its losses from the rise of e-commerce.
One of the first Internet companies that were a leader in online marketplaces is Amazon. The Seattle-based company is one of the most famous in the world in the industry of online shopping. What started as a company that sells books expanded and became a one stop shop for electronics, accessories, jewelry, video games, clothing, and much more. In efforts to develop more in the business, Amazon was one of the online companies that introduced affiliate marketing programs. This program aims to have its Amazon website be a platform for various third-party sellers to post its product and sell online. Amazon became a shopping mall in the online world. Since then, the Amazon domain grew and was able to attract around 615 million customers a year. Today, Amazon is still a powerhouse company when it comes to online shopping, but the e-commerce world is now being dominated by the Chinese company Alibaba.
In 2016, Alibaba has surpassed Wal-Mart and became the world’s largest retailer and world’s largest Internet companies in terms of gross merchandise volume surpassing Amazon and eBay combined. The company’s online profits have exceeded all of its major retail competitors, namely Wal-mart, Amazon, and eBay, combined. The group started as a business-to-business portal to help Chinese manufacturers reach foreign resellers. Today the company has expanded to have a consumer e-commerce platform in Taobao, and a business to consumer portal in Tmall. In 2014, Alibaba was able to form Alipay, its online payment services. In 2017, the company was able to top every sales growth estimate of different analysts. Because of this, Alibaba became Asia’s most valuable company and one of the world’s top 10 most valuable companies. Today, the company’s founder, Jack Ma, is still putting in the effort to further develop the company making deals with different firms internationally.
The world of the internet has truly changed the retail business. Several companies have lost a lot of its profit because it could not keep up with the trend. However, different companies have taken the opportunity and were able to grow beyond everyone’s imagination. In its sense, the Internet became a platform for every single person in the world to reach one another. This, however, could be positive or negative to a company. It could be positive in a sense that the publicity and advertising that a company gets for its product is way cheap on the internet, and the chance of something getting viral today because of social media is very high. However, the negative or the controversies a company would face would also go viral on the internet in a matter of seconds. An example of this is the APA group CEO Toshio Motoya having negative remarks on the Chinese people by declining the Nanking massacre. The incident went viral, as China has one of the largest internet population, and sent a negative impact on the company’s name. Numerous other incidents like this have happened to different companies in the past which ruined their reputation. With this, the internet and social media could be seen as both a blessing and a curse in the world of business today