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商业 - 科技

阿里巴巴在B2B电子商务领域的优势

Erin Griffith 2014年09月11日

许多企业仍在使用纸质发票、传真和支票来买卖用品和材料。美国两家最大的电子商务公司eBay和亚马逊都没有专注于这个巨大的机遇。

    早在2000年,分析师们就大胆预测全球企业对企业(B2B)商务市场将大规模上线,从而带来数万亿美元价值的B2B电子商务交易。市场研究公司Gartner曾预测,到2004年,全球B2B电子商务交易会达到7.3万亿美元。高盛也曾预测到2005年会达到4.5万亿美元。

    但是这些预测在很大程度上仍未实现。

    B2B电子商务初创公司Chemdex在上世纪90年代的互联网泡沫破灭之后破产,人们指责其是导致当时整个行业崩盘的罪魁祸首。据甲骨文公司预估,2013年B2B电子商务市场交易额达到5590亿美元,远不及以前的预测。

    令人难以置信的是,如今许多企业仍在使用纸质发票、传真和支票来买卖用品和材料。但美国两家最大的电子商务公司eBay和亚马逊(Amazon)都没有专注于这个巨大的机遇。这两家公司都运营电子交易市场,但它们专注于面向消费者的产品,而不是批发产品和商务用品。亚马逊运营的批发网站AmazonSupply的测试已进行两年。该公司首席执行官杰夫•贝佐斯不断推出各种吸引眼球的商业计划,领域涵盖无人机送货、电视节目、手机和出版等。

    近年来,B2B电子商务领域的美国初创公司如雨后春笋般出现,填补了这一空白。 Joor 和NuOrder主要针对时尚行业。Handshake和Tradeshift则为各种企业提供服务。

    但是该领域有一个真正巨头——中国零售宠儿阿里巴巴集团(Alibaba),它是B2B电子商务领域的一支主导力量。上周阿里巴巴透露,其计划通过首次公开发行募集211.2亿美元。周末,我在听金钱星球(Planet Money)节目[译者注:该节目由美国全国公共广播电台(NPR)制作]中有关阿里巴巴在线批发市场的有趣讲解,其中便提到了阿里巴巴的主导地位。该公司通过Alibaba.com和1688.com向全球用户提供进入中国供应链的渠道。这意味着修理工、建筑商、企业家和小企业都可以从中国的工厂订购定制的发动机和零件,而不必亲自来到中国寻找联系人与制造商建立关系,然后开展业务。很多人通常没有条件接触国际范围内的供应商,而阿里巴巴为他们打开了一扇门。他们可以通过阿里巴巴进行批量购买所需产品,阿里巴巴则作为受信任的第三方对交易的顺利完成提供保障。

    阿里巴巴的一个优势在于其在地理上靠近众多的制造业企业。亚马逊为什么没有专注于此?因为它没有渠道接触这些卖家。加拿大皇家银行资本市场(RBC Capital Markets)的电子商务分析师马克•马哈尼表示:“这主要说明了这两大巨头各自市场的差异,中国产品通常处于供应链中。”只是亚马逊和eBay平台的批发产品和B2B产品与阿里巴巴的不同而已。

    阿里巴巴的大部分收入来自于其面向消费者的电商网站,如全球速卖通、天猫商城、淘宝和聚划算。批发业务占阿里巴巴2014财年总收入的11.8%,其中大部分买家来自于中国以外地区。相对而言,这只是阿里巴巴业务组合的很小一部分,不过这主要是因为阿里巴巴规模庞大。阿里巴巴2014财年批发业务营收为10亿美元,而来自于零售业务的营收为80亿美元。在上一个财年中,该公司在其电商平台上处理的交易价值总额达到2960亿美元。(财富中文网)

    译者:Lina

    In 2000, analysts predicted a massive chunk of the world’s business-to-business commerce market would come online, resulting in trillions of dollars in B2B e-commerce. Gartner, the market research firm, predicted $7.3 trillion by 2004. Goldman Sachs predicted $4.5 trillion by 2005.

    That promise has remained largely unfulfilled.

    B2B e-commerce startup Chemdex flamed out spectacularly in the fallout of the dot-com bubble, and was blamed for taking the entire sector down with it. In 2013, B2B ecommerce hit $559 billion,according to Oracle estimates, a far cry from the trillions once predicted.

    Incredibly, many businesses today still buy and sell supplies and materials with paper invoices, faxes, and checks. It’s a huge opportunity on which the two largest e-commerce companies in the U.S., eBay and Amazon, have not focused. Both companies run marketplaces, but they specialize in consumer-facing goods, not wholesale items and business supplies. Amazon has been running AmazonSupply, a wholesale site, in beta for two years, as CEO Jeff Bezos promotes increasingly flashier schemes around drone delivery, TV shows, mobile phones, and publishing.

    In recent years, a number of U.S. startups have sprung up to fill the gap. Joor andNuOrder do it for the fashion industry.Handshake and Tradeshift do it for a variety of businesses.

    But there is one true giant in the category: Alibaba, the Chinese retail darling that last week revealed plans for a $21.12 billion initial public offering, which has dominated in B2B e-commerce. I was reminded of this over the weekend while listening to Planet Money’s entertaining explainer of the Alibaba wholesale market. Through Alibaba.com and 1688.com, the company provides to people everywhere access to the Chinese supply chain. This means tinkerers, builders, entrepreneurs, and small businesses can order custom motors and parts from Chinese factories without having to travel there, find a scout, and forge a relationship with a manufacturer before doing business. It opens up the world of international suppliers to people who wouldn’t normally have access to it. They can buy in bulk through Alibaba, which acts as a trusted third party, vouching for the transaction.

    Alibaba has an advantage here, because of its proximity to so many of the world’s manufacturing assets. The reason Amazon hasn’t focused on it? Because it doesn’t have access to those sellers. “Much of it is representative of the differences in their markets, and where Chinese products have typically fallen in the supply chain,” says Mark Mahaney, an e-commerce analyst with RBC Capital Markets. Amazon AMZN -1.17% and eBay EBAY 0.61% simply have access to different wholesale and B2B products than Alibaba does.

    The majority of Alibaba’s revenue comes from its consumer-facing sites, such as AliExpress, Tmall, Taobao, and Juhusu. Wholesale represented 11.8% of Alibaba’s overall revenue in fiscal 2014, and most of that is from buyers outside of China. It is a small piece of Alibaba’s portfolio, relatively speaking, but that’s only because the company is such a behemoth. Alibaba’s wholesale revenue in fiscal 2014 was $1 billion, versus $8 billion from its retail operations. The company processed a total of $296 billion worth of sales on its platform in its last full fiscal year.

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