alibaba vs amazon

Battle of the E-commerce websites: Alibaba vs Amazon

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Battle of the E-commerce websites: Alibaba vs Amazon

Ever since the start of the pandemic, e-commerce websites have started flourishing at an incredibly fast rate. With individuals not being able to leave the house, or simply bored in quarantine, users are feeling more and more inclined to start purchasing small and large items off of online e-commerce platforms like Alibaba or Amazon. With that being said, the hunt to find the best online selling platform is a question that might cross many consumers minds as to which online selling website is the best and has better deals. In this article, we will discuss and breakdown both companies’ business strategies along with their similarities and differences.


Alibaba is a Chinese multinational technology company specializing in e-commerce, retail, internet, and technology. It was founded on April 4th, 1999, by Jack Ma along with a group of other various individuals. The company’s revenue is more than $500 billion, the online platform has hundreds of millions of individuals buying various items every single day, along with thousands of individuals that are selling their various items on the platform. One of its biggest competitors being Amazon.


Jeff Bezos is among one of the richest individuals, but where does his wealth come from? It is no secret that he is the mastermind behind the highly successful global e-commerce store called Amazon that he founded in 1995. Amazon has said that its vision and mission is to be the Earths most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come find and discover anything they might want and buy online (Farfan, 2019).


The very first similarity that both Alibaba and Amazon share is that they are an e-commerce business, selling almost anything that an individual would want online. They both excel in the respective countries they began in. Amazon highly dominating America, and Alibaba thriving in China. (RepricerExpress, 2021). Along with this, they both also have their own proprietary payments systems; Amazon having Amazon Pay and Alibaba carrying AliPay (RepricerExpress, 2021).

Let’s compare the differences:

Loyal Customers

This is a continuation of what was mentioned previously; Alibaba thrives in China, and Amazon excels in America. This is very true even from a customer loyalty standpoint. Amazon has gained a high amount of customer loyalty in America, whereas Alibaba has gained its customer loyalty in China.

Target Audience

Both Amazon and Alibaba may be a similar marketplace but who they target is completely different. Amazon sells directly to consumers with a range of new items every day (RepricerExpress, 2021). whereas Alibaba is mostly a buyer and seller’s range. (RepricerExpress, 2021)

Fees for selling

Amazon charges sellers’ various fees in return for their product that they are selling to be featured on their website. The fees that are charged can be monthly, for spacing, amazon seller fees, and even for prime memberships. (RepricerExpress, 2021) Alibaba, on the other hand, doesn’t really charge any fees. Alibaba says that sellers want it to be a totally free experience. (RepricerExpress, 2021)

Revenue sources

The question is where do these two marketplaces derive their revenue from? Amazon has made a big name for themselves, and with that, they have a mix of online and offline stores where they can buy and sell their products. (RepricerExpress, 2021) Their revenue usually comes from big-name brands, individual sellers, subscription services and even various advertising. (RepricerExpress, 2021) Alibaba on the other scale gets a lot of its revenue from niche core commerce, digital media, entertainment, and funding innovation. (RepricerExpress, 2021) However, unlike Amazon, they have not been capable of bringing together big brands or funding.

Who to choose? – Its completely up to you!

With respect to both companies, we would say both companies are amazing for different reasons. To start off as a consumer or even a seller you need to think about your location of the business, what you are trying to sell, how much money you want to spend on monthly expenses, and even who you want the majority of your target audience to be or exactly which location you want them to reside in. In the end, it is entirely up to you as a consumer and seller to choose which e-commerce platform you want to reside with. In the end, both Amazon and Alibaba are fairly similar and have their respective differences.

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