Free «Internet Retailers» Essay
AliExpress and eBay are online retailers, which provide an opportunity for online shopping worldwide. The websites are very similar and offer similar services; the only difference is that eBay is an American retailer company, while AliExpress is Chinese. Thus, each company is oriented more towards domestic buyers even though any person from almost any country of the world may make purchases. These websites do not offer any products but play a role of a mediator between a seller and a buyer. The goal of the companies is to control a buying-selling process and to ensure that a buyer receives exactly what he/she needs and a seller receives the required payment.
Both eBay and AliExpress offer a great variety of products. For instance, on eBay, there are such categories as collectibles and art, electronics, fashion, entertainment, toys, motors, and others. One may also order some food on eBay like drinks, chips, chocolate bars, etc. In other words, one can find absolutely everything he/she needs from clothes and a new video camera to some small details for his/her car and rare toys. AliExpress offers similar services, but the majority of products on this website are made in China. However, some rare staff is difficult to find on AliExpress, because this retailer is oriented more towards mass products which are in large quantity. Both retailers are considered to be worldwide and are available in more than 200 countries. However, there are some limitations for buyers from the other countries. Hence, if one orders a product which costs 15 dollars, shipping may reach sometimes 20-30 dollars, and in some cases even hundred dollars. Hence, users of eBay have to overpay for a product almost twice. AliExpress also has paid shipping, but it also offers free delivery although it may take up to 45 days.
eBay users receive all information about the product. When the buyer selects a desired product, he/she sees its price, quantity, shipping price, estimated delivery, payment method, and information about returns, as a rule it is a 14-day policy. Besides, the consumer may read the description of a product written by a seller. Each seller has a rate and feedback rating; this information shows the positive feedback and comments from buyers. A seller cannot delete or change comments from buyers, which increases the credibility of this information. Similar information is available on AliExpress, but on this website a seller usually applies additional photos, which show the state of the product. In addition, there is more information about delivery options, since AliExpress offers several types of delivery, but not only one like on eBay. The shipment option consists of 9 possible services, and the price for each option depends on delivery time ‑ the higher the price, the faster the shipping.
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eBay provides a 14-day policy, which allows a customer to return the product if it does not match the description on a website. Hence, if a product is not what the customer expected to receive, he/she may ask for a turnback. The same policy is available for AliExpress users. A seller will not receive money until the customer proved that the requested product was successfully delivered. When the customer pays for an order, a seller prepares a product for delivery within 24 hours on eBay. On AliExpress, this procedure may take a bit more time, but usually sellers promise to deliver the product within a day or two.
AliExpress and eBay are leaders in online market among retailers. The success of these companies could not be possible without financial security which they provide both to customers and sellers (Swinder, Trocchia and Gwinner 416). The companies recommend their users to make banking operations during working hours, which minimizes the risk of fraud. Non-financial security is difficult to prove though the companies state that it is personal information which cannot be received by the third parties. Nevertheless, there is no evidence that could prove that users’ activity is not monitored.
During the shopping process, the customers of AliExpress have an opportunity to send a message to a potential seller to clarify some issues about the product. The contact between a seller and a buyer is provided during the whole period of delivery. On a website, a buyer can also monitor the process of shipping with information about the location of the product. AliExpress also has 24-hour customer support, which answers all questions. eBay’s customers have similar opportunities, but the only difference is that they cannot monitor the shipping process, because this procedure usually takes much less time and there is no necessity to wait for a product for a month. In addition, sellers on eBay do not always deliver products to all European countries, while AliExpress does not have any limitations concerning the country location.
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Both websites are well-designed, but AliExpress has more detailed categories of products, and each of the categories is divided into subcategories. eBay has only main six categories, and all the other subcategories are mixed in one list. Hence, the process of searching for a required product according to category is easier and more comfortable on AliExpress than on eBay. In addition, the products on AliExpress usually include more pictures and photos.
The marketing management philosophy of AliExpress and eBay is users’ satisfaction, which includes both buyers and sellers. AliExpress is more oriented on cheap and popular products, while eBay promotes more quality and rare products. Taking into account that AliExpress offers free shipping and cheap products, it can be said that services on this website are oriented more towards the users from developing countries (Trocchia and Swinder 244). Besides, AliExpress’s sellers often provide special discounts almost on all products; the discounts’ bonus may vary from 5 percent and higher. However, the biggest advantage of both websites is that they may deliver almost any product in any country in the world, but it is the matter of price.