Like many e-commerce platforms, Walmart-owned Flipkart saw major growth during the pandemic. Flipkart saw a nearly 50% increase in new users right after the initial pandemic lockdowns last year, amid an e-commerce explosion in India. But, while the majority of retail sales still take place offline in India, Flipkart and Amazon are still competing to become the indisputable e-commerce leader in the country.
For years, Rakuten was the go-to third party marketplace for Japanese shoppers looking to buy anything from electronics to tennis shoes online. But then, in a dynamic that's played out in other countries around the world, Rakuten found itself on the defensive as Amazon started making greater inroads in Japan. Now Amazon, not Rakuten, is the bigger e-commerce player in Japan, by some estimates. And that's put Rakuten on the defensive.
In its quest to become the dominate e-commerce marketplace in Africa, Jumia has historically placed profitability on the backburner for the sake of growth. But now, the company is starting to prioritize certain investments for the sake of profitability. This week, Jumia released its 2021 first quarter earnings, showing an 11% increase of gross profits and 24% decrease of debts. However, the company remains unprofitable 8 years since its 2012 founding and 2 years after its April 2019 IPO. The American e-commerce giant with a similar marketplace model, Amazon, took 6 years to become profitable.
Buoying Pinduoduo's surge is a group-purchase model that gamifies the shopping process: in order to complete a purchase, and ensure bulk discounts for all individual consumers, shoppers can organize their friends or acquaintances into buying groups. That is a marked contrast with Alibaba, which built itself up using the same one-to-one buying approach that's a feature of e-commerce companies like Amazon: an individual buyer makes a purchase from an individual seller. But by taking a more community-oriented approach, PDD has proven the power of targeting groups of buyers, rather than individuals.
In 2020, Argentine e-commerce company MercadoLibre proved itself to be a global presence. But its growth is dependent in expanding into more regions -- and fast. But Amazon is trying to encroach on its space as well.
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