Even more aggressively than Amazon, Alibaba positions itself from an e-commerce platform to a full-fledged retail operating system.

This is not so much about the shiny tech toys embedded in flagship automated stores, as much as absorbing every mom and pop stores by a fully integrated OS. This paints a future where the smallest corner shop will have to be connected to Alibaba or not be relevant anymore for its closest consumers. This will also build in just a few years a tremendous amount of real-time data on what people need from groceries, to drugs or cars in every part of any given

Such strategy (as I already pointed out this summer) also allows to build new form of added values. It may be by allowing to try a new car without appointment, extend your delivery options, and get access to very localized offers.

I remember fondly in the 90s where Zara was the most modern example in retail of integrating in-store data to manufacturing and supply chain. They were riding horses. Alibaba has invented the car.

Tagged retail operating system
Philippe Méda

Philippe Méda

Philippe has been training about 200 startups a year since 2007, consulted for dozens of multinationals on rupture innovation or corporate incubation. He also teaches innovation in key MBA programs in Paris and Shanghai.