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 Consumer Behaviour 

The main motive of the assignment is to provide a clear understanding of the overall marketing of Alibaba Group Limited. The illustration in the assignment will include the importance of marketing strategies and their effect on consumer behaviour. It will discuss the external and internal factors that influence the consumer behaviour of Alibaba. It will also illustrate the influence of the consumers in the decision making process. Besides, as the company is engaged in e-commerce, the assignment will be providing a better understanding of digital marketing in today’s era. 

Introduction
Alibaba Group Holding Limited is a Chinese multinational technology enterprise that operates its business to provide goods and services through technology to its customer. The enterprise is specialized e-commerce, retail, internet and technology in terms of business or trade. It provides Commerce to Commerce (C2C), Business to Consumer (B2C), and Business to Business (B2B) types of business. The enterprise owns and operates a diverse array of business around the globe in various sectors. The organization of Alibaba is in the leading retailer and is considered one of the largest retailer and operating through e-commerce Company. Therefore, the proposed assignment will be illustrating the marketing strategies and the factors affecting the marketing of Alibaba.
 
Importance of Marketing Strategies
Marketing strategies are an integral part of the business organization and are the comprehensive plan formulated particularly for achieving the marketing objectives to the organization. Effective marketing strategies can enable the business organization to achieve business objectives and goals. The importance of marketing strategies are:
 
1. Attain Competitive Advantage 
The effective formulation of marketing strategy enables the business organization to achieve various competitive advantages in the market, even in the tough competition that existed in the emerging market. The marketing strategies can attain competitive advantages as it harps on the unique selling proposition of the brand of the company along with the features and benefits of products and services delivered by the firm (Dangelico and Vocalelli, 2017). The marketing strategy will benefit the organization as it will enable the firm to make a maximum profit as compared to the various competitive companies in the market. 
 
2. Brand Recognition
An effective formulating of marketing strategy in the business organization helps to promote brand recognition offered by the firm. It helps the brand of a product and the overall firm to accomplish a remarkable feat in the targeted marketplace and industry. The major fundamental of the market strategy is to outline and promote the attributes, legacy and USPs of the brand to start with followed by its offerings. 
 
3. Increases Customer Base 
The formulation of an appropriate marketing strategy also enables the business organization to attract a new group of customers frequently. However, the firm should consider the needs and requirements of its customer and the societal, cultural value to attain new sets of the customer from the same operational market and the untapped market as well. The marketing strategy will enable the firm to acknowledge the actual market environment and the societal factors with which the firm can perform accordingly. 
Impact of Marketing Strategy of Alibaba on Consumer Behavior   
Alibaba Group Limited is one of the leading retailers across the globe, especially in today’s time and has been operating e-commerce retailing business in a higher quality. The leading position of Alibaba Group Ltd provides a clear understanding that the firm implements an effective marketing strategy in its e-commerce business (Pappas, 2016). The marketing strategy of Alibaba Group Ltd are:
 
Competitive Strategy 
The organization strategize to attain an increased level of consumer attraction by providing a high quality of facilities through technology in terms of purchasing goods and services. The competitive strategy implemented by Alibaba Ltd has been effective enough to attract a customer in an emerging market (Gao, Mao, Huang and Yang, 2018). The competitive strategy of Alibaba Ltd has influenced buyer behaviour to a great extent as the consumers are more engaged in digital shopping, especially at present times. The buying behaviour of consumers mostly prefers digital or technological shopping (Romagnoli and Garbelli, 2017). 
 
Distribution Strategy
Technologically advanced and robust formulation of distribution strategy of Alibaba Ltd has helped the organization to provide seamless and easy access to purchasing goods and services (Xu at el., 2017). It has also helped the firm to easy communication, selling process, purchasing of different offerings of sellers or buyers regardless of time and place across the world. As per the facts that technological trade provided by Alibaba to its consumers influence the buyer behaviour tremendously. It has influenced buyer behaviour as it provides varieties of products available on the site at affordable prices as per the wants and desire of the consumer (Choi, 2017).  
 
Brand Equity Strategy 
It is one of the most effective strategies implemented by the organization of Alibaba Ltd that has helped the firm in increasing Top of mind awareness. It is also the marketing strategy of Alibaba Ltd that has influenced the buyer behaviour to a higher level. Such effective strategy has led the firm to be way ahead of its various competitors in the field of retail brands. The firm has promoted its brand in an effective way worldwide that has attracted most of the customers. Therefore, buyer behaviour has been affected as it provides goods and services with loyalty and in best possible qualities online. However, the marketing strategy of Alibaba has influenced buyer behaviour in various ways
 
 
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Internal Factors of Alibaba Group Ltd   
Internal factors that affect consumer behaviours are also known as the psychological factors of the organization. Therefore, in the case of Alibaba Group Ltd, the psychological or internal factors of the firm influences the buyer behaviour in the following ways:
 
1. Motivation  
Motivation is the internal factor influencing consumer behaviour as it is the motive of an individual to satisfy his or her needs. It is the force that activates goal-oriented behaviour. As the firm provides high quality products or services, the consumer expects more of quality goods from the organization.  
 
2. Perception
The perception of the overall business policies that the firm portrays into the minds of the consumer also influence buyer behaviour to a higher level. Such perception can make the consumer feel confident in the quality of products would be exceptional at a high level. Therefore, this confidence will lead the consumer to decide on purchasing a commodity. The perception that Alibaba Ltd has conveyed to the customer's mind about the product and service quality offered affects buyer behaviour. It is because the firm has attained a high level of a consumer base with its high level of product quality provided through digital business. The high amount of consumer across the world chose Alibaba ltd regarding purchasing products. 
 
3. Learning 
In today’s world consumers across the world are very much aware of the product provides by any organization or firm. Therefore, the learnings of products and services provided by the management of Alibaba Ltd has influenced the buyer behaviour to a higher level as the firm has managed to represent the organization excellently in the market. Therefore, the learnings provided by the firm has attracted most of the consumers across the globe. The firm has managed to provide a high quality of goods through digital business with which it is widely chosen firm worldwide.  
 
4. Attitudes 
The different attitudes in the consumers towards then firm can influence the buyer behaviour to a high level. The consumers behave in various ways depending on the different attitudes towards the firm. Therefore, respective attitudes of consumers towards Alibaba Ltd has affected the consumer behaviour of the firm as it has established an appropriate image in front of its consumer. Therefore, the firm tries to understand the attitudes of its consumer in order to operate and provide product and services accordingly. 
 
5. Personality/ Demographic 
In the consumer marketing business, personality and demographic is the psychological variable which is the major factor influencing buyer behaviour. It reflects on the buying decision making process of a consumer regarding purchasing products and services. Therefore, the personality represented by Alibaba Group Ltd among its customer has been strong so far, and most of the customers prefer shopping technologically from Alibaba Group Ltd as the product quality provided is oh an exceptional quality. However, the firm has enabled numerous customers to shop from the firm and to engage in the digital market .
 
 
External Factors that Influence Buyer Behavior
External factors are those impacts, conditions or circumstances that industry cannot control that affect the commercial decisions that the business possessor and investors make. There are a huge number of external factors that can have a direct influence on the capability of the business to attain its strategic goals. For illustration, if the administration changes the regulations concerning the categories and numbers of merchandises that can be introduced and import prices increase then this might make a large variance to the practicality of the online business. 
Hence, some of these support facilities comprise the contribution of online business training for sellers, an overview of a different coding system to accomplish the huge number of supplies on the platform, growth of its instantaneous communication tool for enhanced seller-buyer communication conversation, and the repayment of any product with repays done within seven days (Xu et al., 2017). However, it is important to frequently observe the macro factors that affect the business and productiveness and to reply to them in a technique that is suitable for the business.  The service offerings of Alibaba provide a comfortable purchasing environment and the positive online customer who has experienced the service of the company and knows that the company is leading to high engagements of high users. They also offer services of support suite to make sure that they can provide the best satisfaction to their customer through helping sellers to maintain a positive interaction with the purchasers. Nevertheless, there are several procedures of discovering social class, most frequently, it has been likened with income dissimilarities. But, this might not be right. Income differences do pay to differences in social prominence, though they might not be the only cause of differences in consumption forms or standard of living (de Souza and Senhoras, 2018). External factors like economic conditions, technological advances, cultural and social forces, legal and political factors, seasonal and environmental factors can influence the Alibaba Company:
 
Economic conditions- Employment charges and trends, interest rates, non-refundable revenue trends can influence the company indirectly. 
 
Technological advances- For illustrations, changes to how customers practise and buying products and services that is the use of devices and tablets to purchase things, how technology influences the system businesses basis and resource goods. 
Cultural and social forces- Culture refers to the ethnicities, restrictions, principles and basic approaches of the entire society in which an individual survives. Culture is basically related to a definite ethnic group or religious individuality of an individual. Thus, social class raises to the hierarchical arrangement of the culture into several divisions, each of which indicates social position or standing. Social class is a significant cause of consumer behaviour as it affects patterns of consumption, lifestyle, media designs, events and interests of customers (Wang and Li, 2017). For example, a better number of women in employees has had a progressive influence on online buying.
 
Political and legal factors- Variations to work healthiness and welfare rules and regulations can influence on how businesses conduct their business.
 
Seasonal factors- For example, businesses marketing seasonal things, such as ski gear or swimming costume, are probable to be affected by climatic situations.
 
Environmental factors- Like customers can include inquiries, information and match options when buying different influence sources.
 
Decision Making Process of the Consumer
Most of the retailers think that the consumer buys their basic needs randomly but that certain products demand to a certain customer and that a buyer may happen or not. They approach to service and product promotion in the same method that is based on the error and trail. Hence, the consumers of Alibaba apply the six stages of decision making while purchasing the product. 
 
 
Stage 1: Problem Recognition
The customer must have an intention to consider that what they prefer, where they prefer to be or how they recognize themselves or a condition is different from where they truly are. The need is different from the actuality as it presents a problem for the purchaser. So, for the marketer, it forms an opportunity (Kanagal,  2016). Through taking the time to build a problem for the consumer wither to identify that it can already exist or not through starting the process of buying. It relies on the retailers who will help the customer to identify the solution. 
 
Stage 2: Information Research
After recognition of the problem, the process of the search will be started. The customer knows that there is some default with the product and started looking for a solution. Like, if there are some new products, whether it is a skincare or home appliances, they started looking for them, and it is honestly straight forward.  The best method for a retailer to market need is to start the brand or the brand of the clients as a business leader or proficient in a particular sector. Methods to deliberate include fetching a Google Trusted Store or through marketing businesses and sponsors highly on all web resources and securities (Chatthipmongkol and Jangphanish, 2016).
 
Stage 3: Alternatives Evaluation
It does not mean that if the business stands out among the competition that does not mean a customer will definitely purchase the product or service they need. But, nowadays, more than ever, consumers prefer to be sure that they have made comprehensive inquiries prior to making a purchase. As of this, even though they might be assured of what they desire for, they will still want to relate other choices to make sure their choice is a correct one.
 
Stage 4: Purchase Decision
To a certain extent, it can be surprising as the purchase decision drops near the medium of the six stages of the consumer buying process. Hence, the purchaser has discovered several choices; they know the option of pricing and payment, and they are determining whether to go forward with the buying or not. Thus, at this point in time, they might still choose to walk away.
 
Stage 5: Purchase
In this stage, a need has been made, research has been complete, and the consumer has decided to make a purchase. But, all these stages that lead to a change have been over. Conversely, it does not mean it is a guaranteed thing. A purchaser might still be lost. And marketing is just as essential throughout this stage as during the aforementioned (Anitha, 2016).
 
Stage 6: Evaluation of Post-Purchase
The sixth stage of the customer buying process is just as a purchase has been completed, and the process has not over. In fact, incomes and customer reliability can be simply lost. Once a buyer is made, it is unavoidable that the customer must choose whether they are gratified with the choice that was made or not and they still do the evaluation (Panwar et al., 2019). But, if a consumer feels as still is an improper decision was made, a return might take place.
 
Conclusion
 
The overall assignment illustrates about the marketing strategy of Alibaba Group Limited in the competitive market and its impact on the buying behaviour of the consumers. With the overall review of the assignment, it can be concluded that the marketing strategy of Alibaba has been effectively formulated that has made the firm to reach a leading position in the emerging market. The discussion has also included the external and internal factors that affect the buying behaviour of Alibaba Ltd. Consequently, it can also be concluded that the customer of the firm applies to the decision making process when making purchases. It has also included a discussion of the importance of digital marketing in today’s environment and whether the digital marketing of the organization of Alibaba is effective. 
 

 
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