Alibaba targets Amazon with European marketing drive

The Chinese e-commerce behemoth is expanding its customer base across the continent via a new 'cost-efficient' digital marketing initiative. Should Amazon be worried?

Independent paid digital marketing agency POD Studios has been appointed by Chinese ecommece giant Alibaba as part of a new expansion drive across Europe. 

Utilising the agency’s digital marketing experience in the B2B sector and international B2C brands, POD Studios is providing Alibaba with a streamlined paid digital strategy. Pod employs a testing framework to identify cost-effective ways to engage, build momentum and convert its target audience.

Commenting on the company’s appointment of POD Studios, Michela Rubegni, Head of Marketing and Communications EU at Alibaba said: “We are delighted to have appointed POD Studios as our paid digital marketing agency of record to expand our digital presence in the EU. We're really looking forward to this partnership with POD Studios to drive our expansion plans.” is one of the largest wholesale ecommerce marketplaces in the world connecting over 200,000 global manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors with a vast network of over 26 million global business buyers in 190+ countries and regions. It also owns AliExpress, TaoBao and film studio Alibaba Pictures among many other subsidiaries. 

It’s main ecommerce marketplace platform lets buyers and sellers communicate and trade with one another.

It has been ramping up its international markeitng activity, unveiling a cloud-powered platform designed to support real-time communication at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, bringing people closer together despite travel restrictions.

The platform, dubbed Cloud ME, let people in multiple locations to interact using life-sized 3D projections with low latency. All data transmission was run entirely on the cloud.

An integrated channel approach  

POD Studios will be working as a strategic partner, driving an integrated channel approach whilst executing the campaigns across key digital platforms.

Yee Phillips, Co-Founder of POD Studios added, “We’re so excited to be working with Michaela and the team, we look forward to driving their go-to-market and audience strategy across key European markets at such a pivotal time for Alibaba.”

Catching Amazon in Europe?

Alibaba is investing further in Europe as the Chinese tech giant competes with Amazon for the European Union’s exploding e-commerce market.

Alibaba remained among the top three online sellers of consumer goods in eastern Europe last year, according to Euromonitor International. Amazon wasn’t on the top 10 list for the region, which includes countries like Poland and the Czech Republic.

Amazon is by far the top seller in western Europe, which includes France and Spain, according to Euromonitor. But the US e-commerce giant’s market share in the region did not grow during the pandemic, remaining at about 19.3% in 2020.