Building a Korean Fashion Platform in Taobao, China's Biggest Online Commerce: The Case of Fashion e-Commerce Company Accommate

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Han, Tongyo; Yoo, Byungjoon; Jeon, Seongmin

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College of Business Administration (경영대학)
Seoul Journal of Business, Vol.21 No.1, pp. 87-104
Online marketplaceAlibabaTaobaoTmallFashione-Commerce
In 2008, a Korean online fashion distributor, Accommate, is founded in China and it tapped into the Chinese online market with the alliance of Taobao, online C2C(consumer-to-consumer) commerce platform of Alibaba. Taobao offered free listings to attract more sellers in order to compete e-bay and introduced keyword search features which Accommate made use of as an early adopter and partner. As Taobao became Chinas market leader, Accommate secured the partner position to distribute Korean apparels and strengthened its partnership with Alibaba. Soon Alibaba introduced a new online brand mall called Taobao Mall or Tmall to complement the C2C platform. Accommate extended it business with Alibaba by taking charge of the Korean product sections in the online brand mall of Tmall. From the perspective of scales, China represented for Accommate a dynamic and fast-growing market, though it is so competitive. Moreover, it is a tough job to manage the adequate level of inventory for clothes which have as short lifecycle as 45 days. A number of Korean predecessors failed to manage cash flow issues resulted from the inventory. Accommate came to encounter the management issues of both meeting the changing requirement of Chinese customers and managing the inventory level at the same time. Considering these changes and challenges, we may well think what the strategic and operational issues regarding Accommate are and how the company should grow in this fast growing electronic marketplace. This case study will help readers think about the emerging electronic market in China and form an opinion on the associated management issues and analyses.
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College of Business Administration/Business School (경영대학/대학원)Dept. of Business Administration (경영학과)Seoul Journal of Business (SJB)Seoul Journal of Business Volume 21, Number 1/2 (2015)
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