Alibaba.Com Marks B2B Tuesday Launch With New Survey Showing 62% of U.S. SMBs Optimistic on Economy
Alibaba.com, the B2B business unit of Alibaba Group, shared the results of its brand new “Alibaba.com U.S. Small and Medium Business (SMB) Confidence Survey” and introduced “B2B Tuesday,” a major new awareness initiative to spotlight, celebrate and support B2B-focused U.S. SMBs, highlight their contributions to the U.S. economy and help them capture the global ecommerce opportunity.
What is “B2B Tuesday”?
B2B Tuesday will be celebrated every Tuesday by Alibaba.com and other like-minded organizations. Together, the B2B Tuesday community promotes the successes of U.S. B2B SMBs, share insights and resources to help them grow and make it easier for U.S. SMBs to access the $23.9 trillion global B2B ecommerce opportunity – which is six times the size of the B2C ecommerce market. B2B Tuesday will feature B2B success stories, in-person events, new platform offerings, educational content, and more.
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Highlights from the Alibaba.com U.S. SMB Confidence Survey
Alibaba.com commissioned an independent research company to conduct the Alibaba.com U.S. SMB Confidence Survey, of 5,000 U.S. SMBs conducting B2B business (more details on methodology below). Key findings of the research include:
U.S. B2B SMBs are optimistic:
- A strong majority (62%) of B2B businesses are optimistic about the economy, saying the economy is gaining momentum or on its way up with a bright future – while only 4% believed the economy is at risk of a downturn.
- 46% of respondents are expecting their online B2B businesses to increase in volume – with 27% of those expecting an increase of 25% or more. 72% anticipate increased revenue and 60% expect increased procurement budgets.
- 57% hired employees to support their online B2B buying and selling, and, among the 46% of companies that expect online growth over the next year, eight in ten of companies surveyed plan to hire at least one employee as a result of their online activity.
U.S. B2B SMBs are digitizing:
- 54% of companies recognize the impact ecommerce platforms like Alibaba.com can play in their businesses, but the bulk of their online business activity is still done by email and website order forms.
- 90% of U.S. SMBs surveyed reported doing at least some of their B2B selling or sourcing online.
- The top benefits sellers cite from selling online are: reaching more customers (59%), finding customers more quickly (47%) and increasing profit margins (44%).
- Buyers cite the top benefits for online sourcing as finding suppliers more quickly (53%), reducing the need for travel (44%), greater purchasing power (38%) and higher profit margins (38%).
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U.S. B2B SMBs are globalizing:
- The majority (59%) of B2B companies surveyed by Alibaba.com report conducting some cross border trade – a far greater rate than the 1% of U.S. businesses that are cross border.
- Cross border business makes up an average of 17% of the business of B2B companies surveyed.
- Surveyed businesses cited the following key benefits of cross border trade: more customers and more choice in suppliers (50%); revenue growth (47%); and increased profit margins (41%).
- The top three regions generating the most interest among U.S. B2B businesses surveyed include the neighboring North American countries of Canada and Mexico (45%), Europe (21%) and China, Japan and Korea (17%).
“Strong SMB confidence among American business owners and entrepreneurs, plus the growth from digitizing of their business and doing business globally means the future is bright for U.S. SMBs,” said John Caplan, head of North America B2B at Alibaba Group. “Less than one third of businesses we surveyed have been doing business online for more than five years. That means there is an enormous opportunity for U.S. SMBs to digitize and grow their businesses globally with ease. And B2B Tuesday is one more example of how Alibaba.com is here to help.”
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