Alibaba.com U.S. B2B SMB Survey Finds Rapid Digitization Among B2B Businesses, Especially Manufacturers
Today, Alibaba.com, the B2B business unit of Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA), announced the results of its Alibaba.com U.S. B2B Small and Medium Business (SMB) Survey and launched a new Digitization Sprint for U.S. SMB manufacturers – a traditionally analog segment of SMBs that has been digitizing at twice the rate of other industries during the pandemic – to support manufacturers as they accelerate their digitization.
Following its inaugural survey, which was disseminated in January 2020, Alibaba.com conducted a second survey of 5,015 U.S. B2B SMBs with the following key findings:
- SMBs accelerated their pivot to digital: 93% of B2B companies are now conducting some portion of their business online, up from 90% in December, and 43% are utilizing ecommerce, an 8% increase over the same time period.
- SMBs are finding opportunities internationally: even with supply chain disruptions during the pandemic, 63% of B2B companies report conducting some amount of cross border B2B trade, up from 59% in December.
- SMB manufacturers surpassed other industries in digitization: amid the pandemic, manufacturers’ online B2B trade increased 8% – twice the rate of the overall 4% increase in all industries for the same period and tied with retail as the industries with the most digital growth. In December, U.S. manufacturers’ online B2B trade volume lagged all other industries except construction but have now passed multiple industries in their pivot to digital.
“We were happy to see the increasing digitization of US B2B companies and that many are increasing trade despite the pandemic, showing the resilience and grit of American business owners and entrepreneurs,” said John Caplan, President of North America and Europe of Alibaba.com. “Our research finds that digitization is no longer a nice-to-have, but a must-have for companies in every industry to bridge from surviving to thriving in the next era of business.”
Enter Alibaba.com’s Digitization Sprint for U.S. Manufacturers
According to IBISWorld, there are 565,537 manufacturing businesses in the U.S. According to SCORE, the leading organization focused on mentoring U.S. small businesses, 98.6% of American manufacturing companies are small businesses, and three-quarters (75.3%) of those businesses have fewer than 20 employees.
U.S. manufacturers are well known for their technologically advanced production capabilities, but until recently, they have been slower than other industries to adopt online sourcing and selling tools according to Alibaba.com’s survey. With manufacturers now rapidly turning to digital channels, Alibaba.com is launching its Digitization Sprint for U.S. Manufacturers. With the tagline “Let’s Get Digital,” the program is designed to accelerate the digitization of these businesses’ online marketing, selling and sourcing and ensure their long-term success. The program is being offered to qualified manufacturers at no cost. The Alibaba.com team is bringing together experts and their ecosystem of collaborators, including the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Brooklyn Navy Yard and manufacturing ecommerce expert Curt Anderson, to give manufacturers a four-week masterclass in getting digital and going global.
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