Company also unveils survey of small
businesses and finds over a third of SMB owners turned to
e-commerce to survive the pandemic
YORK, Feb. 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/
-- Alibaba.com, one of the world's largest B2B e-commerce
marketplaces, a business unit of Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA), today
unveiled its predictions for key digital export trends in 2023
along with the findings from its 2022 small business survey for
global suppliers within its Digital B2B Outlook 2023.
Alibaba.com is predicting that the coming year will see some
enduring trends continue, like the rise of digital personalization
and video marketing in B2B e-commerce. However, new trends in the
B2B field such as real-time messaging are also taking shape.
Alibaba.com Digital B2B Outlook 2023 Key
To help B2B sellers prepare for 2023, Alibaba.com experts have
provided their predictions on the most significant trends in B2B
digital exports, including:
- Digital migration: According to data from the OECD, 70%
of small companies surveyed said the impact of COVID-19 drove them
to make greater investments in digital technologies. B2B online
sellers will likely see greater competition in 2023 as businesses
continue to adapt to the rising need for digitization.
- Digital marketing and administration: New entrants into
the B2B market will look to make a gradual entry into the digital
selling space. Digital marketing will allow newcomers to gain a
share of the space rapidly. There will also likely be a rise in
companies using digital tools for administration purposes, such as
productivity and design tools.
- Data-led marketing: Widely used marketing tools have
made great strides in the data access capabilities that they offer
businesses, and this will continue in 2023. Broader data access
enables companies to plan, test and launch successful marketing
campaigns. Companies can also apply better data to assess and learn
from marketing campaigns.
- Personalization: Customers want to feel seen and heard
by the businesses they frequent online. This year will see upticks
in customization throughout the customer purchase journey.
- Time spent online: According to DataReportal, the
average hours spent online daily is slightly decreasing, signaling
online sellers will need to continue to battle for buyers'
attention in 2023.
- Video marketing: Video marketing will continue to gain
ground in 2023. While short-form videos are currently the most
popular, there is scope for growth in the consumption of long-form
and live-streamed videos.
- Real-time messaging: Buyers are growing accustomed to
rapid service across sectors, and B2B selling is no different.
Consequently, sellers are implementing methods to ensure real-time
or near-real-time buyer engagement such as the use of chatbots
increasingly incorporated into e-commerce marketplaces.
"2022 brought significant challenges for micro, small and medium
enterprises (MSMEs), brought on by volatile energy prices and
soaring inflation," said Andrew
Zheng, Vice President of Alibaba.com. "Digital selling
provided an opportunity for these businesses to reach customers
locally and globally without stretching operating budgets, but B2B
sellers must stay ahead of digital export trends in 2023 to find
Emerging E-Commerce Trade Exports for the U.S.
The U.S. has many significant exports, but Alibaba.com
identified five of the emerging B2B e-commerce-related exports on
the rise in 2023. Those include:
- Mineral Fuels (13.7% of total exports)
- Machinery, including computers (11.9% of total
- Electrical Equipment (10.6% of total exports)
- Vehicles (7% of total
- Medical Apparatus (6% of total exports)
The U.S. has begun to play a more prominent role in exporting
mineral fuels and that doesn't appear to be a trend that will
change in 2023. Outside of fuels, the other industries tend to be
focused on increasing exports to markets such as Canada, Mexico, Europe, China, and Japan.
Small Business Survey for Global Suppliers
In addition to its digital trends, Alibaba.com shared findings
from its Small Business Survey for Global Suppliers, a survey of
approximately 1000 B2B suppliers worldwide aimed at better
understanding the implications of operating MSMEs throughout
economic headwinds and the pandemic. Key findings included:
- Businesses with the smallest number of employees were more
negatively affected by last year's challenging market. In fact,
25% of survey respondents with under 10 employees shut down
completely, whereas only 13% of respondents with over 250 employees
had the same results.
- Small businesses got creative to keep sales up and survive the
post pandemic pressures. Utilizing e-commerce was the top strategy
for survival, with 36% of small businesses attempting e-commerce
or digitalization throughout and directly following the
pandemic. Many flocked to B2B e-commerce marketplaces and
continue to utilize those resources in today's market. In fact,
54% of small businesses surveyed responded that B2B e-commerce
platforms remain very important to their current
- To capture more sales and increase customers, over a third
(32%) of small businesses took to expanding sales channels in order
to survive the pandemic's effects. Other tactics used included
cutting expenses (13%), seeking support from local governments or
institutions (11%) and investing in research and development to
upgrade products (8%).
"Understanding how small businesses and B2B sellers have
navigated the turbulence of the past few years helps us to better
understand where they are going next," said Andrew Zheng, Vice President of Alibaba.com.
"Sellers remain steadfast in the importance of e-commerce for their
businesses and will continue evolving in 2023."
Alibaba.com received survey responses from over 1,000 B2B
suppliers, a majority of which were from 10 countries
representative of all inhabited continents. This group is made up
of both latent customers and in-service customers, so the past or
present use of Alibaba.com was the commonality among all
For more information regarding Alibaba.com or to schedule a
press interview, please visit Alibaba.com or contact
The first business unit of Alibaba Group, Alibaba.com, is the
leading B2B e-commerce platform for global B2B trading. We provide
one-stop B2B trading solutions that cover the entire value chain of
cross-border trade, including sourcing, payments, logistics, and
fulfillment. With more than 200,000 suppliers of different types,
including manufacturers and exporters worldwide, Alibaba.com hosts
over 200 million products to more than 40 million active global
business buyers in over 40 categories.
In today's complex and ever-changing business environment,
Alibaba.com strives to empower global small to mid-sized
enterprises to achieve digital transformation and seize global