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Survey: E-commerce Platforms Are Critical For Business Survival

Survey: E-commerce Platforms Are Critical For Business Survival

Ivana Shteriova
A new Alibaba survey amplifies recent Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) findings that 70% of small businesses made greater investments in digital technologies as a response to the pandemic.

The survey also highlights the importance of a stable e-commerce platform in times of economic uncertainty and unveils the top B2B trends for this year.

Small- to medium-sized businesses turned to the leading e-commerce platforms and marketplaces to survive the pandemic. Close to 36% of businesses with 250 employees or less entered e-commerce or digitalization to stay in business, compared to only 20% with 250+ employees.

Expanding sales channels was the second most-used survival strategy, utilized by 32% of small- and medium-sized businesses and 43% of companies with 250+ employees.

B2B trade, in particular, experienced a massive shift towards e-commerce amid the pandemic. As many as 61% of small businesses with up to 10 employees stated e-commerce platforms have remained very important to them in the post-pandemic business environment.

About half of businesses surveyed – both with less than 250 employees and those with over 250 employees – agree that B2B e-commerce platforms have allowed businesses to cut costs related to travel, trade shows, and other in-person events. At the same time, they make trade more accessible for buyers and sellers globally.

When it comes to business type, distributors stated e-commerce platforms have been one of the most important components of their business during and after the pandemic. Over 50% of trading companies, entrepreneurs, and manufacturers shared the same experience. On the other hand, only a few percent across every surveyed category said e-commerce platforms are no longer relevant to them after the pandemic.

The survey indicates that B2B online sellers will likely deal with more competition moving forward due to consumers spending less time online. As a result, businesses should aim to enter the e-commerce space by next year and focus on becoming easily findable on search engines, as 93% of internet interactions happen there.

Other top B2B trends on which businesses should focus this year include data-led marketing, real-time messaging, personalization, and video marketing.

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