A huge survey by Alibaba of 5,015 US B2B SMBs and SMB manufacturers indicates a significant pivot to digital. Small and medium manufactures have traditionally been slower to integrate digital into their businesses. However, according to the survey, SMB manufacturers have been digitizing at twice the rate of other industries during the pandemic – to support other manufacturers as they accelerate their digitization.
Key findings from the full U.S. B2B SMB survey:
- 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.”