Alibaba.com have recorded a 20% increase in the number of UK active B2B buyers during March Expo and a 14% increase in GMV compared with 2022.
March Expo 2023 is Alibaba.com’s flagship online trade event and aims to connect buyers and sellers from around the world.
The UK is one of Alibaba.com’s largest markets and continues to grow year-on-year as SMEs increasingly opt for more efficient and cost-effective platforms to source goods and products. Within the next five years, more than 51% of UK businesses are expected to use online channels to source – up from 44% in 2022 – according to Wunderman Thompson.
To make the online sourcing experience easier than ever before for UK B2B buyers, Alibaba.com leveraged its proprietary technology and launched thousands of ‘LIVE’ livestream events and augmented reality factory tours during March Expo, viewed by countless businesses. This offered UK buyers opportunities to develop a deeper understanding of the operations of their preferred sellers, enhancing trust and reducing risk all from the comfort of their office. In total, Alibaba.com recorded a 300% increase in the number of viewers of LIVE events globally compared with the prior year.2
Reflecting changing consumer sentiment, UK buyers of consumer goods sought more value products, and products with ‘smart’ features, as well as products with strong environmental credentials at this year’s March Expo. UK buyers of non-consumer goods similarly purchased items that support smart manufacturing, indicating a clear shift in B2B buyers seeking to drive efficiencies within their operations. Globally, some of the popular product categories included construction & building machinery (41% increase in GMV year-on-year); auto parts (37%); and apparel (13%).
We’re delighted to celebrate another strong March Expo, with strong demand from UK buyers who are increasingly turning to our platform which makes doing business easier than ever before.
As businesses look for opportunities to improve efficiencies, enhance margins, and access new and exciting products to delight customers, we believe we are at the start of the next wave of the B2B sourcing revolution – a revolution that leverages the very best B2C technologies to enable businesses to access millions of products and connect with global sellers at the touch of a button.
Now, more than ever, it is imperative for businesses to review their operations and supply chain, and we believe that the solutions to some of the challenges they face lie in online B2B marketplaces. We look forward to welcoming more UK buyers to Alibaba.com in the months ahead.– Roland Palmer, General Manager of UK, Benelux & Nordics, Alibaba Group