Alibaba.com: Strong growth in UK SME buyers

Category: Data & Insights
Alibaba.com: Strong growth in UK SME buyers

Alibaba.com has recorded a positive rise in the number of active B2B buyers from the UK at this year’s March Expo 2024.

March Expo is Alibaba.com’s flagship online trade show, which aims to connect buyers and sellers from around the world, helping them to discover new products, services and possibilities to grow their business.

The UK is one of Alibaba.com’s largest buyer markets and continues to grow year-on-year as SMEs explore opportunities to source more efficiently and cost-effectively, while navigating macroeconomic pressures, supply chain disruptions and supplier relationship challenges.

In the UK, the most popular category by active buyers was the Skincare & Tools – specifically face care – category. With the UK’s beauty and personal care market forecast to grow in the years ahead1, this trend reflects a shift from SMEs looking to capitalise on rising consumer demand. Elsewhere, by Gross Merchandise Value (GMV), the most popular product categories and products were socks and hosiery, nail supplies and Jewellery, Eyewear and Watches & Accessories.

Strong demand from SMEs in the UK reflects a broader shift towards digital sourcing channels. According to Alibaba.com’s B2B Sentiment Survey, which surveyed 500 UK SME decision makers, 51% of SMEs now source via online B2B marketplaces. With a virtually limitless product catalogue, Alibaba.com offers UK buyers unique opportunities to source new and exciting products from suppliers around the globe.

With March Expo set to run until 31 March, there’s still time for buyers to find lots of discounted deals. In addition, ‘Alibaba Guaranteed’ will continue to give UK SMEs access to fixed per-unit prices, lower minimum order quantity, on-time delivery, and hassle-free refunds. This offering cuts out the need to negotiate with suppliers and monitor the status of a shipment or financial compensation for an order.

At March Expo, we have seen SMEs focus on building resilience and growth via digital sourcing, which is reflected in strong growth in the number of buyers from the UK.  Online B2B marketplaces like Alibaba.com make cross-border sourcing easier and more seamless than ever before, enabling SMEs to explore opportunities to find new and exciting products, mitigate the risk of their supply chain, and drive margin at the click of a button. As we look ahead to the rest of the year, which is packed full of exciting calendar moments, online B2B marketplaces will be a powerful tool in helping SMEs digitise and capitalise on growth opportunities.

– Jijay Shen, General Manager Europe, Alibaba.com

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