Global supply chain concerns are on the minds of nearly half (46%) of American small-business owners, and over a third (38%) expect these factors to dent corporate performance, a poll commissioned by B2B e-commerce platform Alibaba.com revealed.
The survey of more than 300 American small businesses reflects a challenging international economic environment. To overcome these hurdles, many small businesses are looking to digital solutions.
Roughly a third (34%) of survey respondents cited digital payments as the most useful digital sourcing-related tools for small businesses, followed by package tracking and prompt delivery (26%), money-back and easy return policies (17%) and after-sale protection (11%).
The survey, conducted by The Harris Poll in mid-August, reveals how supply chain logjams continue to affect businesses post-pandemic.
Alibaba.com shared the findings during its Co-Create Conference in Las Vegas earlier this month. Over 1,200 U.S. professional buyers and more than 7 million global livestream viewers flocked to the event and browsed products designed to lower their barriers to trade.
“We are making the sourcing journey more intuitive and visualizable by helping enterprises of all sizes better utilize today’s leading e-commerce technologies,” said Stephen Kuo, President of Alibaba.com North America, in a statement during the event.
Attendees at the two-day trade summit were hungry to make new connections, and 16 Alibaba.com suppliers ran out of business cards before the conference ended. This jibes with a wider rise in entrepreneurship across the U.S.. Business applications doubled year-on-year in 2020 and reached a record high of 5.4 million in 2021, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Solving Supply Problems
Alibaba.com’s product launches during the Co-Create Conference aimed to help users on its platform overcome such trade-related pain points.
The platform unveiled a smart assistant tool during the conference to help small-business owners discover sourcing opportunities. It also debuted real-time translation capabilities in 17 languages, enabling Alibaba.com users to find exactly what they need from around the world.
In addition, upgrades to the platform’s image search function mean buyers can search for products by image and text simultaneously.
“At Alibaba.com, we are not just a link in the supply chain – we are dreamers and creators as well. We’re reinventing ourselves to become a link in the ‘creation chain’ for entrepreneurs,” said Kuo.