Small U.S. B2B businesses are bullish — 62% expect the economy to keep growing, versus 4% who doubt it, according to theAlibaba.com U.S. SMB Confidence Survey, a study conducted by Lucid for Alibaba.com.
Of 5,000 SMBs polled, 72% expect increased revenue and 27% predict their business will grow in volume by 25%. In addition, 60% foresee increased procurement budgets.
And of the 46% that expect online growth, 80% plan to hire at least one employee as a result. What’s more, 57% have done some hiring.
But their tools remain the traditional ones. While 54% see value in platforms like Alibaba, most conduct the bulk of their online activity via email and website order forms.
At the same time, 59% conduct cross-border trade, pulling in an average of 17% of their revenue.
The top three regions are Canada and Mexico (45%), Europe (21%) and China, Japan and Korea (17%).
Cross border business makes up an average of 17% of the business of B2B companies surveyed.
The main benefits of cross-border trade are more customers and more choice in suppliers (50%), revenue growth (47%) and increased profit margins (41%).
"Less than one third of businesses we surveyed have been doing business online for more than five years,” states That means there is an enormous opportunity for U.S. SMBs to digitize and grow their businesses globally with ease.
Alibaba.com also announced it would celebrate the first B2B Tuesday — an event being observed throughout the field —today at its offices in New York’s Meatpacking District.