SMEs and digitalization. A central theme of the Italian business world, which sees a very large fabric of small and medium-sized companies. There are about 9,000 European SMEs with which Alibaba.com has established a dialogue through a market analysis, each with its own needs and level of approach to digital.
The scenario of SMEs with respect to digitalization is very diverse with different levels of skills and organizations.
A scenario that needs to be studied to understand problems and opportunities in using digital tools such as precisely marketplaces.
It is to facilitate the work of companies that want to export their products to the world that Alibaba.com has been working since 1999 to connect them with international buyers.
A marketplace with a B2B soul that works on multiple fronts to nurture its customers' business in terms of brand awareness, positioning and lead generation and, of course, sales.
According to the analysis presented by Alibaba.com, the SMB sector is motivated by a fair amount of optimism toward using technology for process streamlining even though 70 percent of them believe that digitizing all processes today is still too onerous, and 83 percent of companies believe they need to upgrade their skills in order to keep up.
In contrast, 18 percent of respondents show difficulty in finding a trusted export partner.
Digital is expected to grow significantly in Italy with +57% average annual growth in online purchases and sales by 2028 for a total of 85 bn as the expected value ofecommerce in 2025.
Regarding the trends recorded in digital marketing in 2023, there are three key trends for companies:
-Data-led marketing, which by analyzing data is able to go to action with more precision, achieving better results in terms of lead generation, insights, strategic planning and action.
-The trend toward digital migration, which will continue in the coming years with more and more SMEs perceiving the added value offered by online sales channels.
-B2B customization: even in B2B, customers do not want to feel one in a million, but to feel heard and to have unique, customized products.
The trends thus confirm the growing value of marketplaces as trusted partners for SMEs. Relying on a structured platform to support their sales process means increasing their competitiveness, access to global markets and wider audiences, optimizing costs and resources, and increasing visibility.
Alibaba.com has been engaged on these fronts since its inception.
The ultimate goal? To give more stability to businesses by opening up different business opportunities, reducing risk and optimizing the income statement.