Consumer attitudes, behaviours and purchasing habits are changing at a dramatic pace. The pandemic has transformed how and where we shop, and how we live and work. With consumers around the world looking at products and brands through a radically different lens, it’s critical that your business strategy is rooted in customer insights and data.
This month, Alibaba.com, the leading B2B marketplace with more than 200m products from over 200,000 suppliers, is hosting its global virtual trade event designed at unlocking new possibilities for business buyers.
March Expo enables small and medium businesses (SMBs) to stay on top of the latest global demands and customer trends, offering better access to new and trendy products that are guaranteed with on-time delivery. Meanwhile, buyers can connect with quality suppliers who showcase their factories through thousands of live-streaming VR show rooms, as well as numerous on-the-spot supplier discounts.
The most significant opportunities for SMBs come by tapping into four key consumer trends: Sustainability, Smart, Lifestyle, and Health. Products within these trends are growing exponentially on Alibaba.com with new products being added at least five times the rate of Alibaba.com’s general product pool during the last three months of 2021.
Let’s dive into these trends and explore how they can enable you to enhance your value proposition for consumers this year:
Providing consumers with greener product choices has quickly moved from a ‘nice to have’ to a necessity. In fact, data from Accenture found that since the pandemic, consumers have “dramatically evolved” with 60 per cent making more environmentally friendly, sustainable or ethical purchases – nine out of ten of that percentage also said they were likely to continue to do so in the long-term. This level of demand has been reflected by strong B2B demand for environmentally friendly products. This includes fully compostable single-use packaging, decentralised power generation systems and storage, and electric-powered vehicles.
Hands-free has become the new norm which has created exponential growth for smart, voice-activated products like speakers and appliances. With more than one in four Britons owning a smart speaker, this has led to significant opportunities for brands who can equip consumers with what they need for a truly ‘smart home’. Meanwhile, as more businesses look at how they maintain production in the face of uncertainty, Alibaba.com has seen increased demand for internet-of-things-enabled smart manufacturing systems.
One of the most transformational changes in recent years has been the shift to working from home. This has created new demand for at-home office furniture, including chairs and desks. But, as consumers look beyond their newly decorated home office, there is strong demand for products from other areas of the house, including beanie bag and electronic sofas, and outdoor equipment.
With life and work mixing in the same setting frequently, offering a way for consumers to relax presents a significant growth opportunity. This year, we are expecting continued demand for yoga mats and meditation equipment. This will be matched by consumer demand for organic products – from food and drink to cosmetics and beauty.
March Expo is live on Alibaba.com from 1 – 31 March 2022 and offers livestream and virtual reality events, on-the-spot supplier discounts, and other exciting initiatives that can level up your business this year.