The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way industries work across the board, and some of those changes will remain. E-commerce in particular has developed into the primary channel for B2B transactions, including in sectors of the home and garden industry. When the pandemic shut down traditional sales channels for B2B brands in 2020, the value of digital transactions soared 9.6% to $ 9.92 trillion, according to Digital Commerce 360. The home industry saw high demand during the pandemic, largely due to the increased amount of time consumers spent at home, with many redecorating to create more comfortable living spaces or setting up home offices.
Three prominent trends emerged during the pandemic:
- Home offices. As more consumers have moved to work from home, home office furniture sales have increased significantly.
- Renovation. Home decor is a booming industry, according to Alibaba.com.
- Home improvement. According to NPD Research, US dollar sales in the home improvement industry grew 22% in 2020. And home hardware sales rose as consumers worked on home improvement projects. This includes “intelligent” home devices.
Despite the increased demand, the home industry also experienced pain points caused by the pandemic, with increased raw material prices and significant interruptions and delays in the supply chain. What happens next for suddenly booming businesses and those who are booming depends on how fully and quickly they embrace ecommerce and digital channels.
How the B2B e-commerce boom changed the game
Once nice to have, e-commerce is now a must-have, providing businesses with access to more markets and global offerings, greater operational flexibility and resilience to survive and thrive in tough times.
That wasn’t always the case, of course. B2B companies traditionally rely on building face-to-face supplier relationships at trade shows, factories and offices. As the pandemic restricted travel, buyers and sellers were forced to capitalize on the value of digital tools. According to an Alibaba.com study, 93 percent of US companies do some of their B2B business online and 43 percent use e-commerce.
Digital skills made all the difference and served as a lifeline for many businesses over the past year as their job was to quickly adapt to new and unprecedented social distancing norms. Digitization helped companies across the country rethink their operating models overnight, reaching new customers, and avoiding disruptions by diversifying their supply chains and reaching a global supplier base. In addition, the move to digitization has also provided businesses with vital data and insights into consumer habits and needs.
The furniture industry is no exception as e-commerce is driving the market as millions of consumers switch from in-store to online shopping. One thing is clear for the future: e-commerce will remain.
Why home and furniture companies trust Alibaba.com
As one of the world’s largest B2B and wholesale online marketplaces, Alibaba.com serves millions of business buyers and suppliers of all sizes in more than 200 countries and regions and offers a range of powerful tools specifically designed for B2B commerce. Business buyers can quickly, safely and efficiently discover new products and place orders on the Alibaba.com platform, and sellers can reach a global audience for their products. With Alibaba.com, businesses can:
- Expand its international presence. The inherently global nature of Alibaba.com’s offering enables buyers – retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, and service companies – to digitally expand their reach without having to travel. Time zones become unimportant and enable business investigation and communication around the clock. According to the Alibaba.com survey, the top online sourcing benefits cited by shoppers are faster supplier search (53%), reduced travel needs (44%), greater purchasing power (38%) and the higher profit margins (38th). %).
- Optimize shipping efficiency. Buyers can place large orders with international sellers for transparent, reliable, and affordable shipping and logistics services that simplify the whole process. Smart algorithms recommend the best routes, and multiple carriers and carriers are available to ensure end-to-end visibility and real-time tracking.
- Safe source from all over the world. com supports over ten major global payment methods and over 50 currencies worldwide. To reduce the risk of global trade, shoppers shopping on the Alibaba.com platform can take advantage of the free proprietary order protection escrow service, Trade Assurance. Via Alibaba.com Trade Assurance, Alibaba.com will help you achieve a satisfactory outcome including refunding your money if something goes wrong, such as: B. Quality issues or shipping delays.
- Access to trusted suppliers. To help buyers find and check for quality efficiently, the “verified” logo will appear next to professional suppliers who have been verified by independent third parties for industry-specific qualifications and services. When searching for product details or using company profiles, buyers can identify the strengths of these suppliers such as company qualification, product qualification and company competencies.
To make it even easier, Alibaba.com recently launched an ever-active Elite Affiliate Event where shoppers can find quality products and suppliers in one place. This verified group of global suppliers offers innovative, new technologies and products in a variety of categories to increase your competitive advantage.
One of the elite partners is LINSY Home Furniture, founded in 2007, a modern home furniture company specializing in luxurious design and high-quality production. The company has served over 13 million households with its 13,000+ SKUs and custom features. But what sets LINSY apart as a provider is not just the designs that are in demand, but also their commitment to digital transformation. Accurate data analysis of market demand, efficient independent research and development as well as fast, accurate production are the most important competitive characteristics of LINSY. On average, more than 200 new products are developed every month. In addition to analysis, design, production and management, LINSY also helps with the development of marketing solutions for its buyers. For example, LINSY recently worked with a large UK buyer to deliver high quality, modern designed sofas, but also to create promotional materials for them. Because of these technology-based promotional materials, the product sold very quickly. Now LINSY and the UK buyer have jointly designed new sofas and expanded the buyer’s warehouse to keep up with fulfillment. One of the main reasons LINSY was selected as an elite partner is because of the use of advertising technologies such as 3D, panoramic videos and live broadcasts to enhance the furniture consumption experience in homes.
Other elite partners are chosen for their commitment to environmentally friendly or natural products such as Rena Pet. Founded in 2008, Rena Pet specializes in making natural, non-toxic pet accessories that you can incorporate into your home, such as dog beds, cat scrapers, toys and feeders. Their high quality products are treated to reduce toxins and made from natural materials like hemp and recycled wood to better serve the environment. By making healthy, natural and environmentally friendly products, Rena Pet creates products that are safe for your home. For example, by using photocatalytic materials, users can break down organic substances such as odors, bacteria and viruses under sunlight, making them safer for your pets and family members.
Alibaba.com Summer Online Trade Show: Premium Suppliers. Efficient procurement.
Trade shows are an incredibly valuable channel for B2B companies to discover new suppliers and products and to increase their profits. While in-person global shows are still on hold, Alibaba.com is hosting a number of online trade shows that have resulted in tens of thousands of new connections. Alibaba.com Online fair | summer starts from June 14th to June 27th and comprises more than 10,000 premium providers in a spectrum of over 30 categories.
“The Alibaba.com Summer Online Trade Show is a two-week event on the Alibaba.com website where business buyers and sellers from around the world can meet and do business from the safety and comfort of their home and office. “Said John Caplan, President for North America and Europe, Alibaba.com. “Our new online trade fair experience that makes it even easier for professional buyers to get in touch with premium suppliers and work together so that they can shop more efficiently, effectively and easily.”
The benefits of the experience include:
- Premium connections. Buyers can easily reach selected suppliers with outstanding products and services, from research and development and bespoke design to customer service and order fulfillment.
- Per-buyer discounts. Businesses that upgraded to Pro Buyers on or before June 27th can receive a $ 100 voucher to use on Alibaba.com.
- Exclusive access to the VIP pavilion. For the most efficient experience possible, there will be a special “VIP Pavilion” where the top one percent of Alibaba.com buyers can meet and negotiate directly with managers rated four stars and higher by more than 1,000 suppliers .
- Innovative industry insights. Companies can hear and learn from Alibaba.com executives like John Caplan, President, North America & Europe, and Flora Yan, Head of Integrated Marketing, as well as Dirk Kowslowski, Director of IFA, Kai Hattendorf, CEO of Ufi, and learn from successes in buyers and Sellers on Alibaba.com during the exhibition opening ceremony. In-depth industry reports with data and trends from Alibaba.com will also be available.
Visit the show
Companies in the home and furniture industry can take part in Alibaba.com’s online exhibition from June 14th to 27th. High quality suppliers are just a click away.