E-commerce: are French SMEs ready to establish themselves internationally?

Posted on Sep 16. 2021, 10:45 amUpdated Oct 11th. 2021, 16:45

They have been essential vectors of recovery after Covid. E-commerce and international exports today offer broad growth prospects for all businesses, whether they are SMEs, ETIs or large groups. Following the pandemic, 61% of French SMEs say they are considering strengthening their online presence and 44% think they are increasing their international sales, according to a survey conducted in April 2021 by Alibaba and YouGov.

However, this awareness of the opportunities offered by new technologies encounters structural and cultural barriers. It remains difficult for French entrepreneurs to launch themselves serenely into international markets, with consumer behavior beyond their control. This is all the more true when it comes to a market that is highly advanced in e-commerce and where consumers are ultra-connected, such as China.

To overcome these barriers and start exporting, marketplaces seem to be a proven solution, in line with the expectations of local customers. Also according to the Alibaba-YouGov study, almost 70% of French SMEs that sell internationally confirm that e-commerce platforms facilitate exports. For them, it is essential to work with a trusted partner who is able to provide end-to-end technological and strategic support.

New retail

This support is exactly what Alibaba Group offers with personalized advice adapted to the needs of each business, locally and internationally. With the expertise developed through various platforms such as AliExpress, Taobao and Tmall, Alibaba allows French entrepreneurs to take advantage of its leading position in China and its perfect knowledge of international market trends and consumer expectations. A great asset to understand in particular the challenges of New Retail, this form of unified commerce born in China and that takes into account the whole value chain from sales and physical or digital distribution, to create experiences of buying and selling, from online brand visibility , to ensure the supply of physical stores, through mobile payment and delivery. Understanding how it works is a real competitive advantage for the development of your business, especially in Asia where French products (luxury, beauty, gastronomy, etc.) are gaining more and more interest. French brands also outperform each year on November 11, during the “Double 11”, a shopping event that surpasses its Western equivalent, Black Friday. For the 2020 edition, still in the midst of a crisis, French brands achieved a turnover of $1.76 billion.

To help French companies accelerate their digital transition and accelerate their online business success, Alibaba offers training programs. Two new sessions will take place in November 2021 and January 2022. Registration is open.

3 questions for Michèle Lau, Senior Strategic Partnership Manager at Alibaba

“Our training meets the expectations and real needs of all managers”

What is the purpose of the free training you offer?

The Alibaba-YouGov research clearly shows that digitization and export are the keys to the success of French SMEs. It also appears that these SMEs do not have the necessary knowledge to get started. We have therefore built two training courses on the basis of sharing experiences. The first, Alibaba Netpreneur Masterclass, is aimed at SMB managers and provides best practices in digital strategy. The second, Next-Up program, is open to companies of all sizes that want to expand their opportunities internationally or develop digital innovation by adopting new technologies.

How are these trainings organised?

The two trainings are built around conferences and online workshops that will make it possible to approach business strategy, digitization, e-commerce, marketplaces, the Chinese market… in a very concrete way from analyzes of use cases. The rhythm of the workshops has been designed in such a way that managers can continue their activities in parallel. The Alibaba Netpreneur Masterclass will therefore run for 6 weeks from November 2, at a rate of 4 to 6 hours per week.

Who will be the speakers?

The speakers are all experts in the field of digital or entrepreneurship. And they have all participated in the development of the digital economy, such as Brian A. Wong, founder of Alibaba Global Initiatives and former VP of the Group, who will lead a session.

To know more : http://agi.alibaba.com/alibabanetpreneurmasterclass?#main

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