By Rieva Lesonsky


March Expo kicks off Monday, March 5th, and as we noted here, the month of March promises to be action-packed for SMEs. During the special event, featured on and the mobile app, business owners will have the chance to discover new products, uncover opportunities and take advantage of recent innovations.

But there’s so much packed into the month’s activities, to take full advantage of March Expo, it’s a good idea to create a plan of action now for how you’re going to tackle the month.

First, define your goals. What do you want to discover and learn?

  • Are you a retailer, e-tailer or wholesaler looking for new and innovation products to sell?
  • Do you already use’s trading platform, and you’re seeking new suppliers?
  • Are you looking for deals and promotions from
  • Do you want to learn about the services offers to help you source goods and ship them to your location?

Finding suppliers and products

SMEs will be able to find all this—and more—during March Expo. Already more than 58,000 suppliers have registered to participate in March Expo, so whether you’re looking for new suppliers or innovative products, you’ll be able to find them.

You might want to kick off your March Expo activities by exploring the Trends report, so you can search for specific products you want to buy and sell.

If you’ve been wanting to explore doing business with suppliers in new countries, the Malaysian Pavilion will debut during March Expo. So, you’ll want to set aside some time to explore the suppliers and products featured in the Pavilion.

In fact, with so many suppliers featured, it might take you a full week or more to do your research and find the ones you’re interested in doing business with. Just follow your plan.

What do you need?

Once you identify the suppliers you want to do business with, you need to figure out the specific products you want—and how many you need. If you’ve had a plan for a while, you’ll have a head start. If not, develop a quick plan this week. Check your sales records and current inventory. What products have been selling well, and what are you still trying to unload? What price points are working for you? Do you need to stock up on seasonal merchandise, or purchase popular items in new spring and summer colors? Creating a plan, will make the ordering process smoother, quicker and more efficient.

Explore the incentives

As part of the celebration of March Expo, is offering special incentives, promotions and discounts. We’ll be discussing these in a future post. Find out which ones will help you save time and/or money. There will be discounts for shipping and wire transfers, as well as free order inspections. is even launching a new logistics service you’ll want to learn more about.

Placing your orders

Now that you’ve identified the suppliers and products you want and the incentives you can use, it’s time to place your orders. There are so many good deals offered during March Expo, you might even think about planning ahead, and order a few more items, or experiment with products you haven’t sold before.

To make sure you keep up with all the activities, be sure to follow all the action on social media by following @AlibabaTalk and the #DiscoverNewMarch hashtag.

March Expo is a great opportunity for SMEs to explore all that has to offer, as it continues on its mission to empower SMEs.