12 March 2008
Customised Sourcing Goes Overseas(HKTDC Packaging, Vol 01,2008)
Proven TDC Services
The customised on-site tdctrade.com sourcing service has proved such a success in Hong Kong that it is being extended to selected overseas trade fairs
The rollout began with Tendence Lifestyle, Frankfurt in the summer and continued with the Style Hong Kong in Moscow Expo in September 2007, giving buyers at these fairs the opportunity to receive an instant list of relevant exhibitors/suppliers at that particular event.
Developed by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC), the customised tdctrade.com sourcing service has generated more than two million enquiries for suppliers since its launch at the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show in March 2007.
Among the many tdctrade.com sourcing success stories is Cynthia Cheung, director of 15-year-old fashion accessory supplier CYT Industrial Co.
She found a quick and effective way to overcome her hurdles and locate targeted manufacturers during a visit to the last Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair.
"I visit the fair regularly to find suitable packaging suppliers," she explains, adding that the show also provides the latest fashion jewellery trends for design inspiration.
In the past, she used to visit the fair booth by booth so as not to miss anything important. "However, due to the huge size of the fair in recent years, I felt totally exhausted afterwards!"
Help was at hand at the Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair, where Ms Cheung discovered the innovative tdctrade.com sourcing service expressly designed to help buyers quickly find targeted exhibitors.
"The TDC's on-site staff asked me what kind of products I was looking for, and immediately searched for matching suppliers through the online database," she recalls. "A list of related suppliers was printed out for me, including the booth numbers and product photos - which made my work much easier!"
The information on the list, which is also sent to enquiring buyers by email, was "very useful" and allowed Ms Cheung to visit the right exhibitors at the fair while also providing a handy record for future use.
The groundbreaking sourcing service reflects the TDC's understanding that a comprehensive database is a major consideration when using an online platform to search for suppliers.
Accordingly, the TDC has placed the details of exhibitors at its 30 trade fairs and advertisers in its 14 trade magazines on its www.tdctrade.com website to provide an exhaustive database of more than 100,000 suppliers.
The TDC has helped solve several problems for Ms Cheung, who initially started using the organisation's trade information services to gather data and statistics on overseas markets.
"The TDC is a well-established organisation in Hong Kong, so overseas buyers go there for help when they want to find good suppliers," she reasons. "I therefore realised that I could publicise my products to potential customers and interested buyers would take the initiative and contact us."
Approximately two years ago, Ms Cheung also started to advertise in the TDC's Hong Kong Fabrics & Accessories product magazine and is "very satisfied" with the results as the magazine has helped her win customers at more than 20 of the TDC's Hong Kong fairs and their overseas counterparts.
"The TDC distributes its product magazines at many important overseas trade fairs, which of course attract a lot of overseas buyers," Ms Cheung explains. "Our company has successfully gained customers from new markets such as Portugal and Poland, apart from the usual European and US markets."
Recently, CYT started to advertise on the TDC's www.tdctrade.com online platform because online sourcing is the "big trend" in today's fast-paced business world and one of the major sources of information for buyers and suppliers alike.
Many overseas buyers use the TDC's online platform to help their sourcing activities, so the TDC has integrated its product magazines with the online website to create a one-stop platform that caters to the diverse needs of buyers.
For example, magazine advertisers' websites at www.tdctrade.com are published in TDC product magazines, combining two promotional efforts into one and attracting buyers to browse in search of more information.
"Online sourcing provides a 24-hour service, making contact with buyers much easier," Ms Cheung maintains. "For example, we have received enquiries from customers in Europe, the US, South Africa and Eastern Europe."
On average, she says, CYT receives more than 10 enquiries every month, which helps broaden its clientele. "Although CYT has not advertised in the TDC's promotional channels for long, half of our customers came from the TDC and we will continue to use the highly efficient and effective tdctrade.com sourcing service," Ms Cheung concludes.
"A LIST OF RELATED SUPPLIERS WAS PRINTED OUT FOR ME, INCLUDING THE SUPPLIERS' BOOTH NUMBERS AND PRODUCT PHOTOS - WHICH MADE MY WORK MUCH EASIER!
SAVE TIME AND MONEY
The TDC's customised tdctrade.com sourcing service saves you time and money with five steps:
|1)||visit the on-site service outlets identified by the magnifying glass signpost|
|2)||tell the on-site assistants which products you are seeking|
|3)||get an instant printed list of relevant on-site exhibitors and off-site suppliers - with company information, product names and photos|
|4)||meet quality suppliers at the fair|
|5)||continue to contact suppliers after the fair|