NEW DELHI, May 12, 2020 – The pilot month-long Spring Virtual Expo, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) on its online marketplace hktdc.com Sourcing, concluded successfully on 30 April. It drew 1.4 million online buyers from around the world to visit and source, helping suppliers secure new contacts and orders amid Covid – 19 pandemic disruption.
HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Benjamin Chau said more than 22,000 suppliers used the hktdc.com Sourcing platform to reach global buyers effectively last month, despite a suspension in physical business activities and other restrictions brought by the COVID-19 outbreak. “As more than 2,500 fairs around the world were postponed or cancelled due to the pandemic, there is a growing demand for online sourcing. In view of this, the HKTDC will organise the digital show every quarter this year. We believe that the online and physical fairs can complement each other and create synergy to help SMEs promote their products during these challenging times.”
The HKTDC is organising a series of webinars from March to August, inviting industry experts and representatives from tech companies such as Google and PHD Media to share practical tips for online promotion, such as search engine optimisation (SEO), omni-channel marketing, website design and best practices in taking online orders. Each webinar held to date attracted more than 300 SMEs, a two-to-three-fold increase compared with similar physical seminars in the past.
The Spring Virtual Expo boosted traffic to hktdc.com Sourcing, with the number of buyer visits jumping 64% from March to close to 1.4 million in April; and brought double-digit growth in the number of enquiries received. The top five origins of enquiries were the United States, Hong Kong, India, the United Kingdom and Canada, while consumer electronics, toys and games, gifts and premiums, medical supplies and houseware were the most-enquired product categories. Top enquired products include body thermometers, pedometers, medical/oxygen masks, USB flash drives and mobile phones.
The HKTDC’s 50 global offices helped reach out to international buyers and offered professional support by handling about 700 in-depth business matching requests, creating 1,500 business connections. These offices also arranged virtual business matching meetings for the first time, with some 60 sessions enabling suppliers to showcase their latest collections to potential quality buyers.
Mr Chau said more than 56% of the in-depth business matching enquiries were from Asia, 22% from Europe and 15% from the Americas. “We help global buyers to find suppliers. These include e-tailers Amazon, Shopee (Singapore), Snapdeal (India), HKTV Mall (Hong Kong), as well as traditional chain stores such as United Arab of Emirates’ AI Jaber Gallery (gifts) and Indonesia’s ACE Hardware.”
Mr Chau attributed the Spring Virtual Expo’s success largely to the trustworthiness of the platform. “The HKTDC’s online marketplace, hktdc.com Sourcing, has won multiple international awards. The site features around 130,000 quality suppliers and two million international buyers, with over 24 million business connections made each year. Suppliers’ information is verified by third-party organisations to enhance buyers’ sourcing confidence. Apart from English, Chinese, the digital platform’s navigation interface is also available in six European language namely Russian, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese, allowing buyers to source with their preferred language.”
The HKTDC is also launching a “Wellness from Within” promotion this month (See picture) , featuring a wide range of wellbeing products on hktdc.com Sourcing. Home Fitness, Tech Gadget, Cookware and Beauty are the weekly themes of the “Wellness from Within” promotion on hktdc.com Sourcing this month, covering a series of quality products for fitness and leisure. Products such as weight training equipment, fitness balls and yoga mats will be featured in the first week; computer, audio & visual and smart-home tech products in the second week; bread machines, blenders, baking utensils and dish washers in the third week; and beauty machines, hair treatment, tooth beauty and cosmetics in the final week.
The HKTDC will now organise a Summer Virtual Expo next month to complement its physical fairs. Also, in July HKTDC will host HKTDC Summer Sourcing Week (July 25 to 28, 2020) at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre to help international buyers replenish their stocks.