HKTDC upgrades online sourcing platform. Hong Kong Trade Development Council Hong Kong
Benjamin Chau, HKTDC Deputy Executive Director, said: "The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the cancellation or rescheduling of approximately 4,000 physical exhibitions around the world, affecting deals worth an estimated US$296 billion. At the same time, enterprises are seizing the opportunity to challenge conventional ways of working and develop new sourcing and marketing channels. The pandemic has changed the sourcing pattern for many companies and accelerated the transformation of the global supply chain."
Advanced smart sourcing opens up global business opportunities
As a pioneer in digital sourcing, the HKTDC introduced Hong Kong's first large-scale business-to-business (B2B) marketing platform, hktdc.com Sourcing, back in 2000. To date, the platform has gathered more than 130,000 suppliers and 2 million buyers, facilitating 24 million business connections a year with the support of the HKTDC's 50 global offices.
To help buyers and suppliers worldwide find new partners and secure business deals amid these challenging times, the HKTDC has completed a significant upgrade to its hktdc.com Sourcing platform. "Users will notice a refreshed design as well as easy-to-use features delivering a better smart-sourcing experience anytime and anywhere. We have employed new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to facilitate more flexible and personalised functions, such as customised company profile pages, product recommendations and keyword suggestions triggered by product image recognition, providing more efficient business connection services," Mr Chau said.
To further strengthen buyer confidence, the Third-Party Authentication Service allows suppliers to highlight their credibility. "The new supplier authentication system classifies companies' reputations and activeness into Gold, Silver and Bronze categories. A record of companies' participation at HKTDC events and their last update time are also provided, serving as a reference for buyers as they seek out the most suitable suppliers," Mr Chau added.
Another new feature is the NewsBites content page, which introduces the latest procurement trends and popular products and pushes notifications via various online media channels to provide buyers with access to relevant suppliers' pages on the platform.
Autumn Sourcing Week | ONLINE launches next Monday
Following the success of its Summer Sourcing Weeks | GO ONLINE earlier this year, which migrated a number of physical exhibitions online, the HKTDC is holding Autumn Sourcing Week | ONLINE next week under the theme "A New Connected World Beyond the New Normal", bringing together 2,600 suppliers from 33 countries and regions. The exhibition features suppliers from 11 industries – including electronics, houseware, lighting, outdoor lighting, eco tech, gifts & premiums, toys, baby products, stationery, optical, and watches & clocks – to provide a one-stop sourcing platform where buyers can restock for the year ahead. Detailed information of the exhibitors and their products are also uploaded to hktdc.com Sourcing to help buyers identify new business partners.
The online exhibition features the AI-driven Click2Match business-matching platform. In addition to bringing buyers and suppliers together, the platform also supports meeting scheduling, video meetings, live-chat and contact exchange.
Autumn Sourcing Week | ONLINE will feature more than 20 webinars at the Intelligence Hub across four main series – SmartTech, Lifestyle, Business Essentials, and Green and Sustainability – with over 100 leading figures sharing insights into the latest trends.
Omni-channel platform to create more business opportunities
Looking ahead, Mr Chau said the HKTDC will continue to enhance its online services to create more business opportunities for global buyers and suppliers. He added that in the future, physical trade fairs and online platforms will need to integrate and complement each other. "Even when physical exhibitions resume, the HKTDC will continue to organise regular thematic online sourcing events catering to the different sourcing cycles of various sectors. This will create an extended exhibition experience and fully utilise the advantages of O2O."
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The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong's trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. The HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the mainland and international markets. The HKTDC also provides up-to-date market insights and product information via trade publications, research reports and digital news channels. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus/tc. Follow us on Weibo: @HKTDC @HKTDCLifestyle @HKTDCBusiness, WeChat @HKTDC, or subscribe us on Facebook, Youku and YouTube.