Amid the negative coronavirus impact, local small and medium-sized enterprises are paying attention to digital solutions that utilise artificial intelligence technology to increase exports by connecting buyers globally via e-commerce channels.
E-commerce provides opportunities for local businesses to boost exports
Nguyen Ngoc Dung, Vice President of Vietnam E-Commerce Association, says with the purchasing power at supermarkets and malls plummeting due to fears surrounding the COVID-19, online shopping is now the preference of many consumers. Indeed, it is up to e-commerce businesses to grasp the tastes of consumers and change commodity groups in an effort to suit customer demands for online shopping.
The recent changes have seen e-commerce among export business being widely deployed, with the government recently approving a project based on managing e-commerce activities for import and export goods, whereby Vietnamese SMEs are able to register as a business, pay taxes, and carry out other procedures by using an e-signature.
According to a recent Alibaba.com survey, the majority of buyers globally source products through search engines or e-commerce platforms. With traffic growth recording a 40% increase on-year, approximately 20 million buyers from over 200 countries and territories have so far made an inquiry or have requested price quotes through e-commerce platforms.
Zhu Yi, Deputy General Director of Alibaba.com in Vietnam, says local suppliers have posted 600,000 products on the e-commerce platform, receiving 50,000 quotation requests worldwide within 30 days. This includes many prominent local industries such as food and beverage, housing and gardening, along with architecture enjoying impressive developments in recent times.
Experts believe that in order to capitalise on global trading opportunities amid the digital age, local SMEs must follow trends among global buyers in the market and accelerate digital transformation for the purpose of sustainable development.
A number of firms that export goods on e-commerce websites have revealed that along with sales growth of between 20% to 30%, enterprises also have the chance to improve their marketing, presentation skills, in addition to methods to approach customers.
La Kim Nhung, founder of IMITI Company, noted that with only between five to 10 employees in the initial stage, her company which specialises in exporting wooden furniture, has been able to expand its operations to more than 10 countries due to its e-commerce platform.
Nhung therefore advises domestic businesses to increase their level of investment in digital platforms as a way of reducing costs and allowing more customers to learn about their products, a factor that is considered a prerequisite condition when expanding export markets.
Ngo Thi Thanh Hien, Deputy Director of Ameco Industrial JSC, points out that as one of the leading mechanical companies nationwide, Ameco considers digital transformations a must for businesses.
She reveals that her enterprise has already received its first orders from abroad through Alibaba.com, with 70% of Ameco's current output being exported to over 50 countries worldwide.
Zhang Kuo, General Manager of Alibaba.com, says that the "Smart Marketing Solution" will allow Vietnamese exporters to advertise their products at reasonable prices through the use of big data technology. This method will make it easier for SMEs to enjoy new customer traffic, whilst also grasping information about popular products among customers in order to develop business strategies that can be used to stimulate future growth.
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