Hello, I'm Min Byung-sun, CEO of Dooco Co., Ltd.. Dooco was established in 1996 and began by developing pumps. Now, it has grown into a company specializing in vacuum sealed containers for the cosmetics industry. For more than 20 years, we have been working hard to meet the needs of domestic and overseas customers with the main goal of customer satisfaction and offering them the highest quality possible. Specialized products include eco-friendly containers and pumps that can be recycled and refilled. We achieved an annual sales volume of 20 billion won in 2016, have conducted business with more than 200 domestic companies, and recently have been exporting to major brands, like Estee Lauder. Our goal going forward is to strengthen our capabilities as a global manufacturing company and export to even more foreign countries through Alibaba.com.
What inspired you to sell on Alibaba.com?
When I was looking to further expand overseas export markets, I had already heard of Alibaba.com. When I visited the Alibaba.com site, I could see that the cosmetics materials category was quite active and that there was a demand for these materials. I could tell that there weren’t many Korean cosmetics manufacturers, and I believed that our products could fill this gap since they have already been selling well in Korea for more than 25 years.
After joining Alibaba.com back in February 2020, offline had become extremely difficult due to COVID-19 restrictions. Seeing this shift, I felt that the era of online trade had finally arrived, so I became more focused on how we managed our ecommerce strategy.
What was the most difficult thing about selling on Alibaba.com over the last two years?
When we received inquiries from customers, it was not a difficult thing to answer them. It was somewhat difficult to identify how to best use the systems for posting products and how to improve the store’s star rating. We really wanted to always get the highest score and be one of the top-rated sellers in our category online. However, after having a video meeting with the CK Bridge manager who oversaw the onboarding of our company, we felt fully informed about how the system’s algorithm worked and saw a big increase in the amount of buyer inquiries we received. We quickly understood the updates to how the start rating system scored companies, and this knowledge allowed us to go from no stars to a 2 star rating within a month, and the conversion rate of our online store increased from 5% to 13% as we became a 2 star supplier. It isn’t difficult to export your products if you are eager to learn and fully implement methods that work, and the methods our onboarding trainer told us to use work.
How are your communications with global B2B buyers?
The most important thing in B2B business is to build mutual trust. Since all buyers who contact us are overseas, it is difficult to speak with them by phone as we normally do with our Korean buyers. Even if the inquiry is about something simple, the time difference or language gap can complicate things. Knowing this, we make answering any questions quickly and as clearly as possible our top priority to help the buyers have more confidence in our professionalism and capabilities.
Not all B2B buyers are equal either; there is a difference in the size of business they handle. Some cosmetics brands are big enough to set high MOQs and only handle orders that promise a large return on the time they spend processing the order. But there are a lot of new, up-and-coming brands that find it difficult to make purchases at that level of MOQ due to budget and warehousing restrictions. We believe that the business of these buyers will grow bigger over time, so we are trying to keep the barrier for entry as low as possible with manageable MOQs.
Most buyers want their products to be on brand and would like them to have the colors and shapes they have in mind. But it can be expensive to swap styles for product samples in the early stages of inquiries before you know they are serious. So, rather than sending samples from the beginning, we take pictures or videos of various designs we have made before to show our capabilities. We try to guide the customers towards their final decisions as easily as possible by actively responding to their needs, but in ways that make the best use of our time too.
What changes have you made since you started selling on Alibaba.com?
The biggest change we made after starting our store on Alibaba.com is we started to use keyword advertisements and product recommendation ads on the main page. With these promotions, we received an average of more than 10 inquiries per month. Just a year after entering Alibaba.com, we had three new buyers, and then two more inquiries in the second year led to sales. This increase in total sales grew our business by about 15% in 2021 compared to 2020, and we expect this number to increase by 20% this year again. Even the inquiries that did not led to deals helped us identify global trends in cosmetics containers and pumps and we leveraged these insights in the new products we developed.
What do you think is the biggest benefit of doing business on Alibaba.com?
After COVID-19, we used Alibaba.com to make up for the fewer opportunities to participate in overseas exhibitions, and this expanded our export market capabilities for a very reasonable cost. Customers may be nervous at first because they can’t build trust through face-to-face interactions like they can at exhibitions. But the fact that you are conducting business on the one of the world's largest B2B sites that closely verifies sellers plays an important role in helping buyers trust you.
We would like to gradually expand our exports efforts by actively promoting not only existing products, but by adding new products in the future to our store on Alibaba.com. I hope both our buyers and our company can grow together by continuing to build trust and relationships on Alibaba.com. Even if we don’t close one of leads we get, we can use the experience to help us grow into a more informed global cosmetics company by identifying global trends and working tirelessly to meet those needs.
Their success could be yours!