Lee Seung-joon is the overseas marketing team leader of South Korean company LEEMETAL Industry which handles various types of wire, wire ropes, and other related metal products. The company checks the material, size, and composition that the customer wants and then exports the appropriate products overseas.
What motivated you to sell on Alibaba.com?
Before selling on Alibaba.com, it was very difficult to find new overseas customers. Even if we did find customers, the marketing approach for industrial goods was not easy.
I was initially skeptical of Alibaba.com as a B2B e-commerce platform. However, we decided that marketing through an online platform was essential and that is why we started on Alibaba.com in 2017.
I think Alibaba.com is a very powerful platform to meet buyers and sellers around the world. It can also be linked to the Google Search engine to increase customer opportunities. This year, we plan to invest a lot of time and money to make better use of the platform.
How has been the journey with Alibaba.com so far?
When we were entering Alibaba.com in the beginning, the general understanding of the platform was low. We only knew to increase our product range and respond to customers. However, as we got to know more functions such as post impression scores and product showcases, we were able to steadily maintain Alibaba.com's star rating score above 2 stars.
Although there were difficulties in the beginning, we achieved 100,000 impressions in November 2021 by continuously communicating with customers and updating our Alibaba.com store. Our exports increased by 117% from 1.7 million dollars to 3.7 million dollars in 2021 compared to 2020, and we started to trade with buyers in two brand-new markets.
Do you have a strategy to sell on Alibaba.com?
1. Responding to customers in real-time
We try to respond sincerely and quickly to our B2B buyers using Alibaba.com’s various chat and message functions. We respond not only on PC but also on Mobile, ensuring we are providing business solutions to customers in real-time.
2. Identifying customer needs and trends through RFQ
We actively use RFQ (Request For Quotation) to identify customer needs and trends and provide solutions accordingly. RFQ has the advantage of being able to identify customers with needs in a short period of time regardless of their account rating. Before sending the quotation, we try to increase the transaction closing rate by checking the number of searches for related products and checking the buyer's import authenticity. I think these efforts have allowed customers to trust us and result in more closed transactions.
Due to the nature of the industrial goods industry, online and offline marketing results may come out similar. Usually, results show in about 2-3 years, so I think you should be patient and continue with it even if you don't see results right away.
What kind of changes or achievements did you make after selling on Alibaba.com?
Although there were many difficulties in operating the store as a newcomer at that time, continuous communication with customers and updating the store page information resulted in more than 100,000 exposures in November 2021. In addition, compared to 2020, the export value in 2021 will increase from 1.7 million US dollars to 3.7 million US dollars, achieving an increase of 117%, and we have successfully opened up new markets.
What is the strength of Alibaba.com?
I think Alibaba.com is the world's largest online B2B platform to meet global buyers and sellers. And the Alibaba.com linked with Google, so there are more opportunities to connect with overseas buyers. This year, we plan to invest more time and money to operate the platform, so that our products can gain more exposure and meet more overseas buyers, forming a good business cycle. It is suggested that you can also start selling on Alibaba.com to expand the overseas sales of your business.
Their success could be yours!