Bringing success to the family business
“QST International is a family-run business established in Siakot, Pakistan, in 1989, by my father. We manufacture and sell high quality boxing gear, weight lifting products and work-out wears. All of our products are sourced and produced locally, and we have always wanted to export them to the global market. At first, my father worked with an overseas distributor. However, we failed to secure enough orders and our trading was suspended after a few years.
By the time I started to take leadership of QST in 2007, ecommerce was becoming more and more popular. After comparing the existing ecommerce platforms available, I found out that Alibaba.com was the best option, as it had the greatest number of serious business buyers.
After 10-years of hard work on Alibaba.com, my family business has grown 35 times in revenue, having 170 employees in total. We are now a 100% export business, with 80% of our orders coming from Alibaba.com. Most of our buyers from Alibaba.com come from the USA, Russia and Asia. Our most lucrative business relationship is with a buyer from the USA, who makes two to three orders every year worth around USD 200,000 each order.”
The key to success is dedication and diligence
“Onboarding Alibaba.com is just the beginning. Alibaba.com is a big platform, meaning there’s a lot of traffic as well as challenges. In order to maximize your return, you need to work hard and learn Alibaba.com best practices.
I have spent a lot of time learning about the platform and how top suppliers on the platform post their products and choose keywords. An important resource is the Alibaba.com Learning Center, where I can find training materials on all kinds of topics. My account manager is also an important source of help and advice. “
My top tips for succeeding on Alibaba.com:
- Make sure the products on your mini-site contain detailed information and professional images. We update around 40-50 of our products every month.
- Regularly update keywords based on how your products are ranked in search results.
- Respond promptly to buyers and try to be flexible and meet whatever needs they might have.
- Have a dedicated team to manage your account is crucial. Currently, we have a team of 5 taking charge of product posting; responding to Requests for Quotations (RFQs); checking data and analytics and optimizing the Alibaba.com account respectively.
Our vision for future growth on Alibaba.com
“We have started investing recently in Keyword Advertising on Alibaba.com in order to continue our growth on the platform. We learned more about Keyword Advertising and how to use it effectively by reviewing training materials provided in the Alibaba.com Learning Center, which is also something we would recommend strongly to other suppliers.
Expanding into ecommerce has been hugely beneficial for our business, especially with everything that has happened this year with COVID-19. We strongly encourage other suppliers to look to ecommerce to find new business opportunities in this challenging time.”