As a well-established hub for finance and trade, Hong Kong is home to many traders who have a wealth of experience in conducting import and export business. Thanks to efficient management, the bilingual environment and an internationally-recognised legal regime, it also has a strong reputation as the ideal trading platform for international suppliers and buyers.
In the wake of the global financial crisis of 2008 and the recent economic slowdown on the Chinese mainland, many Hong Kong trading firms have experienced a sharp decrease in their international orders. The business outlook is becoming increasingly tough for those companies whose profit margins are under threat due to an over-dependence on a number of now-dwindling traditional sales channels.
In response to this situation, the older generation of traders has sought new ways to acquire customers and generate revenue. A small number has identified e-commerce as a potential new channel. According to the e-commerce survey conducted by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council in 2016, only 12% of the surveyed exporters were involved in e-commerce exports. With the explosion of e-commerce and online shopping, integrating e-commerce into the traditional export channels has not only become important for companies to achieve a competitive advantage, it is now vital to their survival in today’s global environment.