Phạm Thị Hồng Quang, general director of Viet Source Handicraft Co., Ltd, introduces her virtual showroom on the HOPE platform. Effectively exploiting online marketing and sales channels has contributed to help Vietnamese wood processing firms receive abundant export orders despite Covid-19. — VNS Photo Xuân Hương
HCM CITY — Having received an order worth US$920,000 to export kitchen products and household appliances to South Korea soon after the Lunar New Year, Đức Thành Wood Processing Joint Stock Company is optimistic about its export revenues and profits this year.
Nguyễn Hà Ngọc Diệp, its deputy general director, said, "This year, we have set an export target of $17 million, up 15 per cent from 2020, but we already achieved nearly 50 per cent of it by the end of February,."
Trần Lam Sơn, deputy general director of Thiên Minh Production-Trading and Export and Import Co., Ltd., said his company has export orders for until the end of May.
Nguyễn Văn Sang, CEO of Furnist Furniture Company, said: "We have orders for until the middle of the year, and 30 per cent higher than in the same period last year.
“Orders for furniture exports have risen significantly this year, especially from the US. Besides, we have also focused on developing new models and looking for new markets.”
The company’s furniture exports last year were worth $5 million, he added.
Nguyễn Chánh Phương, deputy chairman of the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of HCM City, said despite the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic wood and forestry product exports increased by 16.4 per cent last year to $13.17 billion, and they are expected to top $14 billion this year.
According to the Vietnam Administration of Forestry, exports were estimated to be $3.94 billion in the first quarter of this year, with the US, Japan, China, the EU, and South Korea being the biggest markets.
Many wood processing companies have invested in production technology, improved product quality, effectively exploit online marketing and sales channels so they still received abundant export orders despite Covid-19, Phương said.
HAWA launched HOPE (HAWA Online Platform for Exhibition) last year to connect furniture suppliers with global buyers at a time when many trade fairs and exhibitions were postponed or cancelled due to Covid, he said.
It offers 3D images of showrooms, factories and workshops, a 3D product catalogue, social apps to enable 24/7 interaction between exhibitors and visitors, digital marketing, life events, and others.
Diệp said: “As people were stuck at home due to the pandemic, the demand for home furniture increased, as did the number of customers shopping online.”
“Many large foreign buyers have increased sourcing from Vietnamese firms due to the US-China trade war and confidence in the quality of Vietnamese products,” she said.
Thanks to this and getting on board HOPE, her company has found many new customers, she said.
Phạm Thị Hồng Quang, general director of Viet Source Handicraft Co., Ltd, said investing in online channels is very important.
Online marketing helps prevent spending hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to take part in fairs and exhibitions in other countries and offers great efficiency, she said.
Her company enjoyed a 40 per cent rise in sales last year thanks to transforming its marketing methods and proactively changing production to meet the requirements of purchasing systems, she said, adding that it expected to sustain that growth this year and find many new customers on HOPE.
Sơn, who is also a member of HAWA’s executive board, said: “Three years ago, when international buyers visited furniture producing countries in Asia, they chose to visit China first and then Việt Nam.
“But now they do opposite and come to Việt Nam first.”
He explained that it is because Vietnamese firms have made great strides in terms of design and sales methods by actively marketing their products.
“The global furniture and wooden products market is worth $400-500 billion annually, but Việt Nam has a very modest market share, and so opportunities to boost exports are aplenty,” he said.
Dương Thị Minh Tuệ, a member of the HAWA executive board, said, “To sustain exports, firms must routinely make efforts to retain customers and look for new markets.”
March and April are the peak order period and major furniture fairs are held in Asia, but the pandemic has caused them to be cancelled, and businesses need to make the most of trade promotion channels, both online to offline, to reach buyers, she added. — VNS