This is the second part in a series by Cori Rogers, Marketing Associate at Zepol Corp. Click here for Part 1.
Trade data is import and export trade information that is taken from dozens of sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Customs, and assists businesses in a multitude of ways. With much deliberation, we have come up with the top ten ways professionals use this trade data to their advantage.
5. Identify Unique Import Opportunities
Importers use trade data to compare product trends in order to find wise, niche investments. For example, say you're an electronics importer who brings in record players with speakers to the United States. You trend the product over the past five years and make the discovery that record players without speakers have had a 64% higher value, and are more popular, than the players you currently import. You've discovered a product you have never thought of before, it's similar to what you already import, and now you're making more money.
4. Stay Proactive. A Hurricane Hits your Supplier, Now What?
When you have access to over 100 million Bills of Lading at your fingertips, it's easy to proactively respond to changes in your marketplace. Importers can search for specific products and find suppliers across the globe, using near real-time information. Take, for example, the lag in electronic imports after the tsunami hit Japan. Trade data helped businesses be prepared for changes...before the storm hit.
3. Generate Better Sales Leads
Bill of Lading data provides the company name and address, and sometimes has a relevant contact person, and phone number. A Zepol case study found that an international freight forwarder's sales force met its cost-benefit analysis within the first six months of using Bill of Lading data. By being able to view importers in specific regions of the United States, they we able to expand their pipeline into various target markets and their final ROI on the subscription investment was significant.
2. Monitor Competition Near and Far
A great way to discover your competitors' trade activities is with trade intelligence. Take the textile industry. A small fabric store wants to keep a competitive edge with the fabric big shot down the road. The small store uses U.S. Census data to search for the company and discovers that it's importing 10-15 shipments of felt from a supplier in Ningbo, China every month. The fabric store then uses that information to reevaluate its' own suppliers and the current demand for felt, as well as other fabrics.
1. Become the Sherlock Holmes of Sourcing: Find the Best Suppliers
Our number one use of trade data is the ability to find the best suppliers for the products you import. Search by product name, supplier locations/regions and more to identify and qualify suppliers overseas. Recently, an auto parts company used Zepol's data to find a number of new suppliers, which reduced their time to market from six months to six weeks. Gaining these new suppliers resulted in the company being awarded a multi-million-dollar deal with Wal-Mart. They attribute this achievement solely to the timely and accurate information that trade intelligence provides.
So catch the boat, save a bundle, and start taking advantage of trade data.