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Lifestyle products take their cue from big data at Hong Kong ASWO

As companies find new approaches in the quest to grow their businesses, November’s Autumn Sourcing Week Online (ASWO) in Hong Kong, jointly organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, hosted 22 webinars and provided an opportunity for participants to share the latest market intelligence on lifestyle trends and develop new business opportunities. The seminars included the ‘Hong Kong Toys Industry Conference - Toys for the Future’, ‘Divulge the Next Era of Home’, and the ‘Hong Kong International Watch Forum’.

High-income millennial buyers are tech-savvy, sensation-seeking and environmentally conscious and to attract them to spend, multi-platform entertainment and physical/digital crossover toys are the way to go for large toy manufacturers, delegates at the toys conference heard. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) were advised to explore licensing opportunities, such as the record-breaking box office hit Ejen Ali in Malaysia, and to create peripheral products that could help develop their businesses.

Kenny Sham (pictured), director, head of marketing (Hong Kong, Taiwan & Macau), LEGO Group, said that with ViuTV and Netflix being  media channels that have emerged particularly rapidly among children in Hong Kong small and medium-sized toy makers could be advised try to find local YouTubers to represent their brands as they are very popular with children. He added that, understanding that millennials value shopping experiences, LEGO had incorporated new technologies into its brick-and-mortar stores. For example, customers could swipe their intended purchase over a scanner to see a 3D image of the finished product on the screen, which helps to capture their attention and drive them to make a purchase.

At the Hong Kong International Watch Forum, co-organised by the HKTDC, the Hong Kong Watch Manufacturers Association Limited and the Federation of Hong Kong Watch Trades & Industries Limited, industry representatives from France, Germany, Mainland China, Japan, Korea and Hong Kong noted watch imports and exports in all regions showed a year-on-year decline compared to 2019. Speakers at that event explored a range of topics including smart watches and the importance of digital transformation to help manufacturers protect their businesses during this challenging period.

The watch industry continues to shift its focus to online platforms. Korean representative Dae-boong Kim noted that the three offline sales giants in Korea - Emart, Lotte Mart and Homeplus - have all been actively developing their online capabilities, while French representative Patrice Besnard noted that “without online platforms, many retailers would be gone”. German delegate Guido Grohmann said that physical fairs were still difficult to replace and that “the impulse to buy a watch has much to do with being able to show it to someone else”.

ASWO showcased the latest products from 11 industries in total including electronics, houseware, lighting, outdoor lighting, green technology, gifts and premiums, toys, baby products, stationery, eyewear, watches and clocks.

The online exhibition drew to a close on 27 November and featured 2,600 exhibitors and attracted 27,000 buyers from 132 countries and regions.