COMPANY PROFILE

WEBPORT GLOBAL

WebPort Global logo


CONTACT INFO

Facebook Twitter Linkedin You Tube Facebook

Address

Two Seaport Lane, Floor 9
Boston
MA, 02210
United States
Phone
(617) 385-5060
Fax
Primary

WebPort Global: A trusted Marketplace for the Wine Industry

The wine and food industries are evolving. New and growing businesses are looking for opportunities. Our global presence helps us make these accessible to our users, said WebPort Global President, Maureen Pace. 

The Marketplace feature of the WebPort Global platform gives users the ability to source products and services globally. Through WebPort Global users are gaining access to a number of exciting opportunities in the food and wine sector.

We are now offering a FREE 30 day trial. Click Here

 

ABOUT US:

WebPort Global is a custom-built business productivity environment designed to catalyze business interactions and global trade by bringing valued people, knowledge, and opportunities together. Web Port Global is a gateway to collaboration resources, the latest research, online and offline educational events and up-to-the-minute worldwide trade opportunities.www.webportglobal.com.

Wine Industry


The WebPort Global web application was conceived and built as a customizable platform that supports the creation and management of trusted professional relationships, collaboration with colleagues globally, and the ability to find and share advice, expertise and information. Carefully developed, using input and advice from technology industry leaders, the application has evolved into an all-encompassing technology tool to benefit organizations. It is designed to improve internal and external marketing and communications; provide a centralized location for project planning meetings, documents, tasks, and business knowledge; and a means companies to conduct business in a shared marketplace.

Buy, Sell & Grow!
Buy, Sell & Grow!
Access the our Marketplace Platform and post both product and service listings!
Event Listings
Event Listings
Upload and Discover Featured Global Events in the Food & Beverage Industry, Wine Industry and Other Industries to Expand Your Network Connections Globally.
Knowledge Resources - Global Trade Readiness
Knowledge Resources - Global Trade Readiness
Access Knowledge Resources on Global Markets and their Domestic Business, Global Trade and Business Development and Growth.
Tradeology Resources
Tradeology Resources
Access All Tradeology Resources
Datamyne Resources
Datamyne Resources
Access All Tradeology Resources
Webport Global - Love Mo Chuisle
Webport Global - Love Mo Chuisle
A brief testimonial from our friends at Love Mo Chuisle
Webport Global - Request it
Webport Global - Request it
A testimonial from our friends at Request It, a company which provides luxury lighting, FF&E, stone and flooring to the hospitality and residential sectors.
Webport Global - Mandarine Academy
Webport Global - Mandarine Academy
Mandarine Academy is a learning platform that supports companies with their digital transformation by simplifying the handling and use of new technologies for all staff. Here is a brief testimonial on how their experience was working with WebPort Global.
READ OUR NEW BLOG POST: CREATING THE PERFECT ROAST: HOW THE ELEMENTS OF SCIENCE, WINE AND CORE VALUES PLAYED A KEY ROLE IN PUSHING THE LIMITS OF SPECIALTY COFFEE.


Like any conscientious coffee connoisseur, Alan Phillips, founder of The Studio Coffee Roasters is very particular about flavor complexities, botanical varieties, and the degree of roast he offers to the Irish market. For best quality, Alan creates coffee and coffee concentrates all sourced directly from the world's top 5% of coffee beans; those reviewed as specialty grade.
 
“First used by the Tea & Coffee Trade Journal in 1974, the term specialty coffee describes beans of the highest quality produced in microclimates”; at the perfect altitude, the right time of the year, that is traceable and harvested with care. Because of the attention and care that they require, specialty coffee is sold at a premium and bought by roasters or coffee traders directly.
 
To qualify as a specialty coffee, the beans have to be graded 80 points or higher by certified coffee Q-graders on the 100-point (SCAA) Specialty Coffee Association of America scale.
 
At The Studio Coffee Roasters, the husband and wife team go a step further to bring: “Specialty coffee from all over the world to not only create their own single-origin coffee's but to also work with customers to tailor coffees to their specific requirements.”
 
All coffee roasted and sold by The Studio Coffee Roasters details roast date, taste notes, coffee drying process, altitude, farm and country of origin on its packaging. The green beans are carefully selected are all highly rated specialty grade and ethically sourced from farms in Ethiopia, Brazil, El Salvador, Tanzania, Nicaragua, Colombia, and Peru. They are roasted in small batches on a 15kg Giesen. The Studio's sustainable approach to coffee sourcing is mirrored at their roastery which is largely powered by renewable energy.
 
A more complex operation that one may think, to source the coffee, Alan participates in sensory tastings of the thousands of coffee bean options on the market. Eventually shortlisting 50-60 coffees Alan delicately selects one that stands out from the rest. The structured tasting process, also known in the trade as “cupping” is conducted according to SCAA protocols. This allows The Studio Coffee Roasters to supply the best of the best.
 
Alan and Louise are also delighted to develop long-lasting relationships with suppliers and “support their origin projects and partnerships which create access to credit, provide agronomy training, support gender initiatives and raise funds for education” in the countries they work with.
 
The Studio Coffee Roasters entered the competitive Irish coffee industry in 2017. At that stage it was dominated by household-name brands, which were already entrenched in the market due to their economies of scale and long-standing relationship with consumers; the industry proved to be a challenging barrier of entry for any start-up.
 
However, to the advantage of The Studio Coffee Roasters, in a previous life, Alan earned an MBA and was a certified accountant working in the pharmaceutical industry. His pharmaceutical background intertwined with his passion for coffee pioneered the development of The Studio Coffee Roasters brand.  Alan points out that the same engineering and manufacturing processes to manufacture millions of pills translates to that of roasting millions of coffee beans. In both processes it is critical to maintain uniformity of product; no coffee bean is to be stronger, weaker, over-roasted, or more flavorful than the other.
 
On the sideline, Alan became passionate about food trademarks and flavor analysis and completed the London Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Program. His passion for flavor and great taste has taken him to hundreds of vineyards and distilleries all across Europe. When it came to coffee roasting Alan was already committed to the importance of education, experience, and training to roast at a professional level. He joined the SCAA and trained under Kees Kraakman, of Keppler coffee who has over 20 years of experience in specialty coffee and he proceeded to complete the SCAA's exams.
 
In hindsight, Alan a coffee savant, recalls that his studies in wine and background in pharmaceuticals are the perfect foundation for his increasingly popular coffee company. This is because wine is similar to coffee: “you have to pick up on the sensory aspects and interesting complexities of the coffee.”  and knowing how to manage a business is vital for success.
 
Since transforming his passion for a brand and full-time occupation, Louise, a former teacher, and Alan's wife has joined the roasters team. Competitively, the company has flourished with the pair’s expertise and disruptive approach to the conventional route coffee producers embark on: selling products through large food and beverage department and retail stores or directly to the café and restaurant industry.
 
Alan and Louise initially began with the sale of whole bean and ground coffee, then expanded into Nespresso compatible capsules, and more recently developed a state-of-the-art cold brew facility. They also created innovative options for the new global coffee consumer through subscription-based coffee, coffee packs, and gift sets.
 
Today during the times of COVID-19 their decision to once disrupt the standard coffee supply chain has benefited them during the pandemic, as their business is conducted mainly online. The company that began in Ireland, has now expanded to Europe and is supplying their fellow coffee enthusiasts in the Czech Republic, Belgium, Germany the U.K., and more.


News Archive


READ OUR NEW BLOG INTERVIEW: HOW SWEET IT IS—AND YET, IT’S VINEGAR
30 June, 2020



How about a nice bowl of ice cream… with a dash of vinegar on top? Or maybe you’d prefer it drizzled on a freshly baked cake. Would you imagine vinegar could be the secret ingredient in delectable fudge brownies? If you’re shaking your head, you probably have never heard of Burren Balsamics, a small, artisan food company in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, that has turned infused balsamics into an art form.
 
The delectable concoctions begin with fine Italian balsamic vinegars,  sourced from  Modena, Italy, where they are brewed using an ancient traditional recipe: press sweet grapes, boil them down to a syrup, pour the result into a series of wood kegs—and wait. What eventually comes out of the keg, some years later, is a sweeter, more complex fruity brew than any other vinegar known.  
 
Burren Balsamics mingles these vinegars with fruits, spices, and other natural ingredients, to add a subtle zing to dishes and drinks, from traditional to exotic.
 
The company is the brainchild of Susie Hamilton Stubber. She had been working as a horse-riding instructor in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, known as the orchard county, when the inspiration for the company struck. “I've always been a bit of a foodie,” she says. She and a friend first ventured out of their own kitchens with their fruit-infused balsamic recipe inventions to help raise some money for a charity Christmas Fair in 2014.  Her offerings were such a hit that soon, Susie was taking her creations to other fairs, where they gathered lots of admiring fans.
 
But the company really took off when in 2017, Susie teamed up with Chef Director Robert McDonald, the 2002 winner of Chef of the Year and in 1975, the youngest person to ever win Young Chef of the Year.  
 
“When he came into the business, we changed the whole way of manufacturing,” says Susie.  “We always only ever used what it says on the bottle. So whole blackberries, or whole raspberries. And they're all infused with a really good quality balsamic vinegar.” But the classical process of infusion required many weeks, and the fruit, once it flavored the balsamic, became waste.
 
Bob had a better idea. Mix the freshest of fruit with a fine vinegar, just as before. But then, “Extract all the oxygen. In three hours we will have more flavor than you can get in five or six weeks.”
 
And because the fruits and other flavoring ingredients are in contact with the vinegars for such a brief period, they are still delicious and usable. “So you can make a jam, a chutney, a marmalade,” says Bob.  “There is absolutely no waste, which is something that really interests us. We want to do what we can. We want it to be local, ethical, sustainable.”
 
Environmental stewardship matters to both of Burren’s directors. “If we continue to waste foods, eventually it will run out,” says Bob. “Not in my lifetime, but we are trying to protect foods for future generations, make people more aware. The more aware people are, the more they buy into the story that more people then tie it onto their own lives and think, "Maybe we can do something to help.’"
 
And it doesn’t hurt that their products are yummy. Burren Balsamic’s raspberry balsamic was chosen as last year's Best Artisan Product in Ireland. They have won awards for the Best Artisan Product twice in the last three years. They’ve racked up about 18 Great Taste Awards. And their marmalade took the Bronze at the World Marmalade Awards.
 
Susie and Bob say that starting with the freshest of fine, local fruit helps set their products apart. They use lots of local apples, of course, but also a variety of other products. “We've got blackberries in at the minute that have been grown for us,” says Susie. “They're huge and wonderfully juicy. So you get a more pronounced blackberry flavor.”

But, just like fine wine-makers, they let the fruits and other natural flavorings determine subtle differences in their balsamics from batch to batch, and consider slight variations to be a testament to authenticity. That, both agree, matters far more than uniformity.
 
“So many other companies use a chemical to flavor things, or a chemical to color,” says Bob. “We don't do any of that. And it may be that you buy a bottle of, for instance, blood orange and cardamom this month. And it's a really deep orange, and you might buy the same bottle in six months' time. The oranges have come from somewhere different, the color will be different.” It might also taste slightly different, says Susie. And that’s the beauty of it: each batch is a one-of-a-kind creation.
 
Because the fruits maintain their integrity after infusion, many of Burren’s vinegars have a corresponding jam or chutney. And one of their most popular isn’t a fruit at all. “The onion jam came from one of our best-selling black balsamics,” says Susie. “It's about to launch onto Aer Lingus business class. If you fly business, when you have your gin and tonic, you'll get a little pot of our onion jam and some beautiful, savory biscuits to eat with it.”

All Burren Balsamic products are accredited by the Vegetarian Society, says Bob, and all but one are accredited by the Vegan Society.
 
Their next goal is to find a U.S. distributor for the company’s products. “I've been to Philadelphia and New York,” says Bob. “I know they'll sell in America.”
 



READYING YOUR BUSINESS FOR THE FUTURE: THE CLEARVIEW GROUPS SURVIVAL AND STABILITY PROCUREMENT STRATEGY
18 June, 2020

Check out our latest company feature on this recognized leader in procurement services.



Q&A with David Coffey, Chief Executive Officer, The Clearview Group.
 

Clearview was founded in 2006 by David Coffey and is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. Building on his time in the US, working in international leadership roles in procurement, Clearview has evolved into a recognized leader in the field of procurement services.

They support domestic and international clients across all sectors and industries. Their offering includes Procurement-as-Service, strategic sourcing, leading-edge procurement transformation, procurement upskilling, and Supplier Relationship Management (SRM). Innovation is core to the business and, as an Enterprise Ireland client, they developed and provide their own cloud-based SRM technology.

 

WPG: How have The Clearview Group’s operations adjusted during this unprecedented time?

DC:  It’s been a challenge. I go back to another period of uncertainty as an early-stage company in 2008/2009 at the start of the financial crisis.  We realized that we needed to be sustainable – to weather the volatility that comes in business cycles.

We learned valuable lessons about fixed costs, and the need to be flexible and agile.  Our revenue became more varied in terms of service and customer mix, but also recurring and more predictable. We also worked to build quality and innovation into our products and business, and of course - continuity.

Most of our work is or should be at the client. So, we moved to a more on-demand office model. Our resource model also shifted to a combined core and flexible staff model. We also focused on how we deliver our services. As an example, training can now be delivered online as well as in-person. We must work from home; to work smarter and in new ways and at a greater capacity within our business. In many ways we were prepared.

Today, I see governments, businesses (large and small), and the individual grappling with these same challenges. There are many challenges and they are not to be downplayed.  

The big picture of revenue and costs must be looked at first. All organisations should be looking at top-line and bottom-line. Sustaining revenue is a challenge for all. We have been impacted as clients put a halt to certain spending. We work hard to provide an offering, build revenue, develop markets and customers. Sometimes, however, tough decisions must be made – if they (services, markets, etc) provide little or no profit are they worth it?

We have tried to look at revenue strategically so that we are aligned with customers supporting their priorities. We have considered how we might need to tweak our offering to support them and, in cases, altered our pricing model to one based on performance, risk-reward, percentage of savings, or in the interest of the long-term relationship.

We've started to look at our costs and reviewed where we can do without or do things differently. We have gained efficiencies through less travel and not using office capacity.  

Typically, we would be onsite with clients and while the physical aspect has changed, all of our services have continued seamlessly, including the management of all procurement for an international bank client.

My category managers are successfully managing all planning, sourcing, contracting and supplier/contract management from home, remaining connected, and flexible with our clients and each other. Similarly, we are managing a couple of major procurement projects – a large IT software contract and the outsourcing of a national service with millions of users. We are using SharePoint and Teams to plan, organize, share documents, to meet and collaborate. To our advantage, we were already doing a lot of our project management online. We just switched gears and brought the clients with us.

What has significantly changed for our organization is that, prior to the crisis, we had classroom-based training, delivered by our trainers.  Initially we saw a stall in demand, but with our clients we found a new way – tweaking the solution and the spec. I cannot emphasize this enough. Buyers and suppliers must talk, be flexible and innovative.  

We moved much of our training online, using the likes of Zoom.  Now, we can repackage these training sessions and become more accessible to our global customers; while supporting our recurring revenue objectives.

Additionally, Clearview has been offering electronic auctions for the last 14 years, all delivered online. In many ways, we're ahead of the curve and positioned for this unprecedented time, able to utilize the tools that we already possessed to support our customers.
 
WPG: Our members are looking to find innovative opportunities to continue to grow and reach new markets. Can you discuss some potential ways for businesses to stay connected; identify new partnerships worldwide? 

DC:  The world as we know it has been turned upside down and inside out.  No doubt, presenting challenges for people with the products they sell and the markets that they sell into.

Talk to your team and engage with your customers and suppliers. Reach out to your network. This is not something reserved for a world with COVID-19. You must engage as a normal part of business. I would like to put a slightly different spin on this and for businesses to focus on potential in the products or services they have. When there is so much negativity I see opportunity.

Opportunity to create demand in areas that organizations may not have anticipated.
Some examples are directly related to the health crisis and some are related to people flicking the switch and being innovative.

We have all asked ourselves the question: how are offices going to function in a COVID-19 world? Well, someone approached me recently to discuss their imaging and security technology products.  Combining the security cameras with the heat detection system created a technology addressing a previously unanticipated demand - to scan and capture a person’s temperature within 0.3% of a degree when entering a building.  

An emerging demand with a new product. Part of this strategy is about examining your specification and looking at the demand. People will need to continue to work, to shop, go to school. Those institutions can take people's temperatures before they even walk into their building.  An innovation the world needs today that offers both security and stability.  

Think of the benefit for the organisations using this technology. They get to continue their business, while providing comfort and certainty to their clients. It also speaks of their brand – we care about you customer, student, or partner. To know that they can operate their business in this unchartered world, where more disruption or risk is minimized.

Yes, there is a degree of investment that's required, but the benefit for the buyer is potentially huge. In all, businesses need to look at their offerings, just as we have with our training, and start to tweak those offerings. Take this challenge and ask yourself: “Could I do something different with the products I have?”  In turn, there may be a significant reward.  

I’ve also been talking to another organization from the U.S., who are in the 3D printing industry.  Suddenly, there’s a huge growth opportunity for them right now in the medical area.   Although initially, they weren’t planning on producing masks, now they are manufacturing a new product based on the demand for medical supplies.

We use our procurement expertise to scan markets to identify companies where there is mutual benefit in working with them. We may have complimentary offerings and capabilities, or be positioned in markets where it makes sense to collaborate.

We have developed joint value propositions with consulting firms and training companies. We are now working with global consulting firms that have reach across industries and geographies and have significant customer bases.  It goes back to the basic procurement process:  do your research and assess where there is demand and where there is supply. If someone else is the channel to these markets how can you work with them?

WPG: What's the best leadership advice you can give businesses during this uncertain time? 

DC:  I know from my own time working through the financial crisis period and now with COVID-19; it is a huge time of uncertainty.  During the financial crisis the problems seemed insurmountable. Just recently, I had a flashback, as my daughter was getting upset about her homework – a new topic that was very challenging.  After slowing down, relaxing, she gradually tackled it one piece at a time. You can’t eat a whale all at once!  

You will likely have your own gut feeling, but do talk to people, and listen. Don’t interrupt, just listen and re-examine your gut again. When the frenzy is in full swing you must slow down, stop and breath - tackle one item at a time. Additionally, I do have regular, one on one, conversations with my team. Individually, I like to get their perspectives. I also have mentors, people who have been around the block. When you’re a leader you need to hear their thoughts.  

Talk with your finance manager, your suppliers and your customers. As a buyer you will demand certainty from your suppliers and team. Your customers want the same from you. When they see dedication, resolve and purpose that de-risks their business, and they see stability. One of my best advisors is my wife. She brings reason and a sense of order as she will challenge me back where others will not.  

During this uncertain time, there is a possibility that there could be a rush to negativity. Do not just follow the crowd.  You will need to take a close look at your business, clients, and cashflow. You may not have all the data, but enough to make informed and maybe tough decisions. Do not deliberate, take action.

Overall, my instincts as a manager are typically correct. I recognized that certain products or offerings that we have right now aren’t going to work in this environment, but others will.  To continue to be successful, we need to market these items properly; look at costs to evaluate where we can be leaner.

I've spoken to my team about how we might grow and how we might retain our customers. Retaining customers at this stage is as important as finding new clients.  This means that you do have to deliver, you do have to work with them, providing support and confidence.  I would retain and invest in a good supplier if they demonstrate concern about my business.

You must also think about moving beyond stability and think about growth, but first things first.

WPG: How can organizations utilize The Clearview Groups’ expertise to navigate the “new normal” world; what tools will drive a successful procurement strategy? 

DC:  There is survival, there is stability, and then there's readying yourself for the future. First, survival today is looking at cost.  If you're having issues with regards to the top line, then look at what you're buying and determine if you need to buy the materials or services for that product.  The first part of a specification is do you need it at all? If you can turn off the need or consumption it has an immediate impact to the bottom line.

Think about all of things we buy – do we need that many (volume), do we need that quality, do we need that variety? Before we even think about price and negotiation just challenge demand. There are some great examples we can relate to. We have substituted offices for home, cars and planes for Zoom and we are still around to tell the story.

There may be further efficiency opportunities through direct negotiation with suppliers, or  categorizing and consolidating suppliers through structured tendering processes. You may even utilize electronic auctions allowing bidders to place competitive online bids to sell their products or services. Clearview auctioned desktops and laptops for a client receiving 342 bids in 44 minutes from six bidders resulting in a saving of 52% versus baseline.

Understanding the condition of the of the incumbent supplier, the supply market and alternative sources is vital. Market intelligence is critical if you want to know if any of your suppliers present a supply risk.  There is an array of factors to consider including supplier status, their financial stability, performance and inventory levels? It’s about figuring out where that risk is, mitigants and alternative sources of supply.

Fundamental to the current environment is understanding supplier risk.  Clearview developed and offers SeeR, our supplier relationship management tool, to manage supplier risk. SeeR manages all supplier information, stores and manages contracts, tracks the suppliers' performance, gathers market intelligence, and tracks overall supplier risk.  

The data is enhanced by third party data and is also maintained by the suppliers. Easy to deploy and use SeeR delivers significant ROI.  

It is imperative that the procurement model changes and reflects the new environment and priorities, and to adapt to what the future is going to throw at us.   New spend categories and sources of supply will be required.  This is where The Clearview Group can help support and direct businesses, to be ready for this change; helping manage and assess this risk and steer you toward a successful procurement path.
 
For more information please visit https://www.clearviewgroup.ie/

Shop Our Father's Day Gift Guide
16 June, 2020


Adapting to More Digital and Social Ways of Being in a Time of Crisis
01 June, 2020

In a time of increased uncertainty, many businesses need to rely on social media to drive sales. A few weeks ago I was happily working away on a talk for Adobe Summit in Las Vegas. The topic? How to use social media to sell shoes. Well, there was going to be more to it but that was the major point: social can drive sales.

Fast forward to now. I’m locked in my office with my restless canine colleagues, just up the hill from King County Washington, which is ground zero in America for COVID-19 outbreaks.

These days, I’ve been thinking a lot about social media’s value. It’s so much bigger than selling a few sneakers.

Social platforms offer critical infrastructure, helping government agencies, hospitals, and health care organizations coordinate fast responses and speedy citizen engagement. We’re also seeing personal benefits, as social media becomes an irreplaceable tool for easing our isolation and connecting in new ways.

On top of the devastating health crisis, businesses face a looming recession. It’s easy to become overwhelmed and trapped in near-term thinking. Business survival. Making payroll. Getting things out the door.

A survey by Econsultancy of 500 marketers at major brands found that marketers are already deciding between short-term tactics and long-term planning. In fact, 47% (41% in the UK, and 53% in North America) of marketers say they have delayed or are reviewing strategic initiatives, such as digital transformation or restructuring.

These days have been—and will continue to be—tough. But this is also an opportunity to become better corporate citizens, build new ways of working together, and demonstrate leadership in uncertain times. Employees will remember leaders who led. Customers will remember who showed up, what we said, and how we helped them.

Here are three ways organizations can adjust their business and communications strategies to stay connected and demonstrate leadership in the chaotic months ahead.

  • Use social to protect human connection, including an increased use of Facebook Groups, social video (especially on TikTok) live streaming, and 1:1 messaging.
  • Use social to mitigate business disruption by experimenting with increased digital and social customer engagement.
  • Use the disruptive lessons of the present to build for the future, especially the rapid experimentation in remote work, online service delivery, and increased use of real-time analytics.

1. USE SOCIAL TO PROTECT HUMAN CONNECTION

Humans are social animals. And crises like these threaten to break those critical bonds.

Of course, social platforms have had a few bumpy roads in terms of public trust over the last few years. But we’re seeing a new chapter.

“In a moment when so much seems to be coming apart,” writes the Verge’s tech columnist Casey Newton, “the big tech platforms—for better and for worse—have become vital infrastructure for our new disaster-age lives. We expect regular briefings from elected officials and public-health agencies—and we ought to expect regular briefings from tech infrastructure as well.”

The need for 1:1 connection has surged. In a press call about Facebook’s response to the virus, Mark Zuckerburg reported that WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger usage has more than doubled since the start of the crisis. In particular, global consumers are turning to each other with voice calling and 1:1 messaging.

Community-focused uses of social media have increased on Facebook, with 300 local coronavirus support groups forming in the last few months with a combined membership of more than a million people.

“I never thought I would say this, but we’re using Facebook to express love to our neighbors in really meaningful ways,” says Morgan Schmidt, an admin for one of those Facebook Groups in Bend, Oregon. Her group helps people housebound by the coronavirus crowdsource help with daily tasks.

Likewise, Reddit reports traffic increases of 20–50% in subreddits related to business, finance, news, education, travel, and sports over the past week. The community r/coronavirus now ranks second among the website’s top growing communities with 1.2 million members, while subreddits around finance, stocks, and business have surged, according to AdWeek. And research by the influencer agency Obviously found a 22% increase in Instagram campaign impressions from Q4 2019 to Q1 2020 and a 27% jump in engagement on average on TikTok from February to March.

We saw this ourselves with Hootsuite Inbox, which our clients use to manage inbound social media comments, replies, and private messages from their customers. We had the highest usage in our history last week, showing just how hard every organization is getting slammed with 1:1 customer interactions.

Two ways to build connections in a time of crisis

Specifically, there are two types of action organizations can take to build lasting impressions on customers: either do good, or make people feel good.

Doing good

For years, we’ve heard about the need for brands to have deeper purposes. Well, now it’s time to put those lofty purpose statements to the test.

A CEO rising to these challenges and building employee and customer trust in the most turbulent of times is Delta’s CEO Ed Bastian. On Twitter, he’s announced that he is giving up 100% of his salary to support Delta.

If your business is doing something to help the cause, and something that will help your customers, it’s a good time to use the full force of employee advocacy programs to distribute the message. In addition to trusted organizations like the WHO sharing critical information on social platforms, peer-to-peer sharing is critical for making those updates spread far and wide.

As Dr. Alan Fyall, associate dean of academic affairs at the Rosen College of Hospitality Management, University of Central Florida told Forbes, “Accuracy of information is critical in such instances with the credibility of the source of the message paramount. This is why official government, be it at the city, county, state or federal level, is so important as their credibility is the most sound.”

Twitter found that 75% of COVID-19 related tweets are retweets, demonstrating the need to complement official brand publishing and advertising with peer-to-peer sharing. And as Edelman found, when the first exposure to a message comes from a peer, it increases the level of trust, especially when then combined with paid and owned content.

Source: Edelman

Making people feel good

Lizzo—the artist who makes it impossible not to feel good when she’s around—led a mass meditation for her 8.4 million Instagram followers to “promote healing during this global crisis.” The sports fitness brand Lululemon also launched meditations on Instagram.

In China, DJs are performing live sets on apps like TikTok and Douyin while audience members react in real time on their phones, as reported by the New York Times.

And Hallmark—the poster brand for feeling good—announced that they’re bringing back their famous Christmas movie marathons a little earlier this year to help your self-quarantine.

Not every organization exists to save the world. So how can you add a little lightness and connection to your regular cadence of content and tactics?

2. USE SOCIAL TO MITIGATE BUSINESS DISRUPTION

According to Econsultacy, 87% of marketers in North America predict an increase in the use of online services by consumers during the outbreak. Seventy-five percent also predict an increase in ecommerce usage, as do 70% of UK marketers.

Compelling approaches have emerged from China, which was earliest hit by the coronavirus. The cosmetics company Lin Qingxuan had to close 40% of its stores during the height of the crisis there. But rather than lay off employees, the company redeployed more than 100 beauty advisors as online influencers. By leveraging social tools like WeChat to connect with customers and drive purchases, Lin Quingxuan was able to triple sales versus last year.

Organizations are also rapidly deploying virtual technology. “With social distancing limiting physical world interactions, we are seeing increased interest in AI consultations and AR virtual try-on,” Perfect Corp CEO Alice Chang told Glossy. “Consumers are looking for digital solutions, and we expect more and more brands will be turning to digital-first strategies in the days and weeks to come.”

While virtual experiences are helping to keep retail and service businesses afloat, people still want human interaction. Perfect Corp launched an AR training service to provide brands with livestream training for their beauty advisers, who work using a live chat tool. This helps brands like Estee Lauder and Nars to create a blend of virtual experiences with human help from in-store associates. According to Perfect Corp, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the addition of virtual try-on technology generated 2.5 times higher ecommerce conversions for brands.

Many tiny businesses—especially in service industries such as fitness centers and beauty salons—have pivoted completely to social-only service with some interesting results.

Sophie Pavitt, for example, is a New York-based facialist. As she told Glossy, when the epidemic hit, she saw an instant spike in in-office cancellations. She turned to Instagram and started offering live guided facial tutorials on her Instagram channel. The first experiment, on Instagram Live on March 15, saw more than 10% of her 7,285 followers tune in. She booked 36 virtual consultations as a result. Now she’s doing tutorials on Instagram Live every Sunday so customers can give themselves facials while staying indoors and indulge in some self-care during this stressful time.

In all these examples, we can expect that these new digital capabilities and increased demand for online and social interaction by customers will outlast the epidemic and become the new normal in the years to come.

3. USE THE LESSONS OF THE PRESENT TO BUILD FOR THE FUTURE

While short-term tactics are needed to adjust to our new realities, organizations need to think longer term, using the rapid lessons learned during the pandemic to build lasting relationships with customers.

What lessons offer bigger strategic solutions that we can develop in the months ahead?

First, it’s clear that many organizations were caught off guard with the speed of digital business, particularly in the realm of real-time analytics and brand protection.

During the moment we need them most, hospitals, health care companies, and government agencies have been hit by a storm of cyberattacks in recent weeks. “You can expect the attacks to escalate as fast as the virus panic escalates,” said Avivah Litan, vice president and distinguished analyst at research and advisory firm Gartner, in the Wall Street Journal.

While the storm rages, these organizations don’t have the resources or capacity to rewire security practices. This underscores the urgency of finding ways to minimize the damage of cyber attacks, clean up inactive social accounts, better secure employee access, and start building new capabilities such as brand protection monitoring, social listening, and tighter internal controls for digital publishing.

It’s also critical to ensure that social data—that fast, instant pulse and glimpse into what global consumers are thinking—is properly connected to other sources of digital intelligence such as your website traffic, security and compliance warning beacons, and CRM systems.

You can’t wait three weeks for a status report from your traditional analyst team before making a decision in a crisis. As an expert from the World Health Organization put it: “If you need to be right before you move, you’ll never win. Perfection is the enemy of the good when it comes to emergency management. Speed trumps perfection.” That said, if you move too quickly and make a mistake, it’s important to be open and transparent about it to your audience, correcting it just as quickly.

We’ve also seen how organizations with digital transformation efforts well underway are coping much better than organizations too firmly rooted in the physical world.

Take health care, for example. According to Business Insider, the health care company PlushCare saw a 40% bump in virtual appointment volume since December. The US government is encouraging consumers to turn to virtual consultations with doctors, instead of making trips to the hospital for minor issues.

As Business Insider predicts, the epidemic will introduce millions of people to telemedicine, a new digital behavior that will outlast the panic and present telemedicine providers with long-term growth opportunities.

Finally, many companies have also been abruptly thrust into remote work. At Hootsuite, we’ve dramatically increased our use of tools like Facebook’s Workplace, as well as our employee advocacy program to quickly share information, update employees with videos from our CEO, and track how customers are responding to our crisis communications messaging.

We’re going to break a lot of old processes, develop new collaborative skills, and learn important lessons about keeping our employees engaged in a remote setting. These will be key insights to bring back to our physical offices when the crisis passes.

https://www.webportglobal.com/Learn/News/Adapting-to-More-Digital-and-Social-Ways-of-Bei


Leading During Uncertainty: Navigating the Trade Show Industry Through the
01 May, 2020

Q&A with Mr. Hervé Sedky, President of the Americas, Reed Exhibitions 

Since 1966 Reed Exhibitions has been a recognized leader in the Trade Show Industry, renowned for their specialist expertise and delivery of customer-centric experiences across 500 events in 30 countries annually.

Hervé Sedky is responsible for the business that curates more than 100 sector-leading exhibitions and events in North and South America each year. RX’s portfolio of events encompasses a wide range of sectors such as construction, cosmetics, electronics, energy, engineering, entertainment, fashion, jewelry, hospitality, logistics, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, real estate, security, transport and travel. Among his diverse portfolio is the cutting-edge ReedPop group; these events provide an unparalleled experience for the fans of iconic pop culture entertainment, such as New York Comic Con and the Star Wars Celebration.

Today we are tasked to offer innovative ways to attend global trade events. Mr. Sedky shares with WebPort Global his current thinking and action steps that he is taking to lead Reed Exhibitions through this “Perfect Storm.”

WPG: How has Reed Exhibitions' operations adapted to the Covid-19 crisis?

HS: During this uncertain time, we are continuing to connect with our customers across the world. We are postponing our events inside the same calendar year and limiting cancellations. Our teams have been working diligently on rescheduling these large events; shifting and negotiating with venues. Additionally, we have been working hard to deliver digital platforms and content for our up and coming events, in order to keep you and your global networks informed and connected.

WPG: Our members are anxious to find opportunities to continue to grow and reach new markets. In general, they are worried about missing out on attending live trade shows. Can you discuss some potential ways for businesses to stay connected; identify new partnerships and promote their products and services worldwide?

HS: It's been a bit of a wake-up call for us, as an industry; we are often too heavily reliant on physical events. There's a way for us to connect with our customers beyond the physical experience. Live, in-person experiences can still be the anchor events, but we can continue the conversations daily using online platforms. We are investigating the creation of fully-integrated online and offline platform experiences for our customers. My view is to blend digital experiences into offline events, as a means to amplify our in-person events. Reed Exhibitions is in the middle of a large initiative to create these new events in order to offer meaningfully connected experiences for our global customers, lasting far into the future.

WPG: What's the best leadership advice you can give businesses, during this uncertain time?

HS: Managing through a crisis – whatever the crisis is – it's always important to make decisions based on facts. Also, one must realize that it's perfectly fine to change your decisions; it's not a sign of weakness. If the facts have changed or your interpretations of the facts have changed, this allows you to make a better-informed decision. We must be comfortable with being flexible and adaptive, being able to modify and adjust the roadmap as the situation evolves. People need to focus on the things that they can control. There are so many things around us that we cannot control, especially during this uncertain time, that can impede action-driving results.

In this difficult situation, there are two types of leaders that are surfacing. There is one leadership track that I call: "This Too Shall Pass” leadership. This method relies on the presumption that this crisis will come and go, and business will resume as usual. This leadership style will either drive companies to go out of business or they will be so damaged, that it will be very difficult for them to fully recover. Then there are other leaders who embrace the "New Normal" leadership track. These leaders understand that there is going to be a new normal that we must adapt to and evolve with, one that will incorporate change and lead us forward together to make important business and life choices to succeed.

WPG: What's the "New Normal" going to look like for businesses?

HS: Our events are going to look very different when we reopen. As leaders, we need to start planning for this "new normal" and get ahead of it, whether that means there are hand sanitizing stations and temperature gauging machines along with some level of social distancing at trade shows.

One of the most important factors for us is for people to start focusing on themselves and their families. There is so much stress out there, and we're now remained in our home offices or whatever work environment that we have for a number of weeks driving the level of stress and anxiety high. You don't know if you're going to get sick, someone in your family, or business colleagues; and if so, what's going to happen to them? We need to recognize that everyone has a dose of anxiety, but stay diligent - walk, exercise, and stay connected virtually. We need to make sure people focus on themselves to get through this uncertain time.

WPG: What will the Trade Show Industry look like after this Pandemic ends?

HS: There are a couple of things that are going to be different, ultimately impacting what we do and how we plan. As mentioned, actual trade shows themselves will look different in the preparation and execution, and the online and offline experience will ultimately be there. However, I don't think it'll happen immediately: like anything you need to crawl, walk, then run. Over the course of the next 12 months, we're going to be crawling and maybe walking in preparation to be able to be fully integrated in a few years. We will provide our customers with the “new normal” trade show experience - completely immersive and connective, providing you with both virtual and live business opportunities throughout the globe.

For more information visit https://www.reedexhibitions.com/


CHECK OUT OUT LATEST BLOG POST: A RISING STAR’S INNOVATIVE SOLUTION TO SUSTAINABILITY THROUGH CRAFT BEER
31 March, 2020


David Walsh-Kemmis, a twelve-year Barley farmer with a background in IT and computer science has revolutionized his 381-year-old barley farm into a rising star of the Irish craft brewing industry, incorporating the farm's historical essence into every bottle and can of beer he produces.
 
The Townland of Ballykilcavan, or the Town of the Church of St. Kevin, located in the heart of Ireland and around 80 km inland from the east coast, has housed Ballykilcavan Farm since 1639. The beautifully landscaped farmland, near the Slieve Bloom Mountains, supplies its own spring water that travels through limestone beds. On the old farmyard, built in the late eighteenth century, behind the now-brewery stands a well, dug by David’s family and divined by the head gardener of the Ballyfin Demesne, a Condé Nast acclaimed Irish country house hotel.

 townland.PNG
 
The farm was initially established on a prime barley growing region and was destined to be preserved by the thirteenth generation of farmers, as it was passed down to David from his father in 2004. With a vision of sustainability and viability for future generations, but keen to maintain centuries-old traditions, David revitalized their barley production to return to the farm and for water sources to become part of the in-house craft brewing process. With two of the most important beer ingredients at his fingertips, Ballykilcavan Brewery was founded in 2017.  
 
Currently at its early stages of development, Ballykilcavan Brewery, has honed in on the quality of its exceptional beer as fermentation and brewery operations are looked after by David, his wife, and his children, just as the farm was looked after by his father and generations of family before him.  
 
When asked to describe his favorite part of the work he does, David mentions he “gets a kick out of' the brewing cycle, particularly opening a bag of malt barley and remembering the growing season—a year's work in terms of growth and processing—and seeing it return to the farm to be used for the beer.” In line with maintaining the quality of their beer, Ballykilcavan Brewery began self-distributed within a 50-mile radius of the farm, thus allowing David himself to directly interact with customers and retailers. With growing presence over Ireland, Ballykilcavan Brewery now distributes on the Eastern side of the country with support from Joe, sales and recipe development, and Nigel, (IBD) Institute of Brewing & Distilling master brewer.
 
Swiftly adapting to the demands of the craft-brew consumer and the global call for sustainable products, the brewery embraced aluminum cans in place of bottles. David adds that utilizing cans, although more of a trend in the urban demographic, has allowed him to be more creative with branding, colors, and styles to share not only his beer but also his family's history. Some beers are named after fields on the farm and on each can and head of the bottle is a Griffin, part of the family crest, that looks down on the land and the brewery.
 
With positive signs of future growth as the family revitalizes the farmland and expands production, Ballykilcavan Brewery looks to World Trade Center Dublin as a gateway to expand its supply to the European Union and beyond; and for support in facing the brewery’s largest challenge: identifying the right distribution channels and contacts in the over-saturated beer market in Ireland.  
 
David recognizes that particularity in the food and beverage industry, individuals enter the market with a passion for the product, the process, and how they do it differently. But there are many moving parts. His advice to fellow entrepreneurs is to take a bird's-eye view, or Griffin's view in Ballykilcavan's case, for perspective on how to define the elements needed from the beginning to end of production, including prototypes, distribution, marketing, and selling, among others. Having a macro-scope of the operations involved in the product arriving at the hands of the end consumer is beneficial, but with a background in IT and no prior experience in craft beer prior to owning the farm, David is an advocate for, and no stranger to, learning on your feet!
 
To book a tour with Ballykilcavan and check out their website follow the link below
https://www.ballykilcavan.com/tours.html
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ballykilcavan/?hl=en
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Ballykilcavan
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ballykilcavan/


CHECK OUT OUR LATEST BLOG ON HIGHLIGHTING THE SPIRITS INDUSTRY - "AN ANCIENT SPIRIT MAKES A HIGH-TECH COMEBACK"
17 March, 2020



The Dark Ages didn’t have much going for them. But people of those times could point to one comfort: a potent medicinal spirit, distilled with juniper—a botanical that’s said to sooth afflictions from the throat to the gut. Over the centuries, the herb-imbued liquor made its way around Europe and beyond, traveling in kegs on ships that set off in all directions, until much of the rest of the world became acquainted—and just as often, enamored—with the drink.

Today, of course, this juniper-infused spirit is known simply as gin and it’s a far finer concoction than those liquors of old. In recent years, it has seen a resurgence in popularity thanks in particular to the millennials’ re-discovery of gin cocktails—and the generation’s innovative twists on the classics. Perhaps the best of today’s premium gins is Listoke 1777, from the Listoke Distillery of Drogheda, in Ireland’s Boyne Valley. That’s not the distiller’s marketing hype. Listoke 1777 has the awards to prove it.

“We've won two Gin Masters with it,” says Bronagh Conlon, co-founder of the company—noting that it’s the only gin to ever win two in one year. “We won best European Gin 2018. And in 2019, we won Best Irish Gin.”

That’s quite a record for a company that launched in 2016.

Its success in part is due to a process that simply wasn’t available to earlier distillers. “We use very modern technology called an iStill, which for all intents and purpose is like an iPhone version of a pot still,” says Bronagh. “It's modern technology ensure precise cuts according to temperature as opposed to alcohol percentage, ensuring consistency and a premium product with every distillation.

While Listoke labels its gin premium, “It could well be super premium in that the flavor and the profile of the gin would be super premium,” says Bronagh.   

About 40 percent of the gin produced by Listoke Distillery is sold within Ireland’s borders. The US, Russia, UK, and Australia are among Listoke 1777’s international markets. The gin is also bottled for private label customers with distribution in Canada, Ireland, the EU, and the US.  Listoke is actively seeking partners to help it debut in other markets, with a keen eye on Asia Pacific. “The Philippines is the biggest gin drinking market in the world.” But Bronagh says she’s looking for distribution networks in any new country where there is an interest.

Like many distilleries, farms and food producers of the lush Boyne Valley, Listoke Distillery welcomes visitors for tours and tastings. But visitors here can do more than simply savor the liquor. Along with its award-winning gin, Listoke launched Ireland’s first gin school in 2016.  

“We cater for up to 20 people at any given weekend,” says Bronagh. “on arrival you enjoy a classic Listoke 1777 gin and tonic, learn about the Listoke brand and the history of gin, then settle down to smell and taste the botanicals to use in your own personal bottle of gin.”

Including the core four of juniper berries, coriander, angelica and orris root, almost any combination is possible: sweet spices such as cinnamon and cardamom; florals like jasmine or heather; citrus, both dried and fresh; herbs, from common to the exotic; and even a few hotter spices such as chili, cumin, and Szechuan pepper.

“We mix them up and then pop them into each one’s individual copper still where they distill off over a period of about 40 minutes.” Bottles are labeled and sealed for gin school attendees to bring home. And while most attendees are gin lovers, the school even attracts some non-drinkers who are interested in the history, the process, and taking home a unique memento of a trip to Ireland.

For information about Listoke Distilleries and Listoke 1777, please visit: https://listokedistillery.ie/

For information about the Listoke Gin School, see: https://listokedistillery.ie/gin-school/


We have partnered with Tempus to bring their award-winning foreign exchange analysis & services to WPG subscribers
03 February, 2020


What You Need To Know About Importing or Exporting Wine
24 January, 2020


Celebrate #WorldTradeWeek2019 with WebPort Global
02 May, 2019

Celebrate #WorldTradeWeek2019 at The International Trade Awards Breakfast & Expo, May 13, 8:30-11 AM, Baruch College/CUNY, New York City.


The Awards Breakfast offers a dynamic array of networking opportunities with 400+ NYC-based foreign trade commissioners, bi-lateral Chambers, Consul Generals & international trade organizations there to share knowledge, resources and ideas to facilitate small business success internationally.



Trade Documentation: The Shift From Papers To Digits Is On
05 April, 2019

One of the biggest costs of and impediments to more cross-border trade is the paperwork needs of the freight forward and customs broker industry. One problem is a lot of shipments are big and heavy. Then there’s the paperwork. A Netherlands shipping company said sending a container of avocados from India to Antwerp requires 200 communications involving 30 separate parties. That adds a lot to the cost of guacamole.

Shippers and shoppers used to the speed of e-commerce deliveries—some can be made in hours if the goods are stored locally—will be chagrined by the unpredictability of sea shipments and floored by the costs of airfreight. In some markets, it takes three times longer and costs four times more to send a 150-pound item by air than to buy an airline ticket for a person weighing the same amount.

The impact of digitizing all the paper could be huge, starting with the cost of transportation. This savings should stimulate more trade and economic growth. Some economists believe that full digitization in Asia, for example, could increase the region’s exports by $257 billion a year, reducing transport times by 44% and costs by 31%. Some experts think these reductions will have more of an impact than reducing the region’s remaining tariffs. Succeed at both and a bigger trade boost is possible. If tariffs go up, as they are in the U.S., efficiencies on the logistics
side can help keep total trade costs in some sort of balance.

Trade and the documents needed to facilitate it require many moving parts. Some goods need inspections before they leave port; others when they arrive at their destination. Combatting terrorism involves other kinds of inspections. Some goods require licenses. Certain countries impose extra paperwork burdens and corresponding delays.

Technophobes beware

Freight forwarders and customs brokers, sometimes owned by the same company and sometimes separate, make good money off the arrangements. They may account for a quarter of the logistics’ industry output, or close to a $1 trillion a year. They’ve been among the most technophobic, still relying on faxes and telephones. The bills of lading used in shipping are mainly still in paper form, little changed from the documents merchants issued in medieval Europe.

Banks, insurers and governments are starting to digitize the processes; and computers and Big Data engaged to do the heavy lifting. The Global Trade Connectivity Network will launch later this year as a joint venture between Hong Kong and Singapore, digitizing trade between both places. The project is partly funded by several Chinese banks, raising hopes that the mainland will join the paperless trend. Since China produces a seventh of the world’s exports, its participation would encourage other countries to do the same. The U.S. is also headed in this direction, starting with the single window concept begun during the Obama administration. The UN has been advocating a similar approach, especially in the developing world, since 2011. https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/tradfa_e/case_studies_e/escwa_e.pdf

The WTO is pushing single window as part of its trade facilitation initiative, which provides technical assistance to countries that request it. Many countries, especially in Africa, don’t use computers to store data at ports of entry and exit, and inefficiencies including corruption are rife.

Logistics companies such as UPS, FedEx and DHL have morphed into technology companies and have pushed the countries they do business in to embrace the digital revolution. But without countries’ full participation, the current system will remain a hybrid of digits and papers. The sooner we all commit to a digital future, the faster we’ll get there.

 


Italy's Finest Ingredients, Ready to Travel the World
26 February, 2018

When you think of Italy, what comes to mind? Art? The Colosseum? Romance? Opera?

Italy has contributed significantly to all forms of culture, but if you’re like most of us, the first answer on your lips will be food. Or wine. Or both.

And, if you treasure a memory of a special night in Rome, Firenze, or Venice, and a sumptuous meal accompanied by a full-bodied Valpolicella or Pinot Grigio, chances are good that at least some of the elements for that exquisite evening arrived via wtcfoodemporium.com, the world’s largest online business-to-business marketplace for Italian food and wine.

“Over 13,000 products from all the Italian regions are available on the platform,” says Leonardo Monniello, who manages the site for the World Trade Center Trieste. “In other traditional places where restaurant owners and food managers can buy Italian products, it is almost impossible to find a selection of high end products ‘100 percent made in Italy’ as varied as in our food and beverage portal.”

In addition to requiring that all ingredients are sourced from Italy, says Monniello, companies may only be represented on the site if they are attentive to tradition. These are the culinary artisans of their respective regions; most do not distribute through mass marketing or retail chains.

Here, buyers can find handmade pastas, scrumptious desserts, delicate virgin olive oils, regional wines, sauces, pesto, fresh fish, meats, cheeses, cold cuts—virtually every taste and ingredient associated with Italian cuisine, all offered at reasonable costs.  

Typical buyers from the site include restaurant and bar owners; gourmet shops and delicatessens; and hotel and club food managers; as well as other specialty retailers. Much of the site’s revenue comes from B2C within Italy—about €1million per year—but thanks in part to promotions via the global network of World Trade Centers, businesses in other countries have begun discovering and using the emporium, especially in the Netherlands and Switzerland. Access is free of charge to registered business owners.

Most packaged foods can be shipped around the world, but the emporium also makes it possible to import perishables to other European countries. “Products are delivered in a specific packaging which keeps them fresh.”

Thanks to its advanced warehouse management system, “The order is immediately executed.  Processing time, then, is very fast – about one working day in European countries.”

Delivery time, of course, depends on the distance between the countries. To get from Italy to Twente, in the Netherlands typically takes a day or two.

We asked Monniello what kinds of opportunities WebPort Global members might find to partner with wtcfoodemporium.com. “Worldwide importers have free access to the food and beverage portal and can place orders directly online,” he said.

Where there are import restrictions, “It can represent a business opportunity for foreign companies to assist Italian producers to obtain the requested certifications.”

Through the World Trade Center Trieste, the emporium has begun to partner with other World Trade Centers to increase visibility and sales.

Monniello says that through World Trade Center partnerships, they are increasing promotions in the US where they expect to begin exporting in 2018, followed by Arabic Gulf countries.


Tips for Making Sure Buyers Find You Online
22 November, 2017

Along with your Webport Global membership, having a website that includes Search Engine Optimization (SEO) features is an important component of your sales channels strategy for increasing exports.  You can start with your company site by following a checklist of simple steps that will make your site easier to find and more likely to facilitate a sale.  You can easily and inexpensively transform your marketing site into a transactional site that can be integrated with large and specialized e-marketplaces and social media channels.

Once you’ve created your website, you need to help search engines find it on the Internet. This process is called Search Engine Optimization, or S-E-O. Most people create a website for their business before adding an online store to the site. The website is an important first step because it helps create your brand, which may not exist in the countries you’re targeting.

Keep in mind some simple but important things to enhance SEO.  They are relevant for B2C, or business to consumer transactions, but also work for B2B, or business to business promotions and sales.  Here are a few tips.

- Make it easy for visitors the visitors to find what they are looking for. Use simple declarative sentences, keeping in mind that your international visitors may not be fluent in English.

- Keep the site navigation simple. The last thing you want is for visitors, including search robots, to get lost on your site.

- Consider welcoming the international visitor prominently and telling them that you ship internationally.  If you are targeting customers from specific countries mention them.

- If your products qualify under existing free trade agreements, share that information with buyers, indicating that they may save money by paying lower or no duties on qualifying U.S.-made products.

- Make sure to emphasize when products are made in the U.S., and other countries with reputations for high quality, because for many international buyers this fact is important to their purchase decision.

- Indicate that you are delighted to receive inquiries and orders from wholesalers and distributors, as it’s usually more profitable to sell pallets and containers than selling and shipping one item at a time.

- One important element on your site is your contact information. All search engines look for phone numbers and e-mail addresses. 

- Describe your product in detail and include lots of product photos, and even video, as many international buyers prefer a lot of information. Spend a little money on getting top quality photos.

- Properly tagged, the photos you take can be found more easily on Google Image searches—another way to attract international buyers to your site.  And the more time they spend there, the higher the site will go on search engine rankings.

- Consider including original content, such as a brief company history, testimonials from buyers and even a blog.  Write in simple, concise sentences.  If you translate product information or other text, make sure the translation is done by a native speaker.

- Rename your website URLs, or individual pages from a string of characters to a name that describes what the visitor is looking for, such as the description of your company.

- Add metatag descriptions to each of the pages on your site; this helps search engines more easily find your site.

- Use existing free online tools to see where visitors are coming from, what they’re looking at, and what they’re doing.  This data can help you improve the site to reduce abandoned shopping carts and to more effectively promote the site.

Now you’re ready to take and fulfill orders and to accept payment.  You can easily add a digital store to your now global e-commerce website.

Stores are available from many online vendors with different features and price points.  Many stores integrate seamlessly with e-commerce and social media platforms, themselves now e-commerce platforms—with you controlling and improving a bigger part of the customer experience.


How to Increase International Sales in Turbulent Times
31 August, 2017

There are a few inexpensive things you can do to start or increase your international sales.  The first is to realize the benefits of going global.  They range from growing your business, lessening dependence on your home market, and getting ideas on how to improve your products by incorporating what you learn from doing business in new markets.  Any one of these accomplishments is worth the effort, but often all three of them are achievable—even in the midst of uncertainty over where the global trading system is headed.

The second action is taking fuller advantage of the growing number of e-commerce channels available to even the smallest business.  The channels have multiplied in part to meet the demand of a growing global middle class that can afford imported goods.  The creation of these two plus billion consumers is one of the most important accomplishments of globalization.  That it has come about largely because of the free trade policies created post World War II should be a reminder to us all that these policies need to continue if the economic benefits are to continue.

Using just one e-commerce marketplace is usually insufficient to achieve your business expansion goals.  Webport Global is an excellent niche marketplace.  It’s growing by adding select members who are carefully vetted and represent countries with good growth potential.  Smaller marketplaces can more easily insure that fake products and bad actors are kept out.  Service provider partners introduce members to payment and other kinds of services that make transacting business easier and more secure.  Customer service is personal and does not involve filling out online forms or talking to people in distant call centers, reading from scripts.

The larger marketplaces have advantages and should be part of the mix.  These platforms have great technology and massive numbers of buyers and sellers.  In the case of one such platform, it struggles with fake products and is regularly dinged by its own government and other regulators.  Special vigilance is needed to monitor these big marketplaces to make sure your intellectual property is protected.

Leverage your website

Your own website is often an excellent means of promoting your products to foreign buyers.  Here’s your chance to salt key works throughout the website text to help search engines find your site.  Additional proactive marketing can be done by learning how to use tools, such as Google key words.  For a budget of any size you can direct some ads at specific markets of interest where your ad pops up while buyers are searching for something that complements what you’re selling.  You only pay for ads that people click on.  These clicks can provide useful data for understanding how your campaigns are working and how you might change them to increase clicks and sales.

You can, of course, add a payment feature to your site and process orders yourself, or hire someone to do it for you.  A mix of e-commerce marketplaces, your website, and a store on one or more social media platforms, and suddenly you’ve got worldwide presence for very little cash outlay. That’s strategic exporting, rather than the passive sort where you wait for the buyer to find you.

The last strategic step to greater sales and profits is to work with the commercial officers at your embassies in the countries you’d like to enter or expand in.  You can certainly find private companies to provide these services, but they’ll cost serious money.  The advantage of your government is that many services are free or sold on a cost recovery basis.  Because they are the government, they have sources of information, contacts and a reputation as the most honest among honest brokers. Every year they help help generate billions of dollars in sales for the companies they assist, and they make a special effort to help smaller companies who are new to the world of trade.

Yes, there’s a good bit of turbulence in the world economy and in the politics of individual countries.  But there are proven ways to weather the storm and meet your business development goals.


New Zealand Wine Gaining U.S. Market Share on Premium Strategy
19 June, 2017

New Zealand has a clear shot at its target of $2 billion in wine exports by 2020, reports the New Zealand Winegrowers industry association, with New Zealand wine gaining U.S. market share, surpassing $500 million for the first time in April.

Last year, New Zealand vintners edged out Australia’s for the first time in value of shipments bound for the States. New Zealand vintners’ growth strategy has been to compete in pricier premium categories. At the same time, wine imports are trending up-market in the U.S., which still buys more wine by volume from Australia.

A similar dynamic is at work in U.S. distilled spirits exports. Bourbon, the perennial top U.S. export ranked by volume and value, recently ceded first ranking by value of exports to premium brandy in 2016. [See Whiskies Top Tipple in U.S. Trade in Distilled Spirits.]

Our trade data captures the seesawing competition between New Zealand and Australia in the U.S. imported wine market:

Note that Rabobank reported a revival in Australian wine prices in fourth-quarter 2016. This may underlie Australia’s lead over New Zealand in first-quarter 2017 FOB US$ value of U.S. wine imports.

Our bill-of-lading U.S. import data yields market intelligence on the parties to this trade, including carriers, importers and, as shown here, shippers of wine imports from New Zealand:

To see more data tracking New Zealand wine gaining U.S. market share – including the bill-of-lading on shipments arriving in U.S. ports as recently as yesterday – just ask us.


Web Port Global Helps SMEs In The Wine Industry Expand Into Global Markets
03 April, 2013

Utilizing a new business tool, Web Port Global, many in the wine industry are gaining access to a growing number of international expansion opportunities.

 WebPort Global provides its members with valuable networking connections around the globe, helping them open new doors and expand their business.

 WebPort Global’s members include a wide range of manufacturing, shipping, marketing, distribution and sales organizations around the Globe that are looking to help US business expand into international markets.

 In addition, users will find a number of listings from Spanish and Italian wine distributors looking for international exporting partners.

 “The wine industry is evolving. new and growing businesses are looking for opportunities. Our global presence helps us make these accessible to our users”, said WebPort Global President, Maureen Pace. 

 WebPort Global is the fastest, most effective and most economical way to participate in global trade for a Small and Medium Enterprise and is looking forward to helping more brands expand in 2013.  To learn more please visit www.webportglobal.com

TESTIMONIALS

 

Kevin Montecalvo- CFC, CMSSPresident of ProformaInMotion

1)  What do you like most about using WebPort Global?

a.      The ability to do business internationally

b.      The communication features

2) How did your company benefit from using WebPort Global

a.      We have found new and reliable suppliers

b.      We have received business from WebPort Global Members

c.      We have utilized the portal to connect people to our product lines 

3)      If you were to recommend us to another business, how would you describe WebPort Global

a.      WebPort Global allows you to do business around the world easier. Their communication features enable you to connect to colleagues and suppliers easily and effectively. This tool gives you the ability to do business on the buying side and selling side.  If you are doing business globally and would like to do more business WebPort Global is a must have tool. 

 Sara Morrison- Global Sourcing Coordinator, Onset Wordwide

1) What do you like most about using WebPort Global?

We appreciate the ability to upload our product information onto WebPort Global and generate buying leads. We have also found the Datamyne feature very useful, for finding importers and exporters of products and organized information on companies that others would normally have to pay for. 

 2) How did your company benefit from using WebPort Global?

It is also a great networking tool. So far, through WebPort Global, we have made a contact in Mexico, who is now a contract sales representative for our company. 

3) If you were to recommend us to another business, how would you describe WebPort Global to them?

WebPort Global is a global trade website, where companies can post buying and selling offers, network with other users, research US imports and exports via their Datamyne feature, educate themselves on international trade, and host online meetings.