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For Immediate Release

One out of three office administrators purchases online leads this trend by further strengthening its service offerings

Hong Kong, 19 March 2001 - Online purchasing* is well accepted by local office administrators, according to a recent telephone survey on office operation spending commissioned by, Hong Kong's leading office and business supplies b2b e-commerce portal and a subsidiary of Hutchison E-commerce Limited.

The survey was conducted by Taylor Nelson Sofres, which successfully interviewed 300 companies** in Hong Kong during February 2001. When respondents were asked 'To what extent does the Internet affect their business', 50% of respondents chose 'Not at all'. However, when asked 'In what ways are you involved in the Internet now', the answer is highly positive.The survey indicates that while the Internet continues to serve as a company brochure, a tool for research and communication, it has become a tool for e-commerce and on-line purchasing (see Appendix - table one).

Mr. Stephen Winterhalder, Chief Operating Officer of, said: "As a leader in b2b e-commerce, we are committed to using survey research to find out more about the local market and the online purchasing behaviors of local office administrators. The findings are highly encouraging to us. It indicates that corporations are using the Internet as an e-commerce tool and one out of three office administrators purchases online."

"What we would like to see is customers revisiting our site and ordering from us more regularly. To that end, we have kicked off our e-CRM (e-Customer Relationship Management) programme. We are employing datamining techniques to segment our customers and find out their purchasing patterns. Based on our datamining results, we can predict what the customers want and start cross-selling our products." Mr. Winterhalder continued.

In the survey, it also indicates that the top three perceived benefits of purchasing online are 'easier to source products', 'easier to do price comparison', and 'quicker order and processing time'.

Mr. Winterhalder commented: "This finding reassures us of our efforts in delivering our value proposition and operational excellence. As a market leader and innovator in the industry, we will continue to strive to exceed customers' expectation in terms of price, product range and service offerings. In order to stay ahead of market changes, we will conduct this survey regularly."

Other key findings in the survey include: 1) 54% of respondents are taking a cautious approach towards office operation spending this year; 2) regarding factors that most affect office operation spending decisions, 'company policy' (39%) was cited as the most important factor, followed by 'their company performance last year' (25%).

* Online purchasing is not confined to the area of office supplies. It refers to all e-procurement.

** Quota sample consisted of 120 randomly selected customers and 180 randomly selected corporations.



Table one: In what ways are you involved in the Internet now?

Website as a company brochure55.7%
Website as an e-commerce tool37.3%
Using internet to search for information74.3%
Internet as communication tool73.7%
Online purchasing33.7%
Not involved in internet6.0%
Don't know6.7%
Refuse to answer0.3%

Total number of respondents: 300

Note: Respondents could choose more than one answer.

Notes To Editors: is a leading office and business supplies b2b e-commerce portal, providing over 6,000 products to more than 17,000 customers in Hong Kong. Dedicated to serving office administration and finance managers, focuses on providing customers with comprehensive product ranges at highly competitive prices. operates on a technology platform based on a number of enterprise applications, specifically designed and built for the business.

Web features offered include customised favourite items lists, standing orders, group account workflow for multiple users (orderers), authorisation limits, approval workflow, order status tracking (warehouse/transit/delivered), order history analysis by order point/category/product, and payment status of past deliveries. uses a state-of-the-art e-payment solution provided by HSBC. All financial transactions are direct with HSBC in a completely secure environment and no credit card information will be lodged with's hub for storage, order processing and distribution is located in Kwai Chung. The 95,000-sq-ft Distribution Centre has over 100 staff and 25 delivery vehicles operating. Orders taken on are immediately retrieved at the warehouse and processed for next day delivery.

In December 2000, won the Certificate of Merit (Application Category) in IT Excellence Awards 2000 organized by Hong Kong Computer Society.

For Further Information: - Rufus Parkinson2121 5566
GCI Group - Andrew Mak2911 9117
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