December 15, 2019

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INTERVIEW, Lilo Peng, tomtoc

by Liam McSherry, Wednesday 25 September 2019

tomtoc

The upcoming DISTREE Asia-Pacific hosted buyer event, which takes place in Singapore from November 6th to 8th, gives exhibitors the time to hold pre-scheduled meetings with senior executives from channel partners from 20+ countries. tomtoc will exhibit at DISTREE APAC to showcase its latest portfolio of bags and accessories. Channel APAC caught up with Lilo Peng, Marketing Manager at tomtoc, to learn more about their plans for 2019.

Channel APAC (CA) What do you want to achieve at DISTREE APAC 2019? What are your key goals for the event?

Lilo Peng (LP) We want to boost our sales in Asia B2B channels and build close partnerships with at least five retailers or distributors in the region. Secondly, we would like to be known by more relevant potential clients in this industry. We would like to know the preference of purchasing, marketing trends in the APAC market with a view to tailoring our products and services for this market. Lastly, we would like to understand the basic operation standard in the APAC B2B market and model.

Channel APAC (CA) What products/solutions will you be showcasing at DISTREE APAC 2019? What do you want retailers and channel partners to know about your portfolio?

Lilo Peng (LP) tomtoc aims to design and manufacture the best laptop sleeves and accessory bags to protect customers’ digital devices and gear. We also want to provide the best solutions to organizations. Our product line includes laptop sleeves, business messenger bags and laptop backpacks. These products are perfectly compatible with most mainstream laptops such as Dell, Microsoft and Apple.

Where we are different from other brands in the market is that we focus on originality to meet the expectations set by today’s consumers. Our products a perfect blend of form and function, combining high-end lifestyle with the safe and easy carrying of digital storage products.

Our MacBook storage series and Nintendo Switch case series have been popular among users around the world. Our shoulder bag was named ‘Best Laptop Shoulder Bag’ by Wirecutter; and our Switch case has been named as the ‘Best Nintendo Switch Case’ by Wirecutter as well as picking up an ‘iMore Choice’ award.

Our brand started on Amazon, and thanks to our lovely customers’ feedback, it is growing fast online and offline.

Channel Plans

(CA) Describe how your channel business has developed in the past 12 months? What trends have you seen and what have been the highlights for your business?

(LP) tomtoc’s channel sales in the APAC region have increased by 300% in the past 12 months, so it is foreseeable that this growth will continue over the next two years. Our products are genuinely high quality and innovative, which makes a huge difference to our overall growth and market development. The quality of our products speaks for itself.

(CA) Which geographic areas and/or channels represent the greatest opportunity for growth for your company in APAC?

(LP) We have established channel partners in Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan and Hong Kong so we are prioritizing other countries in the APAC region where we do not have retail or distribution partners in place.

(CA) Why should retailers and channel partners sell your products? What makes your channel proposition better than competitors in the market?

1. A Unique Product Range We are technology enthusiasts who always pursue the latest digital trend in the market. Enlightened by the simplicity of life philosophy, we employ the minimal and ingenious design to express our attitude towards life and to meet the evolving demand of tech lovers. Our company devoted the most and the best resources to our product design team. The professional team will always design and renovate the better products based on our targeted customers’ demands and lifestyles. The above shows how our company earns our long-term market competitiveness.

2. Customer Experience We’re always listening to our customers and use their feedback to improve our products and services. This helps us to enhance the customer experience with tomtoc, and provide exceptional products and services.

3. Professional Sales and Marketing Team In line with our approach to our products, the sales and marketing teams aim to provide the best services to our customers. Apart from professional and comprehensive sales functions, one-stop logistic solutions, and hassle-free after-sales service, we regularly visit our clients, and keep track of what’s happening in the market. We work closely with our partners and offer unique sales and marketing strategies and resources to develop and expand the business.

(CA) Do you have a structured channel programme? Do you offer a strong margin proposition to your partners? Please explain this area of your business.

(LP) There are various kinds of cooperation plans toward different categories of clients. We hope to cooperate with channels through distributors, and also willing to communicate and work with them directly as well. Specific cooperation plans will be made according to the needs and requirements of different customers to assure the profit margin.

(CA) What sort of support do you offer channel partners and retailers in terms of marketing, promotions and channel development activities?

(LP) tomtoc provides all the necessary materials, point of sale and samples that retailers, e-tailers and distributors need to understand and promote our brand and products. We’re also active on key social platforms such as facebook, Instagram and Twitter to support local brand awareness campaigns and sales promotions.

(CA) How quickly is your business growing in the APAC region? What market trends have you identified that are impacting your business segment?

Our channel sales in the APAC region have increased by 300% in the past 12 months. Although tomtoc officially started sales development in the APAC market in 2018, we have initially completed the layout of the APAC market in just one year.

The most obvious market trends affecting us is that large computer manufacturers release new products, such as Apple, Microsoft, etc., followed by product upgrades of competing brands. But these two points are not only challenges but also a significant driving force for us to move forward.

(CA) Is your company channel-friendly? How would you describe your overall go-to-market approach in the APAC market?

(LP) Yes, absolutely. The APAC market is our cornerstone, and our production lines and warehouses are located conveniently to the region. This gives us a great advantage in terms of logistical efficiency and cost. For the APAC market, our teams focus on localization and works closely with local distributors to conduct business.

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