October 31, 2013 (Powerhomebiz.com) Import Export Planet (IEP) finally launched its website importexportplanet.com on 17th Oct 2013. IEP is a website that lists manufacturer, importer, exporter, service provider companies, their products and services. In fact any company that is in some way connected to world trade or import and export can apply to be a member.
At first glance, the website has some similarities to other B2b Marketplaces, but then it also has some characteristics of a high quality web directory. One thing we noticed was the URLs used for companies, categories and even products were incredibly short and friendly.
It seems as if IEP is trying to be the happy medium between a Marketplace and a directory. It doesn’t go as far as providing escrow accounts or financial transaction between members but then it’s much more than a web directory in the sense that companies can create profiles, upload products, generate and receive product and company enquiries, post trade leads as well as a messaging facility that allows members to contact each other and make enquiries.
We spoke to Zoe Guven, IEP’s regional marketing manager based in London-UK. She sounded upbeat and excited about the future. “Our ultimate goal is obviously to increase visibility, generate leads and increase sales for our members, but we believe that trade is as much about people and relationships as it is about the products and companies. We have a lot of fresh ideas about making the business more interesting and more fun to use. As well as usability, we aim to maximise exposure for those members who are more pro-active, more persistent and more likely to respond to communications”, Zoe said.
When asked about the idea and inspiration behind IEP, Zoe responded: “When we were developing the IEP concept, we were mindful of the fact that whilst being very useful, many marketplaces have become too chaotic, too flat in structure and the quality of members and information they provide, is sometimes questionable. So structure was one of the key factors in the development of the IEP website. We really liked the purity and the organic nature of human edited directories such as dmoz.org. We felt that marrying the best features of a quality organic directory and a global marketplace is the way forward. To mix things up, we even introduced some social features to provide interactivity between members and for visitors to determine how active member companies are. We provided a private messaging service for members which means they can freely communicate with each other and make enquiries. Obviously visitors would be more inclined to do business with a company that is highly visible and proactive than a company that has been inactive and its profile not been updated for a long time.”
“As far as memberships go, we offer a free and a gold membership. With both types, we check every single application and make sure that the information entered meets our standards. If it doesn’t, then the application is declined and in the case of gold members, we immediately refund the applicant’s money.
We are human-edited directory after all. I believe if we keep up our standards and stay true to what we want to achieve, we will continue to grow and expand our horizons. That is the main challenge”, concluded Zoe.
About Import Export Planet:
Import Export Planet is a directory/marketplace for manufacturers, importers, exporters, distributors and wholesalers from around the globe. Import Export Planet offers free and paid memberships.