News & Analysis

Online cosmetics retailer Adore Beauty expands into China through Alibaba’s Tmall platform

- April 19, 2016 2 MIN READ
adore beauty

Fresh off the conclusion of Australia Week in China, a 1000-strong trade delegation that toured China looking for new ways to do business in and with the world’s biggest market, online cosmetics retailer Adore Beauty has announced its expansion into China.

The business has launched a storefront on Alibaba’s Tmall platform, which allows international brands to sell to China without having a physical presence in the country.

The Tmall platform is a good place to be, with sales rising by 68 percent in the last financial year to exceed $170 billion. This, and the fact the Chinese cosmetics market the largest in the world, estimated to be worth almost US$114 billion by 2017, means it is a particularly good place to be for Adore Beauty.

As such, founder and CEO of Adore Beauty Kate Morris said the decision to move into China was an easy one once the country’s regulations on cosmetics, which required animal testing to be conducted on new products, were relaxed.

“We became aware of the new regulations, and were also reading more and more about the Chinese middle class and how they’re really looking for products in the health, beauty, and baby spaces that are Australian-made and offer that combination of purity and ethics, and performance as well,” Morris said.

“The exciting thing about cross-border ecommerce now is it opens up the opportunity for quality, ethical, organic brands to be introduced to Chinese consumers without having to compromise their ethical standards or reduce the amount of active ingredients in their products.”

Adore Beauty, which is tracking at 70 percent growth year-on-year and expects to turn over $16 million this financial year, first began looking into China just under 12 months ago, with the application process for Tmall taking around six months. It will also be integrating Chinese payment service Alipay, formerly owned by Alibaba, into its Australian platform to serve the local Chinese community.

The launch of Adore Beauty onto Tmall comes a month after the Victorian Government signed a deal with Australia Post to help get Australian businesses onto Australia Post’s Tmall shopfront.

Victoria’s Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis called the deal is a “game-changer” for businesses.

“It will allow them to participate in a ‘virtual trade mission’ and sell their products direct to consumers in the world’s largest economy, without leaving their homes,” he said.

For now, Morris is focused on getting China right, but said Adore Beauty will be looking at more opportunities to expand around the Asia Pacific region.

“There a lot of places where pure high performance Australian-made products can be appealing, and where our approach to customer service and value adding and creating an empowered consumer will be appealing.”

Image: Kate Morris. Source: Supplied.