US cosmetics brands partner with Suning for e-commerce distribution in China

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

US cosmetics brands partner with Suning for e-commerce distribution in China

Related tags Personal care Cosmetics

Burt's Bees, Maybelline, Weleda and Revlon, among other US personal care brands, will be available via the company’s USA Overseas Shopping Flagship Store launching next month.

The Suning retail franchise sells consumer electronics in stores across China, Hong Kong and Japan. The company sees an e-commerce opportunity in the demand for western personal care products. And Suning’s own survey indicates that international e-commerce in China will grow over 100% in 2015, China Daily USA reports.

Good for consumers, good for brands

The site is online now and will offer consumers not only US beauty products but also relief from international shipping fees and the convenience of package tracking. For retailers improved fulfilment infrastructure and the lower cost of shipping light-weight cosmetics products incentivize online sales.

The e-commerce platform is a chance for US merchants to brand themselves in Chinese markets without going into China, according to Li Xishang, deputy general manager of Suning R&D in the US.

Digital, mobile, beautiful

Online cosmetics sales in this country are projected to reach $81.7bn by 2017, according to a study conducted by the digital marketing agency PM Digital. “The brands that are implementing a multi-channel approach to cohesively leverage their products and brand messages are ahead of the curve,” ​Glenn Lalich, vice president of research and analysis at the agency told Cosmetics Design earlier this year.

In China e-commerce is anticipated to reach $672bn by 2018, according to Forrester Research. This swift growth will make China the largest e-tail market, outpacing the US.

E-commerce in Asia

Suning will have competition in the Chinese e-commerce space when its new site opens for business. Jumei, which sells personal care and cosmetics products online and via a mobile app, offers numerous western brands. That company, in an effort to avoid counterfeiting, codes nearly every container so shoppers can track products to their source.

L’Occitane announced plans this summer to sell cosmetics online in China through the e-commerce platform Tmall. TheTmall marketplace, an Alibaba retail site, handles nearly half of China’s online sales through 70,000+ brand partnerships.

Retailers Costco and Amazon have recently entered the Chinese market digitally, too. And earlier this month Alipay launched an ePass service, which lets US retailers sell online to English-speaking Chinese consumers. The service is operating in beta with select retailers, including Gilt, a member shopping site that offers discounted items from health and beauty as well as numerous other segments.

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