BelezaNaWeb goes big on ecommerce in South America

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

BelezaNaWeb goes big on ecommerce in South America

Related tags Direct sales Marketing Brazil

A private equity investment out of New York City has backed the ecommerce beauty site to the tune of $30m in series C finding, just as the Brazilian market opportunity for digital selling is set for sizeable growth.

Beauty and fashion transactions led Brazil’s 2014 retail ecommerce market to 22% growth, reports Julie Ruvolo for TechCrunch. And there’s plenty of room for the industry to expand online.

BelezaNaWeb plans to use the equity to bring more brands to its consumers, hire more employees and continue to improve upon the consumer experience, Alex Serodio, founder and CEO, tells the press.

The company will likely launch its own private label and is keyed into the significance of mobile commerce and social recommendation too, according to Serodio. BelezaNaWeb is growing over 50% yearly, profitable, and, with this latest cash infusion, hoping to change the ways Brazilians buy beauty.

The direct sales model works well in South America. “Unlike the US, with massive and varied retail distribution channels for beauty products, direct sales dominate in Brazil, accounting for 70% of cosmetics and perfume sales, according to Serodio;” ​that’s in comparison to “9% of cosmetics sales in the US,” ​notes Ruvolo.

Mary Kay recently launched in Colombia​, and Avon restructured its business​ late last year into separate divisions for serving northern and southern Latin America. The Brazilian beauty company Natura also does a fair amount of its business through direct sales. (Natura made news lately with its initiative to formulate beauty products with microalgae oil​.)

BelezaNaWeb uses digital tools rather than entrepreneurial representatives or consultants to make connections and build rapport. The site purposefully curates the products it offers and also educates and engages with consumers through expert beauty content and how-to items.

BelezaNaWeb is poised for success not only because the time is right for this market to go digital, but also because it can help local and global brands enter the Brazilin beauty space. “The market leaders in Brazil own their distribution channels,”​ Serodio told TechCrunch. “It’s very hard to get products to people in Brazil. Ecommerce is a way to get them.”

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