German luxury skin care brand Amala Beauty last week launched livestream campaigns on Tmall Global, Alibaba’s online marketplace, as part of China’s “618” shopping festival. The company said the event exceeded expectations and noted the Chinese market offers remarkable opportunities for the brand to grow.
The company said its livestream “focused on exclusive performance skin care products for the China market, deepening the luxury brand’s connection with consumers in the biggest e-commerce market in the world.”
In a statement from Azoya, a strategic partner of Amala Beauty’s, the company said high-end sales of beauty products are soaring on online marketplaces. “Professional and premium skin care products with natural or organic ingredients are in demand in China, as female consumers spend more on trusted, safe, luxury products,” the company noted.
Amala Beauty teamed with the China retail experts at Azoya as a strategic partner to enter the China market. The launch was at the Tmall Global flagship store, and debuted in early December. The beauty brand said since the launch, it “has experienced sustained growth in China.”
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“Collaborating with Azoya helped us boost brand reach and speed-to-market, and mitigate risks of foreign expansion as global e-commerce booms,” said Amy Daugherty, global head of marketing at Amala Beauty, who also noted that Azoya “managed brand marketing and operations on popular platforms Little Red Book, Weibo, and WeChat.”
Franklin Chu, managing director of the U.S. for Azoya, said “livestreaming modernizes marketing by connecting brands with consumers using fun and informative, real-time content. With China’s livestreaming e-commerce rising significantly over the past few years, it is undoubtedly an essential tool for beauty brands to reach Chinese digital-savvy consumers and promote products directly.”
Daugherty told WWD that the livestream was Amala’s first participation in a major shopping holiday “and thankfully, June now represented our strongest month yet. Livestreams are a great opportunity to educate new consumers on our brand and products directly from a source the consumer trusts. Livestreams play (and will continue to play) a big part in our steady growth on Tmall.”
When asked if she was surprised by the enthusiasm of Chinese shoppers for the brand, Daugherty said, “yes and no. We have a strong track record of success in the region, with many consumers flocking to our global spa partners from China over the years. Therefore, we knew that some demand already existed when we entered the market late last year. However, success in the regional luxury spa market does not predict success in China’s digital ecosystem.”
She also said the company’s product line fills a gap in the luxury skin care market in China. “Amala’s positioning as a natural and organic luxury brand with clinical efficacy is certainly unique, but we weren’t entirely certain how this would play out in the digital space, and particularly for a consumer who would discover Amala through Tmall versus a luxury destination spa,” Daugherty told WWD.
Daugherty said the company “initially underestimated” the role of clinically proven efficacy with a digital-first consumer. “Thankfully, the amount of research that the Chinese consumer does prior to purchase has actually benefited the brand,” she explained. “Over the years, we have developed a reputation for the extreme rigor that we apply to ingredient selection and purity, our formulation standards, and the clinical efficacy of each product. Having these proof points on-hand and ready to share has contributed to the acceptance of the brand for a savvy and discerning Chinese consumer.”
In regard to further opportunities for the beauty brand in China, Daugherty said the country “represents nothing but opportunity for Amala.”
“Today, we are exclusively available through cross-border trade on Tmall,” Daugherty said. “However, in the future, we expect to have in-store experiential opportunities, allowing consumers to learn about Amala in a completely new way. Given that we don’t test on animals, we have some limitations in place. However, we don’t see this as a barrier to moving forward with an on-the-ground, experience-led strategy. It just forces us to think creatively about our partnerships and how we activate behind them.”