Rising demand for foreign beauty imported products, new platforms and a push from the government propel the trend.
Cross-border e-commerce with China is becoming a very “fashionable” topic this year in the beauty Industry , and certainly represents a strong and new opportunity to develop a business flow with China, for Perfum, cosmetics, luxury and Health care products.
Demand for foreign products:
As incomes increase in China, consumers are increasing their purchases of imported goods.
They can buy directly from foreign retailers and suppliers by clicking a mouse or dragging a screen.
Chinese consumers are particularly interested in Western products in the areas of maternal and child care, healthcare, clothing, cosmetics, etc.
- But imports are often expensive.
- By 2015, China’s cross-border (B2B & B2C) e-commerce reached RMB 259 billion (US $ 40 billion), accounting for more than 6% of consumer electronic commerce in China.
Alibaba’s TMall Global
The main e-commerce site of China is Tmall of Alibaba, which entered the market with a cross-border site (Tmall Global).
Tmall Global has attracted large foreign retailers, such as Costco and Lotte Mart, to its cross-border site.
Lotte Mart is an East Asian hypermarket that sells a variety of grocery, apparel, toys, electronics and other products, headquartered in South Korea.
Lotte Mart is a division of Lotte Co.Ltd which sells food and beverage services in South Korea and Japan.
In 2006, Lotte Mart opened its first overseas branch.
Since 2011, Lotte Mart has had 199 branches (92 branches in Korea, 82 branches in China, 23 branches in Indonesia and 11 branches in Vietnam).
Costco Wholesale Corporation is a wholesale company operating a chain of distribution operating on the principle of club-warehouse with membership.
Amazon has not only recently opened its offshore store sites to Chinese consumers, but also offers users of its Chinese site (Amazon.cn) a list of productsSelected with descriptions and specifications in Chinese.
- Products from a foreign country and sold internationally must be inspected by Tmall Global Security and will obviously pass through the Chinese Customs Stage.
- The presentation page of the product must be in Chinese, use the international measurement system and size, and finally offer a customer service in Chinese.
- Logistics must ship the product within 72 hours of ordering online. It is often preferable to choose direct delivery, or delivery through certified warehouses in China, and finally to consumers. Order tracking for all products is mandatory.
- After-sales service must have premises in China to handle returns.
It is obvious that any company seeking to settle on the Chinese market must go through the Alibaba platform, Tmall.
Online E-Commerce plateform in China
This online platform is truly an indispensable means to expand its market in China, and it has halved delivery times for packages from abroad.
- Previously, customers had to wait up to 30 days to receive their packages, now it only takes about two weeks.
- Then, Chinese customers had to have some knowledge of English to order foreign products, and had to have a credit card valid for transactions in foreign currencies.
- Now, everything is done by Alipay.
Opening a virtual store on Tmall Global is the easiest but not the cheapest way to get started on e-commerce in China.
In order to prevent illegal imports of goods, China has created a favorable postal service of 10 to 50% for a large list of items for personal use, sometimes as little as half normal. (Taxes under 50 RMB are generally excluded.)
Eight Chinese cities have established commercial zones that are eligible for this tax system, with a greater chance of doing so, and electronic commerce players have evolved to speed customs clearance of goods.
Rapid growth and growing competition are fueling alliances and new strategies.