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Australia: e-retailers become favoured choice for online consumers in China

Friday 17 March 2017 | 10:36 AM CET

Chemist Warehouse, Sigma Pharmaceuticals have become favored choices among China’s online consumers, and for Blackmores, 40% of sales come from Chinese consumers.

More than half of Chinese consumers go online to shop with overseas retailers for health and nutritional products. Blackmores entered China in 2012 and began to operate its virtual store on Tmall.com in the same year. The company also sells through JD.com.

Blackmores’ sales for the H2 of 2015 grew 65% to USD 341.4 million year-over-year, and profit increased 165%. The company excluded sales to Chinese consumers, revenue increased just 14%.

Alibaba will open an office in Australia in 2017 and more than 1,000 Australian brands or retailers have launched their brand stores on Tmall.com, according to Alibaba. 1,300 Australian brands sell on Tmall and Tmall Global combined, and 80% had entered China for the first time. In 2015, sales hit USD 14.32 billion on online marketplaces operated by Alibaba.

Australian e-retailers, like Sigma Pharmaceuticals, enter China by launching Chinese-language versions of their ecommerce sites. The latest example is health products retailer Pharmacy 4 Less, which in November 2016 started to sell into China via its online division. Pharmacy 4 Less has more than 40 pharmacy stores in Australia.

Roy Young Chemist site experienced more than 700% sales growth after launching, according to the company. Rob Young Chemist selected Chinese cross-border e-commerce service provider Azoya Group to handle challenges which include understanding the local culture and handling cross-border logistics. Azoya helps overseas retailers build their Chinese ecommerce sites with marketing, customer services and logistics support.

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