China continues to shape the future of eCommerce, with online sales totaling $1.31 trillion in 2018, two and half times more than the U.S. total of $513.6 billion. Explosive retail growth in China can be largely credited to eCommerce giant Alibaba fueling the concept of ‘New Retail,’ the convergence of online and offline shopping with innovative technologies to deliver the ultimate customer experience.
Despite being the world leader in eCommerce sales, China presents many barriers for brands and retailers trying to enter the market. To avoid stringent government regulations and requirements, many companies have opted to sell to the China market through a cross-border eCommerce (CBEC) platform. This model gained traction when the government passed laws to encourage cross-border commerce and technology giants Alibaba and JD.com launched marketplaces designed specifically for cross-border selling, Tmall Global and JD Worldwide, respectively, that enable U.S. brands to bypass many regulations, including animal testing and establishing operations in China.
The CBEC model provided a glowing business opportunity for jane iredale. Founded in 1994 by the company’s namesake, jane iredale is an award-winning cosmetics brand that embraces a holistic approach to beauty. Based in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, the company is committed to providing clean, vegan and cruelty-free beauty products and is touted as being the first to offer a makeup line with healthy skincare benefits. Their tagline is “The Skincare Makeup.”
Currently, jane iredale is available in more than 50 countries through fine spas and salons, resorts, apothecaries, medical offices, and luxury retail stores. With China well on its way to becoming the largest cosmetics and body care market in the world, company founder Jane Iredale recognized the massive potential for eCommerce sales in the country. However, a lack of marketplace knowledge and several regulatory roadblocks prevented the cosmetics brand from entering the China market.
Read the full case study to learn how Tompkins International delivered an all-inclusive CBEC strategy, structure and implementation roadmap that enabled jane iredale to offer its products to the $130 billion cosmetics market in China.