Earlier this year, Alibaba Group held Go Global 11.11 Pitch Fest, a contest where beauty companies competed for the opportunity to sell on the Alibaba platform during its busiest shopping day of the year, 11.11. Brans jumped at the chance to work with Alibaba and expand into China in time for the largest shopping festival in the world, which generated $38.4 billion in gross merchandise value in 24 hours last year. One of the winners of the competition, Pipette, a clean baby and mother care brand, has been busy preparing for its launch on what is arguably the best way to reach Asian consumers. Here, Pipette President, Daya Fields, talks about how she is preparing one-year old brand, her team and her business partners for a day.
CEW Beauty News: How can a small, fledgling brand sustain the supply that will come along with this distribution opportunity?
Daya Fields: Fortunately, we have not encountered any supply chain challenges thanks to our close collaboration with Tmall Global. We ship our goods into an Alibaba/Tmall Global distribution center, located in California, where our headquarters are also based. This creates ease of communication and seamless logistic handling and the shipment and supply chain process could not be more convenient. It has been as effortless as fulfilling for any of our U.S.-based retailers.
BN: What are you estimating to generate in sales for the day?
DF: As a brand that is part of a publicly traded company providing forecasting and sales plan estimates is proprietary information. However, I can say that we have 14 of our bestselling SKUs and new launches currently live on Tmall Global as of October 20. We have invested additional marketing resources that are being executed in China that has created brand awareness and engagement, as well as new consumer education on Pipette that showcases its key point of difference. As a result, we feel we will be poised for the best case scenario for our brand on 11.11.
BN: How are you positioning your brand to the Asian market?
DF: The great thing about Pipette is that as it stands it has the brand ethos, product and packaging story that the Chinese mother, whether she is pregnant, or a brand new mom, wants to use and trust. The fact that Pipette has such a strong brand commitment to safety and clinical testing (every SKU goes through this process), additionally, we are EWG verified which is one of the highest standards in clean ingredients for the CPG industry. Pipette has also instilled more rigorous brand standards by banning over 2,000 potentially harmful ingredients from our final formulas. Based on this, there was no need to change any positioning or guidelines of the brand.
BN: What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned in preparing for 11.11?
DF: It is so important to vet and have resources available for mandarin translation. As part of the vetting process you’ll need translation resources that are bi-lingual in English, highly responsive, and that understand your target consumer, your product category, as well as the KOLs and KOCs your brand is looking to engage and connect with.