The exploding growth of China’s e-commerce business has become a goldmine to all players in the market. In particular, the country’s cross-border e-commerce business is expanding even faster than the overall e-commerce sector, which, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, witnessed a 14.1 percent increase in 2021.
When looking behind this rapid growth, these aggregators connecting overseas brands and local customers cannot be overlooked. One of these, GLOSKU, is a leading e-commerce solution provider that empowers e-commerce-based businesses to reach the Chinese market. With the slogan, “We succeed only if our brands succeed,” GLOSKU aims to incubate brands with low awareness but high potential in China, and help them maximize their return-on-investment.
By leveraging its proven social media and KOL ecosystem, GLOSKU helped American beauty brand Colourpop grow over 20 times in gross merchandise volume in just six months, bringing it to every major online marketplace and building its footprint in China.
To learn more about this partnership, Jing Daily spoke to GLOSKU’s CEO and founder Kevin Zhao. With over decades of experience in e-commerce, supply chain, and cross-border payments, Zhao explains the complications of cross-border e-commerce in China and how GLOSKU is dominating the market.
What’s the biggest challenge for overseas niche brands to enter the Chinese market?
The market trial-and-error cost is one of the concerns for overseas niche brands. For any brand that wants to succeed in China, it needs deep brand localization both on products and brand value establishment. Normally, to complete these jobs, a brand needs a dedicated operations team that understands the Chinese market and culture. The ability to operate multiple social media and e-commerce channels is also a requirement.
All of the above needs to be ready before a brand can expect a magnitude of orders to come in. For niche brand companies, the initial investment is the first and the biggest challenge before they decide to have a trial in the Chinese market.
What was the pain point of Colourpop when it decided to make a foray into China?
Colourpop had a huge following and fanbase in China prior to working with GLOSKU. However, the brand was mired by logistics, payment, and customer service issues that could have lost it many loyal customers.
The only sales channel of Colourpop was its stand-alone website which was inaccessible for many Chinese without VPN, and it only shipped through a personal shipment method which required customers to provide ID copies and face long delays and heavy taxes (up to 50 percent) for shipments. At the same time, counterfeits became rampant throughout the Chinese market due to the emergence of the brand and the fact that it was facing major issues with sales and fulfillment.
How did GLOSKU help it resolve this pain point?
GLOSKU provides a “SaaS (Software as a service) + Logistics” solution that was customized and deployed within weeks for Colourpop. We provided not only sales channels that were accessible by every single mobile phone user in China, but also the offline hardware to make sure the supply chain ran smoothly. With GLOSKU’s global supply chains, the brand was able to fulfill Chinese orders and leverage the business-to-customer clearance model, helping consumers save more than 50 percent on duties and also enjoy a much more streamlined and shorter transit time.
How did you help Colourpop navigate the local digital landscape and customize channel solutions for it?
First of all, we used our proprietary technology to truly understand Colourpop’s target market and consumer portraits before we made an omni-channel operation strategy. Based on the brand’s existing channels’ visitor demographics that we gained through Colourpop’s mini app (lowest entry barrier with no inventory risk), we made further study and market research to clarify each platform’s visitor preference. The result showed that ColourPop could promote diverse product lines on specific platforms to fulfill platform users’ habits or preferences.
Based on that, we customized the operation content and strategy for different platforms, as well as facilitated the combination of all channels to contribute to traffic flow and orders, through one GLOSKU dashboard, when special sale events such as 618 or Double 11 came.
How do you find the right Chinese beauty influencers for Colourpop?
GLOSKU has a KOL database that includes more than 50,000 influencers focusing on diverse categories such as beauty, apparel, and personal care. In Colourpop’s case, we picked several hundred KOLs who are professionals in makeup skills, familiar with US cosmetic brands, and have a high follower conversion rate.
We make sure KOLs have flexibility in the product selection, because they know what their followers are really interested in.
What’s the next step for GLOSKU?
GLOSKU’s future is aimed at making sure brands of all sizes have lower barriers to enter into China. At the same time, our model and technology are attracting larger brands, even the ones already well established in China. In the next year we plan to continue perfecting our technology and building out our accounts team to take on our ever-expanding brand portfolio.
Beyond that, together with our strategic partners, we are creating completely new shopping experiences in the metaverse and beyond! As our market and partnerships in China stabilize, we plan to expand our destination markets to Southeast Asia by 2023 and also our origin markets from North America to Europe within 2022.