UK’s number one vitamin company is a good example of how Western brands can find success in Asia by tapping into existing ecosystems.
Using Tmall as the launchpad
The company launched its first flagship store on Alibaba’s Tmall Global platform in 2015, then a second store in 2020 just before the 11.11 Shopping Festival.
Vitabiotics plugs into Alibaba’s existing ecosystem and utilizes different elements:
- Taobao livestreaming for customer engagement. It is connected directly to the two Tmall flagship stores
- Alipay for international online transactions
- Cainiao, Alibaba’s logistical arm, for housing and storing products in bonded warehouses
- Alibaba's Data Bank tool, data dashboard for product performance and customer insights
The platform provider also has teams on the ground to provide guidance, such as marketing messages and creatives. Vitabiotics said Alibaba's end-to-end solution has made a huge difference.
Brand building and authenticity are important
The UK brand has been successful at building its brand awareness and brand story.
It has cultivated strong demand for its products amongst Chinese consumers, with Visionace ranked the second-best performing Lutein-based product on the Tmall Global platform in December 2020.
The company has an international footprint, with presence in more than 100 countries. China is now one of its top three global export markets.
Forming strategic partnership for further growth
Encouraged by the +30% year-on-year growth in 2020, Vitabiotics signed a a strategic partnership with Alibaba and Lazada, Alibaba’s affiliate company in Southeast Asia, this month to further grow the brand.
As part of the agreement, Vitabiotics will launch popular UK products to the China market for the first time, such as Wellman, Wellwoman, Cardioace, Menopace & Tea+, and is set to build on its already successful product range on the Tmall Global platform, including Osteocare, Pregnacare and Visionace. It plans to further enhance its in-market presence, through partnerships with several high-profile Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs).
“This partnership announcement is testament to the strength of heritage and quality that a brand like Vitabiotics brings to the China and Southeast Asia markets,” said David Lloyd, General Manager of the UK, Nordics and Netherlands, Alibaba Group.
He further commented: “As a result of the pandemic, consumers across China and Southeast Asia – particularly the millennial demographic – have placed greater importance on their health. In fact, it is millennials’ attitude to preventative care, as opposed to reactive, that is really driving this growth. Through continued innovation and investment into our platforms and technologies, we are well positioned to help brands like Vitabiotics meet this growing demand in both markets.”