Nita Cosmetics was launched in 2017 under Dimensi Moda, a subsidiary of Malaysian travel retail company Dimensi Eksklusif, which distributes brands such as Dior, Chanel, MAC Cosmetics, Shu Uemura and Jo Malone.
Despite having a solid history in retail, founder Aznita Azman told CosmeticsDesign-Asia that the brand had a slow start.
“In Malaysia, most of the strongest beauty brands are owned or backed by a celebrity or influencer. Honestly, that celebrity backing helps a brand to thrive quickly. Because our brand is not fronted by a celebrity or an influencer, it took us a few years for us to consolidate that consumer base.”
Today, the company is available online through its official website, Lazada, Shopee as well as offline in department stores such as SOGO, Isetan, IOI City Mall and AEON.
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the offline retail side of the business as a result of the Movement Control Order (MCO) that affected several Malaysian states.
“We took a tumble offline because we had to shut our outlets for three months. We’re lucky that when we started out, we focused more on online. With the help of our marketing team, we really strengthened our online strategy.”
Instead of scaling back, the company pumped in more into its marketing investments and expanded its B2B business. Additionally, it also diversified its portfolio into hand sanitisers and protective facial masks.
Full speed ahead
Despite the pandemic, the brand observed healthy sales in its eye make-up category and its lip make-up category.
“Actually, our lipstick sales did not decrease thanks to our matte liquid lipsticks which do not transfer on to your mask,” said Aznita.
This year, the company intends to ramp up its product launch pipeline as is confident the make-up category will continue to recover this year.
“Pandemic or not, women want to look good. Wearing make-up can be a confidence booster. Even wearing a little lipstick at home can make them feel more empowered,” said Aznita.
She revealed that the brand planned to launch two products a month for the whole year so it would be ready to capture the market when demand for make-up rises back up to pre-pandemic levels.
“We’ve had to slow down because of the MCO. Now in 2021, we’re coming back in full force. We will have more products coming – highlighters, eyeshadows and make-up brushes. We’re aiming to launch two products a month to keep the consistency and keep it fresh for our customers,” said Aznita.
The company would be focusing on mask-friendly transfer-proof products and several other trends it has observed.
“We’re seeing the brow trend getting bigger. We expect to see more brow formats in the market. At the same time, we’re not forgoing other categories like lips. However, we have to be more creative and play around with formulas to make sure it is mask-friendly.”
Additionally, it plans to expand its presence in the market in its home market and overseas.
Online, it intends to strengthen its presence on Shopee and Lazada to reach a wider audience in the South East Asian region.
However, the brand’s first focus is on its home market. “A lot of our customers still come from the Klang Valley area, so I believe we have a lot of potential and opportunities to expand our base in other states as well.”
Furthermore, it will work on expanding its dropshipping channel with more agents.
Dropshipping is a retail fulfilment method where a store doesn't keep the products it sells in stock. Instead, it purchases the item from a third-party and has it shipped directly to the customer.
“You’ll be surprised how in 2021 there are still a lot of people who are not comfortable to shop online and want someone else to do it for them. At the same time, there are a lot of dropship agents, like students or homemakers that want to sell for that extra income.”