Riding the K-wave: Shopee to boost premium platform with more K-beauty brands

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Shopee is aiming to boost its premium beauty offering, with K-beauty brands a particular target. [Sulwhasoo]
Shopee is aiming to boost its premium beauty offering, with K-beauty brands a particular target. [Sulwhasoo]

Related tags K-Beauty e-commerce

Asia E-commerce platform Shopee is aiming to boost its premium beauty offering, with K-beauty brands a particular target, after data showed the category’s rise was showing no signs of slowing.

Korean beauty and skin care products have long been in vogue in the Asian region and Shopee’s recent insights reveal that it has not lost its lustre in South East Asia and Taiwan.

“Due to the worldwide popularity of K-pop and K-beauty, Korean brands or products featured in shows or that have Korean celebrity endorsement always perform very well, and we see more shoppers searching and buying related products on Shopee. In fact, based on products exported from Korea to the region last year, the Beauty category was the top best-selling on Shopee, seeing year-on-year growth,” ​said Ian Ho, regional managing director, Shopee.

The platform has also seen brands such as Amorepacific-owned Laneige and innisfree consistently ranked in the top five of the beauty category on Shopee’s annual mega campaigns from 9.9 to 12.12.

Since launching on Shopee Mall in 2018, Amorepacific has recorded more than 13 times of growth in Gross Merchandise Value (GMV), and doubled its e-commerce business regionally in 2020
In February, Amorepacific signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Shopee in bid to expand its digital reach in SEA as well as extend its presence to Taiwan.

The K-beauty major and Shopee will work together on data-driven strategies, joint marketing efforts and more co-branded collaboration.

This April, Amorepacific will be launching the first regional campaign for Sulwhasoo on Shopee Premium under the MOU.

“Following the strong performance of Sulwhasoo’s launch in Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand on Shopee last year, this campaign aims to drive higher online sales and premium category growth on e-commerce,” ​said Ho.

Shopee Premium was launched last October to provide online shoppers with direct access to authentic premium products.

Gen Z drives premium rush

According to Shopee, it has observed a growth in demand of premium beauty brands exceeding mass beauty brands on its platform.

“We observed that there has been sustained demand and growth in the personal luxury goods market across the region, stimulated by the growing middle-class in SEA. This is boosted by more digital savvy millennials and Gen Zs making more beauty purchases across online platforms for convenience and their preference to discover new brands online,” ​said Ho.

According to a McKinsey & Company report, premium shoppers are one of the largest consumer segments within the generation across Asia Pacific.

These shoppers are most likely to be willing to pay extra to get what they want and will take time to research, compare, and subsequently make the purchase mainly online,” ​said Ho.

“The health and beauty category has always been one of our top performing categories, and we’ve seen consistently strong demand for beauty products on Shopee. We believe that this trend will further boost the growth of the beauty category on our platform as more brands join Shopee Premium to tap on our differentiated offering to reach these shoppers.”

With an increasing number of premium shoppers choosing to buy premium products online, he added that more brands will recognise the need to differentiate themselves through partnerships and collaborations.

“For beauty brands who want to reach these digital-savvy young shoppers who are making more beauty purchases across online platforms, partnering with e-commerce platforms like Shopee to launch their products and tap on the differentiated platform offerings will help them engage and be top-of-mind for these shoppers.”

The firm told CosmeticsDesign-Asia​ that it was in the midst of onboarding more premium K-beauty brands on Shopee Premium apart from Amorepacific brands.

“As part of our commitment to curate a selection of brands that meet the growing demand from our users, we’ve also partnered with several other Korean beauty brands such as LG Pra.L and Su:m37 on Shopee Premium, across different markets.”

Furthermore, the company is aiming to grow the platform even further by adding even more touch points, driving more large-scale regional initiatives and introducing new features to provide a differentiated user experience.

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