Performance-driven: Aussie skincare brand Ultraceuticals expanding across the US after enduring pandemic setbacks
Ultraceuticals was founded in 1998, by Australian cosmetic physician Dr Geoffrey Heber. The range encompasses both cosmeceutical-grade homecare and professional in-clinic treatment products.
The product range includes 36 SKUs that address all skin concerns from acne to the signs of premature ageing and sun care. Prices range from USD31 to USD117.
In February, the company expanded into the US after facing setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The launch into the US market has been planned for several years, and the timing of COVID-19 caused us to pause on-boarding our distributors for nine months,” said CEO Karen Wilkin-Donachie.
In the US, Ultraceuticals will be sold direct-to-consumer at their official website as well as through professional retail channels.
Partnering with professionals at medical spas, beauty spas and salons are part of the company’s strategy to connect with consumers stateside.
“There are very few performance-driven skincare brands that are strongly supporting the professional channel. Our professional-centric distribution model positions us to create a true spirit of partnership with medispa and spa owners and their team of aestheticians,” said Wilkin-Donachie.
She added that the company will work with its partners to bring its blended learning educational programs, including interactive webinars to the US market.
"We operate an omnichannel business model which means our relationships are the most important aspect of our business. True partnership is the cornerstone of our mission - including our relationship with the consumer, esthetician, and distributors,” said Wilkin-Donachie.
The company will continue onboarding distributors and aims to provide full-service coverage across the US by July.
It will continue to partner with the professional channels and currently has no plans to expand distribution through other offline or online channels.
“At this stage, we have no plans for a brick-and-mortar venture and do not present the brand on third party online retailers. We direct all online sales through our official website and offer an attractive rebate to salon spa partners which helps to minimise grey market activity that unfairly competes with our business partners,” said Wilkin-Donachie.
New market and product expansion
Despite the pandemic-related disruption, Ultraceuticals has managed to achieve ongoing growth in locally in Australia and New Zealand as well as internationally in countries such as Ireland and Russia.
“Like many other skincare brands, we have also experienced a significant increase in online sales during this time,” added Wilkin-Donachie.
She credited the company’s proactive initiatives and willingness to embrace necessary new practices.
“We quickly transformed all communication to connect virtually with our spa salon partners, increasing the frequency and content that was delivered in business webinars and one-on-one webinars to coach them through strategies aimed at generating revenue during and coming out of COVID-19.”
The company believes the brand still has much room for expansion given the need for need for efficacious skin care in professional channel in markets such as Europe and Asia.
Wilkin-Donachie revealed that the company will work to expand its presence in Europe after its US expansion.
Apart from market expansion Wilkin-Donachie hinted that the company will be launching new products this year.
“We can’t reveal too much, but many exciting developments are planned for 2021 along with some updated reformulations of our Vitamin A and Vitamin C as new technologies come to hand. Stay tuned!”