‘Magic of Tmall’ not what it used to be: Coty’s Lancaster finds route to success in China with Douyin livestreaming

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

 Lancaster is capitalising on the immense popularity of Douyin and livestreaming, bypassing Tmall. [Lancaster]
Lancaster is capitalising on the immense popularity of Douyin and livestreaming, bypassing Tmall. [Lancaster]

Related tags tmall douyin China Coty Skin care

Coty-owned Lancaster is capitalising on the immense popularity of Douyin and livestreaming, bypassing e-commerce major Tmall.

The American beauty company launched Lancaster Ligne Princière mid-March. The ultra-premium skin care range is billed as the official beauty brand of the Monegasque royal family and its most famous member, Grace Kelly.

The launch of the brand has been successful, especially in China, one of the company’s key markets.

“While we are still very early in the Ligne Princiere launch, the initial results continue to be very promising,” ​said CEO Sue Y. Nabi.

“The conversion rate at all counters in this very competitive Chinese mainland and Hainan counters is currently in line to a head of leading beauty peers with Lancaster Ligne Princiere driving the majority of the sales,” ​she said during the dbAccess Global Consumer Conference by Deutsche Bank held on June 6.

The brand has been successful so far on Chinese social media and e-commerce platform, Douyin, the Chinese counterpart of TikTok.

“The magic of Tmall is less present than it used to be. Another thing at play today is peer-to-peer conversations through livestreaming,” ​said Nabi.

Through its most recent livestreaming session on Douyin, the brand generated over 300k in sales in three and a half hours. Nabi explained that the company worked with moderately successful KOLs.

“It’s people who are not very famous but have a strong expert audience. We did 100k per hour on the first livestreaming and the second one that was around three hours, we did over 300k… Imagine having not one, but an army of these live streamers, you can see the reach.”

The livestreaming success has translated across social media channels.

The Ligne Princiere has reached the number one spot in social buzz across social media in China, which is a critical component in driving consumer awareness, and of course, trials. Consumers are calling it the Kelly cream online, and you can imagine how great this is a great advertising campaign that’s been organically created by the consumers themselves,” said Nabi.

China currently accounts for only 4% of its sales and Coty believes it has ample room to grow. It was currently on a journey towards building up its skin care portfolio as well as its digital capabilities. Both of which are important for China.

“If you do both you are successful in China because in China it’s all about digital and skin care. It’s a question of finding the right business model in the changing landscape,” ​said Nabi.

The company emphasises testing to find the right marketing strategy. “We test and we learn instead of throwing a lot of money on everything,” ​said Nabi.

Through testing the company chose to push the brand through Douyin and working with KOLs through livestreaming, rather than taking the conventional Tmall route.

“When we understand exactly what the recipe of success is, then we will scale and double down.”

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