In 2016, Revlon Group acquired Elizabeth Arden for a consideration of $419 million. Since then, the brand has started to put effort in the Chinese e-commerce channel as well as the Chinese travel retail market. Between 2016 to 2017, sales of Elizabeth Arden in the Chinese e-commerce channel grew by more than 50% year-on-year accounting for 80% of total sales in China.
Elizabeth Arden is an international skincare brand that entered the Chinese market in 1995. Its classic product “Elizabeth Arden Advanced Ceramide Capsules” is well known among Chinese consumers. However, for many years in China, Elizabeth Arden previously operated through multiple agents. Later it withdrew its agency rights and gradually changed to a direct-operated model. The change of brand made it suffer a long period of tough. It failed to catch up with the explosion of beauty brands in department stores and once missed the window of period when rapid expansion of the brand.
For various reasons before, Elizabeth Arden faced a crisis of how to break through and rebuild in the Chinese market. With the rapid development of e-commerce in China, however, Elizabeth Arden gradually realized that online could be a key to the brand to break through. So Elizabeth Arden became one of the first international high-end cosmetics brands to settle in Tmall. In 2015 it achieved an annual turnover of $1.55 million. The brand then managed to achieve 100% growth in each of the following years.
In fact, the achievement for Elizabeth Arden in Tmall is not very remarkable. But after a period of time, it finally found the right position for the brand. It is understood that at the beginning of entering Tmall, Arden only sold the old products abandoned by the counter online and the sales were not as much as they should be. From 2016, Elizabeth Arden gradually realized the unique nature of the Tmall flagship store is the “brand’s second official website”. It immediately adjust the product strategy. The latter new products are aimed at online and offline simultaneous sale.
The adjustment of the strategy has brought Arden significant gains. According to Elizabeth Arden official data, the final payment amount of Arden’s Tmall flagship store during Double 11 – the Chinese Shopping Festival in reached $14.354 million, an increase of 60% year-on-year. The sales across all channel online exceeded $15 million, which making it the head brand of high-end beauty. By 2019, China had become Elizabeth Arden’s largest global market overtaking the US.
New products are a powerful tool to improve the brand to continue to grow at a high rate. Through the analysis of big data from Tmall, the young generation of Chinese consumers have a more advanced concept of skincare and are willing to spend money on anti-aging products. Based on this, Elizabeth Arden has launched “Pink Capsules” and “Fresh Capsules” for the younger generation in addition to “Gold Capsules”.
In February 2020, Elizabeth Arden saw a trend of “counter-trend growth” online against the backdrop of the epidemic. Elizabeth Arden Vitamin C Ceramide Capsules was launched at the promotional campaign “Tmall Super Brand Day” sold 27000 pieces. The brand flagship store received 128,000 new customers and store-wide sales exceeded US$11.315 million.
“Although the counters have been affected by the epidemic, we have put much energy on the online business. As the completion of Super Brand Day, we worked for the promotional campaign for the Women’s Day on March 8th. Everyone is working hard. We have faith on the growth and trend-led power of Tmall.” Yuan Liwei, General Manager of Elizabeth Arden China, said.
The brand plan the data for region-wide marketing when they have difficult when settle in the Tmall platform. It adjust the strategic layout of the brand in time to correctly suit targeted consumers. It launched different themes every day during the promotion to maintain traffic growth. It analyzed data to plan ahead and accurately make predictions for the future promotion …… This series of combinations is what helped Elizabeth Arden to turn the tables.