Lime Crime, an innovative cosmetics company, needed a new approach to expand its online presence into the Chinese market. There were, however, some major obstacles to achieving that dream.
The biggest obstacle was that China has a mandate that any cosmetics sold via wholesale had to be tested on animals, a condition that was not an option for this company that has based its marketing reputation on the fact that they are a vegan brand that does not engage in this practice. Therefore, the product needed to be shipped directly from the United States to avoid this requirement.
Other obstacles included complex transportation issues, managing international duties and taxes, and providing good customer service to people who spoke a foreign language. Another major issue was, as with any well-renowned brand, the practice of counterfeiting was rampant, in the case of one product over one million units just last year alone.
To overcome these obstacles, Kim Walls, Global General Manager for Lime Crime, went to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Shop.org Conference in Los Angeles. Her innovative approach was to partner with the Los Angeles based e-commerce fashion platform known as Revolve. Their brand was a good fit for her company because they were able to devise a plan to build a social media launch, giving existing fans of the product the opportunity to buy their favorites from the only source in the country that could guarantee the products were legitimate.
This “seed audience” could then use the social media venue to help expand the popularity of the brand name in China by purchasing through the well-known Revolve website. They were able to access the e-commerce hub two hours before the official launch, prompting word of mouth marketing at commuting time.
Revolve is now the major venue for selling LimeCrime to the Chinese market, a beautiful partnership for this unique line of beauty products.