It did not take too long for Chanel to set aside its own policy and join others to sell cosmetics online.
Industry insiders expressed expectations that makeup items would be least affected by the rapid increase in people shopping online because consumers have to test cosmetic products in person.
But COVID-19 has made it almost imperative for the French fashion house to introduce its beauty products on Kakao Talk, where luxury brand sales have nearly doubled in the first half of this year compared to 2019.
Since last month, Chanel has been selling 22 cosmetic products including lipsticks, perfumes and hand creams. It is the first time for Chanel to start selling products on any online retail platform apart from its official website.
One of the benefits of selling through Kakao Talk is that the messenger application is used by 93 percent of smartphone users in Korea. Starting in August last year, it has been selling beauty products of 66 luxury brands including Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and Estee Lauder in its e-commerce category.
According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, gross merchandise value for the online cosmetics market grew by 15.7 percent between January and March compared to the same period last year. The rate soared particularly high in February and March by 37.5 percent and 19.1 percent, respectively, after the pandemic started to get very serious here.
Also, a lot of young customers don’t find it necessary to visit stores to buy their makeup items anymore.
Local beauty select shop brand Chicor, operated by Shinsegae, attracted over 65,000 people as membership customers only in a month after the grand opening of its online mall in July. Among them, 86 percent were in their 20s and 30s.
The brand sells products of 450 cosmetic brands varying from premium brands to low-price ones.
“Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, cosmetics brands were hiring influencers from Instagram and YouTube to introduce their items online. The pandemic boosted the transition faster and the online market is growing faster than we expected,” a Chicor official said.
Other cosmetics brands are speeding up efforts to use online retail channels to increase sales.
Last June, the country’s largest cosmetic firm AmorePacific signed a memorandum of understanding with Naver to launch a brand store through the portal site, which is used by over 74 percent of the internet users in the country.
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In July, it also concluded a joint business plan with e-commerce firm to start a delivery service that ensures customers receive their orders within 24 hours.
(Source: Korea Times)