Australian beauty and wellness brand, Long Haul Spa, has expanded into China with an active e-commerce programme selling direct to consumers on WeChat.
The move was facilitated by Long Haul Spa’s selection for the ‘Digital Accelerator Programme China’, an initiative run by Trade and Investment Queensland, Australia (TIQ). The purpose of the initiative is to enable trade with China for Queensland-based businesses in specific consumer sectors such as beauty, wellness, skincare and cosmetics.
Just 15 brands were chosen for the scheme after an intensive four-phase selection process that commenced in May 2020. The programme supports the brands to establish e-commerce and brand-building in China, supported by detailed segmentation insight and data on market dynamics.
Long Haul Spa is also being promoted in China through Brisbane Airport’s BNE Marketplace to the c. 300 million registered users on the Xiaohongshu (red) social media and e-commerce platform.
DIRECT SALES TO CHINESE CONSUMERS
Christine Keeling, Founder of Long Haul Spa commented. “The complexity and scale of the Chinese market is daunting for niche brands like Long Haul Spa to understand and penetrate. We are absolutely thrilled to be chosen as one of Queensland’s top 15 brands for the TIQ Digital Accelerator Programme China and to benefit from the tangible commercial support the initiative brings.
“Not only can we now sell direct to Chinese consumers for home delivery, but this will also help springboard our ambitions to enter the travel retail market in China, especially during this boom period of domestic travel.
“Our distribution partner, Vincent McDermott of TR Partners, is in conversation with several retailers in China and we are also actively exploring opportunities with TMall.”
As part of the TIQ programme, Long Haul Spa products were tested with Chinese consumer focus groups. Keeling said: “We are delighted to have had very positive results on the appeal of our colourful, contemporary vegan leather bags and the provenance of carefully selected sustainable New Zealand botanicals that protect, nourish and hydrate the skin.
“Our China range also includes our latest product innovation, the Saving Face mask. This expertly designed with layers of silk and breathable cotton voile to maximise comfort wherever — and however — you are travelling.”
Long Haul Spa is currently developing new formulations in the product range. It is actively sourcing natural ingredients that are ethically and sustainably produced. Upcoming launches include several wellness innovations, such as skin-kind but effective hand sanitisers, remedies to combat maskne and a range of antipodean bath and body care.