Coty strikes deal with Ant Group to benefit from Alipay+ in travel retail

By Luke Barras-hill |

Coty Inc has signed a strategic partnership with Alipay operator Ant Group as the beauty giant seeks to turbocharge its digital and travel retail business.

The joint business agreement will allow Coty to continue benefitting from platforms such as Alipay and other digital payment methods at a global level via Alipay+, which refers to a suite of global cross-border mobile payments and marketing solutions offered by Ant Group.

It is claimed that the agreement is a first for a beauty company in travel retail to support digital platforms such as Alipay and Alipay+.

Both companies will work together across functions such as marketing, omni-channel activations, and digital payment solutions.

Striving to innovate online + offline

 “The cooperation with Ant Group in digitalisation will help us serve our customers better,” explained Caroline Andreotti, Executive Vice President of Coty’s Global Travel Retail Business.

“In the future, Coty and Ant will continue to work together to explore more possibilities of digital channels to improve consumer experience. We will also aim to deliver better services and products to more consumers around the world on their travel journey, and let them enjoy a better, more convenient and sustainable future.”

Alipay+ makes it easier for merchants to capture hundreds of millions of digital-first consumers that use digital payment service providers. Above and below images source: Ant Group.

Alipay is currently utilised by more than 80 million businesses globally and serves in excess of one billion consumers.

Since 2021, Coty has paired with Alipay on a series of travel retail activations including with the Lancaster brand.

Coty’s travel retail business enjoyed strong momentum in the past year, buoyed by traffic and sales at bricks and mortar stores in Hainan – and digital operations – alongside the duty free business in China, which notched triple-digit growth.

By leveraging the group’s influence across two divisions, Coty Luxury and Coty Consumer, the travel retail business continues to grow its product matrix across fragrances, makeup, and skincare.

Gucci Beauty and Burberry Beauty play within the makeup and fragrance categories; Chloé, Tiffany, Miu Miu, Marc Jacobs and Calvin Klein within fragrances; while Lancaster is renowned within high-end skincare. 

The skincare segment has enjoyed strong growth in Asia for Coty and represents a huge growth opportunity for its travel retail channel, particularly through Lancaster’s Asia-focused product lineup.

Described as a ‘strategic vector of growth’ for Coty, Lancaster’s key markets for this new product line-up are China, Korea, Thailand, and India.

Lancaster has four bricks & mortar retail stores in Hainan and launched an official ‘mini program’ on the Alipay platform, helping to boost Coty’s skincare business expansion in Asia Pacific.

The Alipay+ platform facilitates convenient digital payment processing for merchants through a one-stop integration process and technical adaptation.

They can access existing and later-onboarded digital payments methods available via Alipay+.

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