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Adore Beauty expands global footprint as market heats up

Online cosmetics retailer Adore Beauty has taken the first step in its global expansion strategy by introducing new features for international customers on its website.

Through a partnership with Pitney Bowes, Adore Beauty now provides a localised experience for overseas shoppers, with prices displayed in their home currency, support for popular payment options in their market and an easier returns process.

“Through this partnership, we are able to offer thousands of products to more than 150 countries and territories thanks to the technology, which offers a seamless localised experience to customers,” Adore Beauty’s founder and CEO Kate Morris said.

“We can test which markets respond best to the Adore Beauty concept and warrant more investment,” she said.

The company’s biggest international markets today are primarily English-speaking markets, including New Zealand and the US, as well as Singapore, Hong Kong and some European countries.

Morris started Adore Beauty with just $12,000 in 1999, the same year Sephora launched its online store in the US. At the time, selling beauty products online was uncharted territory in Australia, and it took Morris six years to land the first well-known brand – Clarins.

Now the e-commerce company has more than 165 authorised brands, over 15,000 products and an annual turnover of around $15-16 million.

Last year, Adore Beauty started selling in China through Alibaba’s Tmall e-commerce platform. Although the brand has since left the marketplace, expanding the company’s international footprint continues to be crucial for the company in a market that is rapidly heating up.

“We’re seeing more interest in beauty than ever before. People are embracing it as a tool of self-expression – it’s no longer just about doing the basics in terms of personal grooming. We’re seeing a lot more businesses waking up to that,” Morris said, attributing the trend to social media.

“People can spend hours on YouTube, watching professional makeup artists, rather than putting it in the ‘too-hard’ basket.”

Morris said Adore Beauty hasn’t yet ramped up its marketing efforts in overseas markets, but has plans to do so in future.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to more accurately reflect Adore Beauty’s current relationship with Alibaba.

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