How Bellabox Expands Services to Online Shoppers in China


Bellabox is a Melbourne, Australia-based subscription service that delivers hampers of beauty product samples to its clients. When its CEO Sarah Hamilton decided to export her business model to China she faced the usual hurdles common to cross-border trading. These include translating commercial content, sourcing appropriate images, and determining pricing. And then there were legalities such as third-party fees, taxes and customs duty etc.

Bellabox and the Market-Engine-Tmall Connection

Sarah Hamilton decided to go the Market Engine route, whereby the cloud facilitator works with Australia Post to streamline cross-border trading by translating text, images and price points from English into the Chinese language. This empowers offshore brands to manage multiple digital shop fronts across e-commerce sites such as Alibaba’s Tmall, and thereby deliver directly to consumers shopping online in China.

What the Market Engine Connection Did for Sarah Hamilton

“The ease with which we’ve been able to set up shop in China on Tmall has made this a viable project for us,” she told AnthillOnLine on October 6. “Market Engine’s unique service means we’ve been able to bypass all of the usual hurdles for entering a new market, such as language differences, import and export regulations, and logistics.”

How the Bellabox Business-Beauty Model Works

Sisters Sarah and Emily Hamilton hit on a clever way to distribute fashion beauty samples, and make more than a few dollars Bellaboxfrom it after Allure Media gave them a $2.7 million AU head start in September 2014. They operate a subscription service whereby consumers pay a nominal amount to receive a monthly hamper filled with 5+ beauty samples from cult brands and high‐end boutique stores.

The founders went this route after buyers’ remorse finally got them down one day, and they wished they could buy a pack of different samples to try out. Few were surprised when they found a willing market on Tmall, and other virtual stores in China too.

About Author

Social Brand Watch (SBW) is a collection of experts in digital, mobile and social media in China. SBW was created to complement Resonance's China Social Branding Report, a bi-weekly report focusing on modern marketing methods of the world's top brands in China.

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