VIP.com, China’s third largest online shopping site behind TMall and JD, has just opened its own 5,400 square metre warehouse in Sydney to house premium Australian products.
While US-based online retailer Amazon has opened its own fulfillment centre to sell within Australia, VIP.com’s is a receiving centre for Australian goods to be sold in China.
VIP.com, with 300 million consumers, is a main export path for Australian goods including infant formula by a2 Milk and vitamins by Swisse, whose businesses have grown rapidly based on demand from China.
Other Australian brands such as Uncle Toby’s, Allen’s confectionery and Soothers are heading to China via VIP.com soon.
The site differs from TMall and JD in that its buys from producers, rather than offering a shop front for sales. VIP.com is a retailer, not a platform provider.
Hillary Wang, VIP.com’s head of Global Buying, is in Sydney to speak to 200 current and potential Australian suppliers about access to the site’s women-centric sales platform.
“Australian products are known to Chinese as reliable, of a high standard, and clean and green,” she says.
“That’s why Australia is our number one for revenue and over the next 12 months we are looking to procure over $500 million in products for the Chinese consumer.”
The big sellers are fashion, beauty products, food and nutritional goods, such as infant formula.
Australian-unique ugg boots are big sellers in China. In one recent promotion, $4 million of the sheepskin shoes were sold in just seven hours.
VIP.com gets 28 million unique visitors a day. The site will turn over more than $US10 billion this year.
“We only deal with brand owners directly or through their authorised distributors. Authenticity is critical to building brands and Chinese shoppers know that VIP.com delivers that,” says Wang.
Another major point of difference to its Chinese e-commerce competitors is VIP.com’s female-skewed audience, about 80%.
The new warehouse, in Sydney’s western suburbs, is the first in Australia wholly-owned by VIP.com. It has two other leased centres near Sydney Airport.