Smile, Southeast Asia. Health and beauty stalwart Colgate-Palmolive is linking up with Singapore-based eCommerce giant Shopee to help the beauty brand grow its sales in the region by a factor of 20 times over the next four years.
As reported by regional news site TechInAsia, “Shopee, the eCommerce arm of Southeast Asian tech giant Sea Group, and Colgate-Palmolive have signed a memorandum of understanding to help the latter grow its digital commerce business by more than 20x across Southeast Asia and Taiwan by 2025.”
According to the story, “Starting in 2022, Colgate-Palmolive will also become a strategic partner under Shopee’s Regional Champion Brands Programme, which aims to accelerate the growth of the eCommerce platform’s brand partners on both the local and regional levels. Shopee has currently onboarded 17 brands to this program.”
Meanwhile, online sales are expected to generate 21% of personal care dollars in APAC by 2023.
Colgate-Palmolive has seen sales dip slightly in the APAC region in recent quarters, primarily the result of continuing pandemic disruptions in nations from Thailand to the Philippines. The company is making up those sales partially through product and pricing innovation.
During its Q3 2021 earnings call, Colgate-Palmolive Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Noel Wallace told investors, “Our premiumization strategy is paying off with our focus on breakthrough and transformational innovation,” adding that “outside the U.S., the story needs to be more about just hydrogen peroxide levels. In China, it’s about enzyme-based whitening. In other markets, we have whitening products targeted toward consumers who love tea or coffee or consumers who love wine or tobacco.”
In its Q3 2021 earnings statement, Colgate-Palmolive said that 17% of the company’s total sales are derived from the Asia-Pacific region, making the Shopee deal a strategic imperative.
For its part, Shopee parent Sea Ltd. sought to raise over $6 billion in Q3 2021 through a special sale of depositary shares and five-year convertible bonds, The Wall Street Journal recently reported. With the highest valuation of any eCommerce platform in Asia, Sea and its Shopee eCommerce platform are up against regional powerhouse Tencent, which is also an investor.
In July, the platform announced its Shopee Mall Brand Memberships program, calling it “a new customer management and retention tool that will enable brands on Shopee Mall to build deeper connections with potential and existing customers, converting them into valuable lifetime customers. The tool has been rolled out across seven markets: Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.”