Amcal this week became the first of the Sigma Pharmaceuticals brands to go live with a Chinese e-commerce site.
Sigma has chosen Azoya, which it describes as a leading turnkey e-commerce solutions provider, to provide a fully managed online platform that will enable it to expand its Australian retail pharmacy brands into China’s e-commerce market.
Sigma says it is expanding its footprint to capitalise on the booming cross-border online shopping market in China and to meet growing demand from Chinese consumers for high-quality and ethical products from Australia.
Rather than selling through China’s major e-commerce marketplaces, Sigma chose to establish a direct market presence and expand its own brand.
“Given the language and cultural barriers, we wouldn’t have been able to fulfil our Chinese expansion plans without a local partner,” Sigma CEO Mark Hooper said. “Azoya’s innovative e-commerce platform and expertise dispels our concerns over business expansion into a market we barely know.”
Sigma says it is leveraging a fully managed e-commerce platform built and tailored by Azoya. The Chinese version of the Amcal online store, launched this week, enables Chinese customers to choose from its range of products and place orders, which will be shipped from Australia.
In addition, Azoya is providing a wide range of turnkey solutions and services to connect Amcal directly with the Chinese market, as well as with the global cross-border e-commerce system. These services include marketing campaigns, customer relationship management and customer service, among other operational work.
With Azoya taking charge of the operational groundwork in China, Sigma says it is avoiding problems arising from traditional international expansion, such as setting up a local business entity, confusion over government policies and market adaptation.
“Deterred by safety and quality issues with domestic products, particularly for healthcare and food supplements, Chinese consumers are increasingly looking to Australia to buy directly through cross-border e-commerce,” Azoya co-founder and Executive Director Don Zhao said.
Sigma will also sell its products through Azoya’s proprietary cross-border online shopping platform Haituncun.com, which provides another channel to sell to Chinese consumers.