Following the success of K-beauty brand Laneige in the U.S., Amorepacific is attempting to capture another type of K-beauty customer with sister brand Mamonde.
While Laneige has remained an exclusive with Sephora since 2017, after first debuting with Target in 2014 and then exiting, Mamonde has taken a curated approach to satisfying more sales channels in the U.S. The 29-year-old brand first landed stateside in 2018 with Ulta. After launching on Ulta.com and in 207 Ulta locations in 2018, it now sells in 1,184 stores. Last month, Mamonde soft-launched on Amazon — the first Amorepacific brand to do so — and partnered with QVC. After hitting $5 million sales in 2019, a 144% year-over-year boost from 2018, Mamonde is expected to hit $8 million-plus sales this year, said Jessica Hanson, Amorepacific U.S. president and general manager.
“When we looked at the U.S. customer landscape, we really looked at it holistically as a company. The perception of Mamonde is that it can be more accessible and be suited for a broader customer, because the products are more simplified,” said Hanson. “K-beauty got a reputation of being very complicated in skin care, and Mamonde has products that are 2-in-1, or 3-in-1 in some cases.”
As a brand, Mamonde has been able to step outside of its K-beauty origin story as the one-time trend has become its own category. At Ulta, the brand moved in 2019 from branded endcap displays to the retailer’s Global Beauty section, which is a multi-branded area of stores. It also simultaneously reduced its total product count from 27 different offerings to 15 to bet on “top driving SKUs,” like its Lip Sleeping Mask. Mamonde’s Lip Sleeping Mask is now responsible for bringing in 25% of new Mamonde customers since last year. Key Ulta programs like its “Beauty Steal” program, which are one-day-only sales, enabled Mamonde to sell 13,000 units of the mask in one day in January, which is three times the brand’s average monthly volume. Interestingly, Laneige’s hero product at Sephora is also a lip sleeping mask.
“We focused and we reduced what we were doing. We pared back on our cushion compacts in Ulta, because of the limited shade ranges, and also our sheet masks, because a $6 sheet mask didn’t have large appeal to as many customers. We repackaged and shifted pricing of those sheet masks to $3 and moved that product into the impulse beauty section, so it wouldn’t get lost,” said Hanson.
After fine-tuning its Ulta merchandising strategy, Mamonde made sure to offer differentiated product assortments via Amazon and QVC. Within Amazon Premium Beauty, Mamonde color cosmetics products are more prominently featured, largely due to the traction that Amorepacfic brands (like its namesake line and Innisfree) were seeing from unauthorized Amazon resellers. Thus, Mamonde decided to offer a much more comprehensive selection of products on Amazon and will continue to add more in step with its e-commerce site. On QVC, the brand is leaning into the retailer’s “Beauty with Benefits” initiative with multi-use products, like its single Red Energy Recovery Serum that is waitlisted on QVC.com.
Despite Covid-19 store shutdowns, Mamonde has seen 30% year-over-year growth at Ulta, and Mamonde’s own site — the only place where its full product lineup is currently sold — has seen a 595% sales growth in the last two months. Meanwhile, Mamonde is expected to see 60% growth on Amazon and QVC, said Hanson.
“[Our approach] is definitely not one-size-fits-all. We want to understand where each customer is shopping and what she is buying. That’s how we can reach a critical mass,” she said.