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RéVive, founded by plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Gregory Bays Brown, has been working on its Tmall launch for months. Set to debut in August 2019, Tmall will be the luxury skin-care line’s first global retail partner. The company’s CEO, Elana Drell Syfer, said it currently does not sell on any multi-brand, third-party sites that the brand doesn’t have brick-and-mortar relationships with. The exception is Net-a-Porter, which it joined earlier this year.
The reason for exploring selling in China, Drell Syfer said, was a result of continued growth of awareness of RéVive in the country and the ever-growing number of Chinese customers who shop the brand while traveling. “Given the length of time required for registration [to sell in China], as well as some of the [business] practices involved, we wanted to find a cross-border solution,” she said. After evaluating partners to help expand its presence in the region, the company landed on Tmall as a result of its rigorous vetting process and its customization and content capabilities.
“Tmall is the best-known Chinese marketplace,” said Drell Syfer. “RéVive is always selective about where it chooses to be distributed, so we vetted the Tmall platform thoroughly. Tmall is very cautious about who they choose to partner with, and they have a great deal of requirements [regarding] authentication and validation. Their high standards are what made us want to work with them. That said, it was also a challenge for us because, as a smaller business, we have to rise to meet their standards, which may be easier for large multinational companies.”
Beyond quality assurance, RéVive gravitated to Tmall because it allows brands to communicate with customers through the platform. “We love the customization and storytelling capabilities of Tmall,” said Drell Syfer. “Our goal is to use the platform to have the customer get to know us and experience the brand in real time,” she said. RéVive hosts live events on the channel and gives customers direct access to Dr. Brown.
“The role of Tmall for RéVive is both commercial and brand building,” said Drell Syfer, of the company’s future on the platform. Over time, the brand expects 10% of its total sales to come from Tmall. “It is our ‘selling’ store, our ‘branding’ experience center and our flagship in the Chinese market,” she said.