In April 2017, the company signed an agreement with the Chinese baby products retailers, Aiyingdao, to supply infant formula across 100 of its key mainland stores. The Chinese company has over 1,000 stores and is responsible for more than 40 per cent of all infant formula sales in China.
“We have taken a very considered and diversified approach to our brand immersion, marketing, distribution and sales,” co-founder and executive chairman of WHA, Lazarus Karasavvidis said.
“With our expansion into China, we are keen to gain the support of the local Chinese community here in Australia who have been fantastic in their feedback of the Wattle Health product range. Within the Australian Chinese community, many are doing daigou and are being requested to buy Australian products and send them back to their contacts in China.
“Given some of our competitors have not been as active in recognising the daigou community and their contributions we wanted to implement a program that comprehensively supported this group. The daigou cross border trade is estimated to be worth more than $1 billion in revenue to Australia each year and this figure is growing fast. To implement this daigou program, we engaged the services of Reach China, founded by Dr Mathew McDougall who is recognised as a China market expert.”
Karasavvidis said DaigouSales paves way for Australian companies because of its effective and low risk approach to selling Aussie products into China through the development of the daigou-to-consumer (D2C) channel.
“It is critical that not only can daigou easily purchase goods for their buyers back in China though our WeChat eMarketplace (called DaigouSales.com), but we need to support our daigou community by running a comprehensive range of daigou specific marketing activities and events,” Dr McDougall said.
“For the brands, we provide Australian based warehousing and logistics to enable overnight shipments of their products into China as well as handling all their cross border payments and settlements. With DaigouSales.com we make selling to China a breeze. This approach has proved ideal for Wattle Health as we are able to ship inventory directly to the DaigouSales warehouse to enable fast and easy shipment of products in response to daigou orders.”
Karasavvidis said they’ve added a flagship eStore on DaigouSales.com eMarketplace and also subscribed to the VIP Daigou Manager program. They started selling products to China via the Australian daigous wherein Chinese consumers can request daigou contacts in Australia to buy the infant and adult milk products through the Wattle eStore and have the products shipped to them in China.
“Given Wattle Health is already distributing products in China through retail outlets, our focus was to bolster brand awareness and familiarity among the mainland Chinese community. Daigou are a very powerful group for brand advocacy and their product recommendations can make significant differences for consumers in China. In the short time we have been using DaigouSales.com, our sales have increased significantly, not only through the daigou market but also in China on the ground. The D2C strategy is working,” said Karasavvidis.
McDougall added, “Launching into the Chinese market can be tough, expensive and time consuming. Growing brand recognition and loyalty can be even tougher. In the case of Wattle, their comprehensive D2C program has differentiated them from their competitors and resulted directly in sales across the board.”
“Chinese consumers love Australian products especially skincare products, food, mother and baby goods, and wool and health and wellness supplements. It is great to see such a successful Australian brand like Wattle Health do so well in the Chinese market space. All I can say is, launching into China is now easier than people think and Australian businesses need to get moving before their competitors do.”