GENEVA & SHANGHAI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Coty Inc. (NYSE: COTY) (“Coty”), one of the world’s leading beauty companies and a global leader in fragrance, has officially signed the Global Travel Retail Joint Business Partnership with Ant Group to collaborate on digitization to enhance. The agreement means that Coty will be the first beauty company to enter into the strategic travel retail partnership to power digital platforms like Alipay and other digital payment methods on a global scale through Alipay+, a suite of global cross-border mobile payment and marketing solutions by Ant Group.
Based on the partnership, Coty will continue to grow the travel retail business through Alipay+ digital operations, creating comprehensive and diversified brand campaigns across Alipay and other payment platforms, offering a more customized consumer experience with higher quality and efficiency. This strategic partnership extends from China to a broader area of the APAC region and further into Coty’s global travel retail market.
Over the past year, Coty’s travel retail business has had an excellent performance. Traffic and sales of brick-and-mortar retail stores in Hainan have grown strongly with the help of digital operations, and China’s duty-free store has achieved triple-digit growth.
Digital operations are a clear strategic focus for Coty Travel Retail to innovate online and offline shopping experiences with a traveler-centric approach. Alipay, as a leading digital open platform used by over 80 million businesses serving more than 1 billion consumers, is a valuable partner for Coty to help shape the future of beauty through innovative marketing opportunities and digital payment solutions. Since 2021, Coty has partnered with Alipay on a range of travel retail activities, including Lancaster Super Brand Day, the annual fragrance award, and made its debut in June with the Travel Around World campaign.
“Working with Ant Group on digitization will help us better serve our customers,” Caroline Andreotti, Executive Vice President of Coty’s Global Travel Retail Business, remarked at the signing ceremony. “Going forward, Coty and Ant will continue to work together to explore more possibilities of digital channels to enhance consumer experiences. We will also aim to bring better services and products to more consumers around the world on their journey, and let them enjoy a better, more convenient and more sustainable future.”
By signing this agreement, Coty will move hand-in-hand with Ant Group to drive the development of digital services as well as the travel retail business, and will continue to develop broader collaboration across precision marketing, omni-channel enablements and digital payment solutions.
Coty’s travel retail division brings the global iconic brands and tourists’ favorite regional brands into travel retail channels, covering prestige and consumer brands, to build a matrix spanning three product categories – fragrance, makeup and skincare. Brands that Coty’s travel retail division currently operates in the Asia Pacific market include: 2-axis beauty brands (for makeup and fragrance) – Gucci Beauty and Burberry Beauty; the fragrance category – Chloe, Tiffany, Miu Miu, Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein; and the skincare category, where Lancaster, founded in Monaco in 1946, is a representative of iconic high-end skincare brands.
The skincare category in particular has grown exponentially in Asia and represents a tremendous growth opportunity for Coty Travel Retail. By launching Lancaster with an Asia-focused range, Coty aims to become an even stronger global player in skincare. It features new merchandising designs and offers Asian consumers effective, sophisticated, safe and sustainable personal care products tailored to their regional needs. The key markets for this new range of products are China, Korea, Thailand and India focusing on the key markets for the category in the travel retail industry and a strategic growth vector for the company.
So far, Lancaster has set up four brick-and-mortar retail stores in Hainan and launched an official mini-program on the Alipay platform, giving a boost to the expansion of Coty’s skin care business in APAC.
With innovative technologies and solutions, Alipay+ provides an easy way to attract digital-first customers and makes it more convenient for merchants to serve hundreds of millions of users of leading digital payment service providers. In particular, through a one-stop integration and simple technical adjustment, merchants can access all existing and later integrated Alipay+ digital payment methods. In addition, Alipay+ can help merchants further expand the reach of potential users through its comprehensive marketing campaign solutions.
With the impact and challenges of COVID-19, Alipay+ has been working with brands since 2020 to find a way out for the travel retail industry in the post-pandemic era. With the comprehensive understanding of brand business, Alipay+ strives to strengthen digital operations and business partner transformation, and improve consumers’ shopping experience with its payment and marketing solutions.
About Coty, Inc.
Founded in Paris in 1904, Coty is one of the world’s largest beauty companies with a portfolio of iconic brands in fragrances, color cosmetics, and skin and body care. Coty serves consumers around the world and sells prestige and mass market products in more than 130 countries and territories. Coty and our brands empower people to express themselves freely and create their own visions of beauty; and we are committed to creating our own positive impact on the planet. Find out more at coty.com or on LinkedIn and Instagram.
About Ant Group and Alipay+
Ant Group aims to create the infrastructure and platform to support the digital transformation of the service industry. It strives to provide all consumers and small and micro businesses with equal access to financial and other services that are inclusive, environmentally friendly and sustainable.
Ant Group owns and operates Alipay, the leading digital platform in China, serving hundreds of millions of users and connecting them with merchants and partner financial institutions that provide comprehensive financial services and digital services of daily life such as food delivery, transportation, entertainment, and healthcare.
Ant Group also launched Alipay+, a suite of global cross-border mobile payment and marketing solutions that enable merchants, especially small and medium-sized businesses, to better serve consumers from around the world by collaborating with global partners.