New Zealand's biggest lipstick manufacturer, Karen Murrell, has signed a deal with China's largest online retailer as part of its push into the world's second-biggest economy.
The online retailer, JD.com, will use its resources to help the Australasian cosmetics firm further its development in the Chinese market, which has long been the focus of the company's overseas expansion strategy, said Karen Murrell, chief executive of the cosmetics company.
Karen Murrell specialises in organic, environmentally friendly cosmetics and says its products are never tested on animals.
The partnership will involve direct sales and the opening of an online flagship store, both on the company's cross-border e-commerce platform, JD Worldwide.
The flagship store will allow Karen Murrell to increase its brand awareness and introduce new products to the Chinese market, while its main line of lipstick products will enjoy the full benefit of JD's logistics and market reach, the company said.
The two companies will work together on marketing and advertising, while ensuring that inventory is adjusted to meet the rapidly rising demand among Chinese consumers.
Lipstick sales in China almost doubled last year, outstripping growth in other categories of the fast-growing cosmetics industry, including eye and facial makeup.
Sales of lipstick on JD's online platform have also surged, growing 187 per cent year-on-year during the company's recent June 18 annual sales anniversary period.
Ye Yang, general manager of JD Worldwide, said there was growing concern among Chinese consumers about the environmental impact of their purchases.
"JD's capabilities, from marketing to logistics, give us a huge advantage in reaching Chinese consumers with our products," Murrell said.
"With sustainability and natural sourcing at the heart of our brand, we're thrilled to partner with a company who shares our commitment."
JD has been introducing more sustainable products on its platform to reflect the increasingly discerning preferences of Chinese consumers.
Last year, the total volume of "green" products available on JD increased by more than half.
The total volume of purchases classed as green which were made on JD increased by 71 per cent, contributing to 15.1 per cent of total sales on the platform during the same period.
JD.com is world's third largest internet company by revenue and is a member of the Fortune Global 500 list of top companies.
In China, the company has 301.8 million active customers with direct access to a wide range of authentic, high-quality products, and helps leading local and international brands tap into China's fast-growing e-commerce market.