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Sa Sa takes e-commerce to the next level, as tourism from Mainland China to Hong Kong dwindles and Sephora heats up rivalry

The move will increase online presence, and add sales channels, while combining the in-person, in-store experience and generating income for beauty consultants.

Sa Sa International Holdings teams with e-commerce solution provider Boutir in an effort to boost online sales, as the coronavirus pandemic and new competitors threaten the retailer’s leading position in Hong Kong cosmetics market.

The initiative includes setting up personal online stores for Sa Sa beauty consultants, combining the in-person shopping experience with online-retail, in a time when shopping at a physical store may be challenging. The new mobile application allows the retailer to expand its reach to new customers, while keeping a high level of consistency in the experience using each channel.

The partnership also generates addition income by the way of commission for sales staff who were hurt by the implications of COVID 19 as mainland tourist stayed at home.

Using the Boutir application, customers can explore product information via Facebook Live, and engage with brands via social media platforms: WhatsApp, Line, WeChat and others, before placing their orders. Consultants can also engage with consumers by recommending products, checking orders and arranging delivery.

According to industry analysts, the re-entry of Paris-based rival Sephora, which is perceived to be more social-media savvy, is also another reason for Sa Sa to pursue a more focused e-commerce campaign.

The move online is likely to become critical as foot traffic dwindles. Tourists from mainland China, the lifeblood of Hong Kong’s retail sales, shrank to 2.7 million in the first six months this year versus 27.6 million in the same period a year ago, according to the Hong Kong Tourism Board.

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