Sephora, along with almost every other western company have been fighting counterfeits on Chinese websites for years now. Chinese regulators have claimed that less then 50% of purchases of brand name items were genuine on marketplaces such as Alibaba. Most companies try to remove fake listings or repeatedly try to sue companies like Alibaba. Sephora is trying something different. It has decided instead of fighting fakes, it will focus on education consumers where to buy real Sephora products. To do this the company has partnered with Chinese company JD.com.
According to a press release by JD.com, Sephora has opened its first and only Chinese online store on JD. The company hopes this will make it easier for customers to find authentic Sephora products online in the PRC, which is much harder then many think. From the company:
As China’s largest e-tailer, we are able to offer SEPHORA an end-to-end e-commerce solution that ensures Chinese consumers have the best possible brand experience when purchasing their beauty products online. Our direct cooperation with Sephora further strengthens the confidence of cosmetics shoppers in China that JD.com is the go-to site for the most sought after authentic name-brand products.”
Will there strategy work? Will fakes stop being listed because customers know where to get real items? I do not know as customers in China tend to only want a cheap price with the appearance of realness. Check out these listings from Alibaba:
Remember when the iPhone 6 was released. People were buying counterfeit versions before even the real one came out. In China, appearing rich is important. I am sure many will still look for counterfeit Sephora or MAC products just to save money. Counterfeit makeup and cosmetics can be very dangerous.