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Alibaba x Intime: China's Beauty Retail Strategy Amid COVID-19

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A boost in livestreaming activity helped bolster sales at Intime in China.

As U.S. beauty retailers tentatively reopen shops with new restrictions and protocols, Alibaba offers a view from China. Department store Intime has tapped into livestreaming, store-based fulfillment, virtual beauty counters and digital marketing campaigns draw customers online and offline.

Amid traffic drops to physical stores during the initial COVID-19 outbreak, Intime increased the number of its livestreaming sessions to an average of 200/day. Livesteaming has proven a strong performer during the pandemic. In fact, 90% of orders placed through livestreaming came from new users.

Physical retail also reportedly jumped. During the recent Labor Day holiday in China, May 1-3, Intime saw its average foot traffic grew by 50% compared to the same time in April.

Even prior to the outbreak, the chain leveraged Alibaba's technology to digitize its operations and seamlessly integrate the online and offline shopping experiences.