Japanese cosmetics company Shiseido has forged a strategic partnership with e-commerce giant Alibaba as it aims to further capitalize on China's digital retail market.
The tie-up includes setting up a special liaison office near Alibaba's Hangzhou campus, which will be responsible for new brand introduction and new product development.
This marks the first touch point of its kind that a brand has established to enhance coordination with China's largest e-commerce platform, said Alibaba in a press release.
Under the initiative, Shiseido will work with Tmall Innovation Center, Alibaba's in-house product co-creation program, to jointly develop a new shampoo targeting young female users.
China has become a bigger slice of Shiseido's financial pie, accounting for 17.4 percent of overall sales last year, up from 14.4 percent in 2017.
The Japanese company has excelled in online sales in China with a proven track record. It was among the 237 brands that broke the 100 million yuan ($14.9 million) sales threshold in the 24-hour-long Singles Day promotion last year.
Alibaba is adopting its big data and consumer insights distilled from the nearly 700 million users to help brands, especially foreign ones, pinpoint customer preferences and develop products that can satisfy their needs.
For instance, United States food company Mars has teamed up with Alibaba Group to create a chili-infused Snickers bar that aims to satisfy Chinese consumers' craving for a tongue-tingling treat.