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Adore Beauty returns to international expansion

Kate Morris, founder and CEO, Adore Beauty
Kate Morris, founder and CEO, Adore Beauty

Online retailer Adore Beauty has officially launched a dedicated website in New Zealand.

The move marks a return to international expansion, after the company put its plans on ice over the past few years to address rapid growth in the Australian market.

The completion of a warehouse transformation project in late 2018, which tripled fulfilment capacity, meant Adore Beauty was able to provide the same level of service to overseas customers as those in Australia – a precondition for the company’s founder and CEO Kate Morris.

“Being able to pay in your own currency, having payment methods you recognise, a strong shipping offer…it’s all about taking the parts of the customer experience that people respond to really well in Australia and figuring out how to do that in New Zealand,” Morris told Inside Retail.

Adore Beauty’s local New Zealand website, which officially launched on Monday, ticks all of those boxes. The retailer is offering free express shipping on all orders over $50, and same-day dispatch for orders placed by 4pm, New Zealand time.

According to Morris, the launch so far has gone better than expected, despite the buzz that Sephora is generating ahead of the opening of its first bricks-and-mortar store in New Zealand later this month.

“It’s not something we get too wrapped up in to be honest,” she said about the arrival of the French cosmetics giant.

“Anything that goes towards helping the New Zealand customer get the selection she deserves is generally a good thing.”

Morris added that Sephora’s expansion in Australia has “grown the pie” for the beauty spending. Indeed, the online retailer expects sales to surpass $100 million this year – more than double last year’s sales of $52 million.

“We’re seeing a bit of a shift in the way that consumers are approaching shopping for beauty online,” Morris told Inside Retail.

“When we started 19 years ago, online shopping was all about price. The only reason people shopped online was because things might be cheaper, and that was never really what we were about. Then it moved to being a convenient replenishment option, and that was where a lot of our growth started.

“What we’re seeing now is that customers are willing to go on a journey of discovery completely online. Between the type of content we’re producing now for our Beauty IQ blog and what we’re doing on Instagram, people are buying products online sight unseen.”

Adore Beauty offers more than 14,000 makeup, skincare and haircare products from brands including Mac, Napoleon Perdis, Kerastase, Oribe, Aesop, Jurlique and others.

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