During summer 2019, Korean beauty retailer Olive Young had created a surprise by launching its international e-shop to meet the growing demand for K-beauty products worldwide. But very quickly, European K-beauty addicts faced a definite disappointment, as the store was unable to ship its products to Europe due to the local RGPD regulations. Aware of the market potential, the brand has reviewed its data protection policy and has finally opened its e-shop to Europe.
Building on its leading position in its domestic market in South Korea (comparable to Sephora's market shares in Europe), Olive Young is expanding its horizons by targeting overseas buyers in nearly 150 countries. This is the first time ever that a South Korean cosmetics retailer opens its own platform for international consumers.
In terms of strategy, Olive Young said in 2019 that it would first target consumers in the U.S., where the beauty market is one of the largest in the world and expected to reach a market value of $805.61 billion by 2023. With a large Korean community and a reputation for being fond of new trends, the country was also one of the first to successfully welcome Korean products in its local stores (Sephora, Target, Bloomingdales...).
"Famous beauty and cosmetics stores in the U.S. have already set up K-beauty sections in their departments amid growing demand, especially from Generation Y customers who are sensitive to indie brands. Good product quality, reasonable prices and unique concepts make Korean cosmetics stand out," Olive Young had said in its release in 2019.
But it is by wishing to surge in the European market that the Korean Sephora has encountered regulatory hurdles. Indeed, the RGPD law on the protection of user data on the Internet is a strict protocol imposed by Europe, not allowing international e-commerce platforms to ignore it. Faced with this headache, Olive Young had postponed its launch on European soil, but has finally complied with the RGPD requirements to expand its market.
For now, the site is only available in English, but the brand has plans to gradually roll out different language options (Chinese, Japanese and Spanish) to make it easier for foreign customers to navigate the site in the future.
In terms of product assortment, Olive Young already has some 1,000 products and 130 brands, including skincare, makeup, hair and body products, and accessories. The goal? To make a maximum number of products available to K-beauty enthusiasts by giving them the experience of an Olive Young store in Seoul. In addition, the brand guides Internet users by listing the TOP 100 best-selling Korean cosmetics at Olive Young (online).
For France, deliveries are made via the EMS service, at the fixed rate of $20 (delay: 7 to 10 days). The shipping costs become free from 60$ of purchase. A very easy amount to reach considering all the nuggets available!