Better Way Thailand looks to make Asian inroads by 2020
With a bearish market for direct sales at home, Better Way Thailand Co, operating under the Mistine brand, is shifting its focus abroad, aiming to become an Asian brand by 2020.
President Danai Derojanawong said the company will export Mistine beauty products for sale at two Shilla duty-free shops at Incheon airport and in downtown Seoul this August.
He said South Korea is a popular Asian tourist destination and welcomes 10 million Chinese arrivals a year.
The expansion of Mistine to South Korea is part of a move to raise Mistine's exports to 20% of total sales this year, up from 10% last year.
"Mistine's direct sales in the domestic market have been flat over the past three years because of the changing market environment," Mr Danai said. "Direct sales may be disrupted by the rise of online shopping, but we still believe they will not disappear from Thai society, because direct sales is a social business. We have to rely more on technology to make our logistics more efficient for customer satisfaction."
He said the company plans to outsource logistics providers to strengthen related services for direct sales this year.
Mr Danai predicts that the sales contribution of Mistine from the direct sales channel will drop to 30% of total sales over the next five years, half of what they are now.
In addition to expansion in South Korea, he said the company will also start marketing activities to promote Mistine business via a retail channel in China for the first time this year after having established a strong e-commerce presence.
Pirath "Mike" Nitipaisankul, a Thai singer and actor, will be hired to become the company's presenter to promote Mistine products in China.
Mistine's sales in China totalled 3 billion baht last year, a figure expected to top 5 billion this year.
Apart from the e-commerce channel, the company will start promoting its business through the retail channel in China this year.
Better Way has expanded its business via the retail channel in China by selling its first Mistine products at Watsons health and beauty store two months ago.
The company plans to open its first flagship store next year in Beijing for a product showcase and build its brand awareness among the Chinese.
"There is huge potential in the Chinese market," Mr Danai said. "We've only penetrated four cities, including Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. We plan to expand our business into two new cities next year, Chengdu and Beijing. With those plans, we aim to enter the top five for regional colour beauty brands in Asia by 2020."
The top five largest colour beauty brands are from South Korea and Japan.
The company hopes Mistine will be the first Thai colour beauty brand to reach that level of success, Mr Danai said.
For the domestic market, the company will also explore more opportunities in retail to reach a wider range of customers.
Currently, Mistine products are available via five channels: direct sales, wholesale, online, retail and the export market.
For the retail channel, Mistine is available at several chains, including 7-Eleven, Tesco Lotus, Watsons, Boots, The Mall and Terminal 21. Mistine products will be sold at Tops Supermarket starting in August.
At the same time, the company will open 20 new Mistine beauty shops this year, requiring an investment of 5 million baht each. The total number of Mistine beauty shops is targeted to reach 24 this year.
With those business plans, the company expects Mistine via all channels to obtain revenue of 20 billion baht by 2020, higher than the previous target of 15 billion.