Listed speciality retailer AuMake International (AU8) has reported a significant increase in online sales activity during COVID-19, with gross online margins increasing more than 80 percent in the six weeks to mid-May.
In a trading update to the ASX, the retailer attributed online growth to the launch of Broadway Online, which offers a range of premium Australian and New Zealand-made products including health supplements, skincare and cosmetic products targeted to Asian consumers.
AuMake utilised its Chinese tourism partnership network to promote Broadway Online to an extensive list of loyal customers that have either travelled to Australia or are planning to travel internationally, have higher disposable incomes and are more receptive to the purchase of premium Australian and New Zealand products.
AuMake Executive Chairman Keong Chan said Broadway Online will be a permanent feature of the AuMake business, complementing the eventual return of Asian tourists to the company’s physical stores. It also complements the existing AuMake Online site, which primarily targets daigou customers in China and Australia.
Its data-driven retail platforms provide targeted SKUs and relevant experiences across physical, online and daigou offers.
“The development of the Broadway Online platform extends our reach and leverages our network of travel agent partners in mainland China. Our growing online presence will drive revenue growth over the medium term and will complement the premium service we deliver in our physical stores.”
“Broadway Online provides the foundation for future sustainable growth in the online market. Due to its ability to promote new premium products via the company’s travel agent network, it does not directly compete with other large existing online platforms which predominantly focus on lower margin, high-volume products such as infant formula and well-known health supplement brands.”
Given the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and increasing foot traffic, AuMake has commenced the progressive re-opening of its physical stores in Sydney to cater to local Asian consumers and daigous. The company suspended all in-store trading on 30 March to comply with COVID-19 government guidelines.
Stores will re-open under strict protocols to ensure the health and safety of customers and staff, including compliance with all NSW and Federal policies and customer capacity limits.
“AuMake remains committed to providing a premium highly-trusted, native-language physical and online shopping experience for Asian customers in Australia. The reopening of key physical stores will allow the Asian shopper in Australia to access our premium range of authentic Australian and New Zealand-made products which are specifically designed and stocked to meet their consumption patterns.”
AuMake is also updating its existing CRM/loyalty program to increase the collection and application of customer data to improve product selection and traffic/sales conversion. Existing and future online customers who are transferred online from the soon to be re-opened physical stores will benefit from a greatly enhanced online experience.
“Whilst COVID-19 has had a recent impact on our portfolio, the company is strategically positioning itself to benefit from the return of Asian tourists and students to Australian shores over the coming months.”