An interview with Mr. Andy Wong, Founder and President of Hong Kong Joy Plus International Group
Founded in 2000, Joy Plus International Group Limited has long enjoyed a good reputation in China’s spa and beauty world. So far, Joy Plus has brought twelve international brands to domestic market including Natura Bissé, [comfort zone], LPG, DIBI, DasKollagen, BEQUELLE, RICA, Histomer, Lacer, REVIDERM, Pilexil and LIPPMANN.
With advanced concepts and commitments to the clients such as “Professional system implant”, “Globalized brand marketing”, “A guarantee of 30% sales growth per year on Anti-aging business” and “Return of your Money anytime you are not satisfied”, the company’s Founder, Mr. Andy Wong and his team have supplied quality products and services to more than 3000 high end salon spas and 5-star hotels in China. Joy Plus adopts an “all-channel” operation mode that covers e-commerce, day spa, hotel spa, high-end boutique retail and social ecommerce. Joy Plus is not only a distributor but also acts like a partner to provide clients with new business models and total solutions towards problem solving from time to time and thus helps drive the healthy development of China’s spa and beauty industry.
The year 2020 which began with a terrible coronavirus attack, also marks the 20th year of Joy Plus’ continually stable development. With the epidemic effectively under control in China, Joy Plus recently held its annual Business School CEO Class in Shanghai with over 400 participants present. SpaChina interviewed Andy.
Joy Plus has close cooperation with overseas product brands. During the epidemic, what have you done to ensure a sufficient supply of goods?
Our business does have a direct relationship with the global situation. After the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, we took immediate action. Then as the epidemic hit Europe, we predicted that they would face the same situation as we had experienced. It was just a matter of time before the policies for lockdown and business suspension were to be announced. Therefore, as a service operator that connects the international product brands with the domestic market, we immediately suggested our upstream overseas partners purchase more materials in advance. We paid them ahead so that they were able to buy more materials for store and arranged production and delivery more quickly. We managed to get sufficient goods before the epidemic peak hit Europe. In March, we spared no expense to buy as many products as possible, enough for half a year, in order to meet our clients’ needs in a timely way when their business is restored and meanwhile meet the needs of predictable “retaliatory consumption” in the post-epidemic era in China.
During the outbreak in China, many business faced material shortages and suspension of offline sales. However, we managed to avoid these problems by carrying out online sales and stocking up goods in time. I believe we have established a recommendable business operation mode for dealing with the epidemic. We also try to share our experience with our clients to help them tackle this special period more smoothly.
During the epidemic, you also joined in live stream marketing. What was the result? What new online business trends do you predict? In what manner should offline and online business work together?
Live stream marketing is now the most popular way of marketing in China. The live streams we did during the epidemic brought us about 10 million yuan in sales. This is also a breakthrough for myself personally. I joined live stream marketing not only to market the products, but more importantly, to tell the public that we are always keeping up with the times. I think it’s a good way to motivate our employees and enhance our clients’ confidence in us.
The epidemic indeed posed a big challenge to us. As the company’s leader, I should surely lead all the staff to deal with it more actively. We can’t just stand aside and see what will happen next. I believe the future of online business is featured by “all-time and all-channel” operations. No matter whether we do online or offline business, we should always be customer-centered. Wherever our customers are, we must be there as well.
No one expected such a big challenge in 2020. What made you able to hold such a big event, the CEO Class annual summit, so soon after the epidemic? I heard there were twice as many participants as you had expected. Please share with us your thoughts when deciding to hold the event.
The epidemic changed our habitual way of thinking. The entire beauty and hospitality industry was badly hit and was caught up in fear for the unpredictability of the future. Till now, consumption hasn’t yet been fully restored and the work resumption rate is not high. However, the more difficult and uncertain the situation is, the more we should stay motivated and confident. Only in this way can we give guidance and support to our clients.
So the theme of this year’s summit was “to tide over the difficulties together”. Our aim is to pass more positive energy to the industry and to our clients. We had a very successful event that was beyond our expectations. The participants actively shared their stories and experiences during the epidemic period. Everyone was encouraged by one another and restored their confidence for a re-starting. Our relationship with our clients is not just business deals, but mutual benefit, win-win and joint development.
What treatments do you think will be popular among guests during the post-epidemic period? Are the current programs in salons and spas able to meet the need? Do you have any plans to help spas and salons restore their operations more quickly?
After the epidemic, guests to spas and salons will seek health and wellbeing experience more rather than beauty improvement programs alone. So be it salons or spas, we hope to help our guests achieve body and mind relaxation with professional and pampering treatments. In the past, we were often sales-oriented. But now, we should focus more on renewing our service structures, enhancing our professionalism and returning to customer-centered concept so as to provide guests with more specialized and intimate health experience.
We support our clients with different approaches such as inviting them to our events, sharing experiences with them, giving up part of our profits, and providing them with subsidies. While continuing to encourage our spa and salon clients in various ways, we also actively help them reduce operating costs so that they can restore normal operations more quickly. I believe where there is a will, there is a way. What we should do at first is to give our clients sufficient confidence and support.
Many overseas product brands think that China is a very big potential market. As the most well-known international distributor in China’s spa industry, could you give any suggestions to product brands wanting to enter China?
As an enterprise with 20 years’ experience in beauty and skincare operation services, Joy Plus has played the role of connecting domestic and overseas businesses. People just see the good results, however only those who have worked as distributors will understand all the difficulties and hardships involved. It demands tremendous effort when one manages to get into China, get settled here and be accepted by local consumers. You also need an excellent and diligent team that is very familiar with the local market. It’s through the whole team’s continual endeavors in the past 20 years that Joy Plus is able to win today’s reputation and achievements. It never happens overnight.
In my view, oversupply is the major problem in China’s beauty and skincare industry at present. So I hope that overseas product brands can view the China market more rationally. Firstly, they should respect our market and understand the habits of Chinese consumers. Meanwhile, they need to be patient and get ready for long-term investment. Lastly, I would suggest they choose truly excellent partners and grant sole distribution rights which will facilitate integrated planning and implementation.
What are your development plans for the second half of 2020 and 2021?
The coronavirus outbreak in 2020 had some influence on Joy Plus, but also gave us opportunities. Concerning our future development plans, firstly, we will actively enhance our organizing ability and efficiency so as to improve the company’s operation efficiency. As I mentioned before, we will be more client-oriented and enhance the whole team’s service ability. Meanwhile, we will quicken the digital management upgrading of the company and realize an “all-channel and all-time” service. Externally, we will make more investments in different areas such as introducing more brands to China and doing more marketing. Furthermore, we will continue to support and assist our clients by giving them free access to Joy Plus Business School classes so as to help them keep improving their operation ideas, management styles and ability to deal with uncertainties. We are full of confidence in the market of the future. Joy Plus will never stop its pace of striving forward.