COVID-19 e-commerce effect: Revenue from online supplement sales up 46.83% for China giant BY-HEALTH

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

BY-HEALTH's revenue from online supplement sales was up 46.83% in the first six months of 2020 as compared to the same period last year. ©Getty Images
BY-HEALTH's revenue from online supplement sales was up 46.83% in the first six months of 2020 as compared to the same period last year. ©Getty Images

Related tags China BY-HEALTH COVID-19

E-commerce business has been brisk for BY-HEALTH in the first half of 2020, with revenue from the channel up 46.83% compared to the same period last year.

Brick-and-mortar purchases remained the major contributor to the company’s dietary supplement sales, occupying 78.58% of the firm’s total revenue in China. Compared to last year, this has dipped by 4.35%.

BY-HEALTH published its financial report for the first six months of 2020 on July 30.

Its operating revenue was RMB$3.12bn (US$446m), up 5.23% as compared to the same period last year. 

With a growth spurt in its online business, the company has injected investments of RMB$80m (US$11m) to become the largest shareholder of i-mybest – a Guangzhou based company which is the main distributor of BY-HEALTH’s products online.

The purpose is to align the interests between the two, to appeal to the younger generation, and to develop new products based on the consumers’ preferences.

“E-commerce has gradually become the new engine for China’s consumer market. Through the investment in Guangzhou i-mybest, the company seeks to align the interests of both parties.

“This is significant in the company’s efforts in injecting youthfulness into the brand, this is also helpful in increasing the company’s e-commerce presence, and speed up the company’s construction of a digitalised system aimed at satisfying the consumers’ needs,” ​BY-HEALTH said in a statement.  

Sales strategies

The company said it had resumed a series of marketing and publicity events as the COVID-19 outbreak was controlled in China, which translated into growth during Q2.

One of the strategies was to place more marketing focus on products that were relatively well-stocked.

Over the past few months, it had upgraded the brand image and expanded the sales channels for well-stocked items Easeye – a bilberry, lutein, and beta-carotene supplement for eye health – as well as Jian Shi Gan – a supplement containing Pueraria Lobata (Kudzu) for supporting liver health.

On the other hand, it had adopted new marketing methods for its joint care product Keylid.

Revenue from the product was up 1.79% to reach RMB$658m (US$93m).

Acquired probiotics brand Life-Space brought in revenue of RMB$88m (US$12m) during the reporting period.

The brand’s probiotics received approval for sale as health foods in China in January. Products were officially stocked in offline channels from March, but the process was slowed by the pandemic.

Outside of China, Life-Space achieved a revenue of RMB$304m (US$43m), up 12.73%.

OTC medicine

This year, the company also officially entered the OTC medicine segment and set up a subsidiary “Hao Jian Shi” to oversee the business.

Its OTC medicine will focus on gut and digestive problems.

Due to COVID-19, the product stocking process has been delayed and the company hopes to accelerate the distribution, enhance the brand image, publicity, and retail in the second half of this year.

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