Today, the new generation of Chinese consumers are paying more and more attention to skin care products and are willing to invest in their facial & body care procedures. The growth rate of the Chinese cosmetics industry is very stable.
What type of skincare products are most popular in China?
Answer: brightening-effect skin care products.
Besides the basic function of cleansing and moisturizing, skin care products with brightening effects are most welcomed among Chinese consumers. Among others, serum with brightening -effect is brands’ core product. According to statistics, the brightening essence industry has reached 28.51 billion yuan in 2021 and is expected to exceed 35 billion yuan in 2024.
In terms of luxury or high-end brightening essence products, Chinese consumers like serum products with unique features, efficacy and good reputation. They prefer renowned international brands to Chinese local brands.
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Meanwhile, the new generation of Chinese consumers have their own unique searching and shopping habits. If beauty, body & facial care brands hope to approach their new generation consumers in China, they need to understand how Chinese consumers acquire information. How to appear “ appealing” among them, how to win their trust, and how they purchase and share their shopping experience.
What is the uniqueness of the new generation of Chinese consumers?
1. Online shopping
As a result of the epidemic, online shopping has gradually become the mainstream consumption method of the day. According to the Consumer Research Report 2021, 73% of respondents are keen on online shopping and are spending more time shopping or browsing online than they did a year ago.
2. Purchasing on social media platforms
Retail marketing channels are now becoming “digital & socialized”. With the flourishing of social media platforms such as Tiktok, WeChat and RED, they have become the mainstream channels for Chinese consumers to get information about brands, products, and promotions. Some social media platforms have even become key references for consumers to make decisions.
3. Purchase with comparation & reason
Chinese consumers are not dizzy & blind to online promotion, but are more likely to compare different products and make rational choices that meet their needs. According to the Consumer Research Report 2021, 34% of respondents will only buy when they find something they really want.
Cosmetics market in China: How to reach Chinese consumers?
In China, more and more social media platforms have integrated E-commerce features to complete the business loop. To adapt to this trend, beauty and skincare brands need to leverage new media platforms, efficient video marketing and live streaming tools to expand their reputation. They need to touch and communicate with Chinese consumers through most popular social media platforms that Chinese consumers often use to accumulate word-of-mouth and gain credibility.
Cosmetic brands: Which Chinese social media platforms to use?
Similar to WhatsApp, Wechat is a voice and text messaging service app. It integrates a wide variety of services within its ecology. Wechat also gives to brands the possibility to develop their own mini-programs through which they can promote themselves and actualize e-commerce functionality.
Wechat official accounts are particularly important for brands to build reputation among Chinese consumers.
2. Sina Weibo
Weibo is a combination of Twitter and Facebook; it contains the most trendy topics in China. Weibo users are young. Brands can set up brand accounts on Weibo and start communicating with other users. Weibo also offers a live-streaming function, which is very popular among users.
Besides interaction with followers , companies can easily sell their cosmetic products from Weibo by inserting links to partner shopping platforms such as Taobao/Tmall directly on Weibo.
Beauty and skincare brands can build brand communities and super talk on Weibo to promote their products to users.
TikTok is an entertainment app with a live streaming function. The live streaming is the latest trend in marketing and is very popular among brands. Brands use live video streaming and cooperate with KOL/KOC to promote their products or services, attracting targeting users to watch live streams and inspire them to buy.
Beauty and skincare brands can set up their own TikTok accounts and release various types of short videos to build brand image, deliver messages or launch creative campaigns. Brands can leverage TikTok paid advertising to target specific audiences in the form of videos clips or pictures.
4. RED/ Xiaohongshu
As a combination of Instagram and Pinterest, Xiaohongshu is a social media e-commerce platform that enables users to share their shopping experience or travel and shopping advice. 80% of Little Red book’s users are female, who buy products and subscribe to services directly from wholesalers. RED has established partnerships with many international brands and is seen as a trusted social shopping platform by Chinese consumers.
Cosmetics market in China: Which digital strategy to adopt?
Here are some few key steps for international skincare brands’ operation in China:
- 1. Choose the right platform: select the right social media platform according to the brand’s target audience and business objectives.
- 2. Set up social media accounts: brands’ social media accounts need to be active.
- 3. Unique content: Build a brand that is alive, interactive, valuable and influential. And encourage users to share more content related to the brand. Create free visibility for the brand. In China, RED is a consumer-trusted KOC and social shopping platform.
- 4. Build brand communities : Brands can build brand communities where users can connect with people who share common interests. Working with brands from different audiences to create a co-branded campaign. Ensuring appropriateness about the product and audience groups. These practices can be applied on Weibo.
- 5. Social media shopping : Consumers can buy products while browsing social media messages. This is a good strategy for brands, e.g. WeChat live-streaming, Tiktok e-store, RED/Xiaohong Shu e-store, etc.
- 6. Paid marketing campaigns : Once your brand has established some organic content regime and user base, you can use paid advertising to segment your audience and target users more accurately and effectively. Currently, all social media platforms offer precise effective paid advertising solutions in China (Baidu ads, WeChat ads, Xiaohongshu, TikTok, Weibo) etc.
For beauty and skincare brands hoping to expand in China, they need to leverage innovative and interactive digital advertising platforms to establish strong connections with users and win their trust.
If you want to know more about the Chinese cosmetics market, contact STAiiRS!
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