MeasureCommerce hosted “2021 THE NEXT CHINA Online Global Beauty Seminar” on March 4 to share data insights and trends of the beauty market in China. Managers and directors of reputable global cosmetics companies (including L'Oréal, The Estée Lauder, P&G, Shiseido, Amore Pacific and etc.) attended the seminar online.
After the seminar, we received many questions from these attendees. We've invited speakers with the relevant expertise to share their feedback.
Allie Rooke: CEO-Clean Beauty Asia
- Helps clean & natural brands and cruelty-free brands enter the China market and maintain brand integrity and long-term strategic alignment;
- Experienced in marketing and general management for Chanel, L'Oréal and Burberry.
Gianvito: Managing Partner, Creative Capital China
- Experienced in sales, business development and B2B client relationship management related to branding consulting in the Chinese market;
- Assisting domestic brands in building and applying their DNA through product/retail/communication identity;
Holly Kim: Head of Data Business, MeasureCommerce
- Client management of beauty brands in Korea, Japan, China, Europe, and North America including Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, LVMH, Amore Pacific;
- Share beauty trends in several global seminars including INNOCOS, China International Beauty Expo, InterCHARM and etc.
Q1. The use of daily products with SPF is rising in China and more globally in Asia. Do you think Chinese brands and consumers are looking for "greener" ingredients, more sustainable sun filters, or even going more forward on organic products?
Daily SPF has been a part of Chinese women's routines for quite some time. Indie Brands like Supergoop! have come in and done very well in the last 12 -18 months. But this is less about the greener ingredients and more about a great product that is famous in the USA with a strong, marketing plan with heavy investment.
Q2. Chinese brands define their own DNA in term of communication, strategy, innovations, etc based on Chinese consumer needs. Could you foresee their DNA strategy abroad and plan to go overseas, or are they only focused on the Chinese market?
The priority for these brands is the Chinese market. However, recently we can see a potential growing interest in the foreign markets. For example, despite the website of Florasis being only in Chinese, on Instagram the brand mentioned they are working on an international site. Moreover, the brand focuses on English promotion through social media, including Facebook (the Facebook page has about 1800 followers), TikTok (the brand collaborates with Western TikTokers as well), Instagram (the brand uses hashtags in English too).
However, purchasing Florasis is still not easy abroad, therefore the brand needs to develop stronger distribution channels abroad and adapt their products to Western beauty standards. To conclude, these brands focus is mainly on the Chinese market. Visibility abroad through social media is nowadays mainly used as a promotion tool in the domestic market to internationalize the brand image.
Gianvito: Case study of Florasis in 2021 THE NEXT China Beauty Seminar
Q3: Do you have any suggestions for totally foreign-based beauty brands about how they can enlarge their influence the Chinese market, and appeal to Chinese consumers?
By discussing the details, many aspects can be considered, from the perspective of product development, marketing methods, retail distribution strategies, and etc.
First of all, from the product development side, more and more Chinese consumers are purchasing based on the product benefits and ingredients rather than solely chasing after big names. So it is very important for brands to catch such consumer needs. That's why market data is getting increasingly important. With more social media data, we can easily find out what consumers are talking about these days; and by tracking the sales data from the commerce channels, we can delve into rising brands, ingredients, product functions, and much more. These can all be evidence for the product development.
From the perspective of marketing methods, brands need to explore what's happening in China-based social media platforms, such as Weibo and Xiaohongshu. Xiaohongshu is a popular social media and e-commerce platform where users actively share personal experience, and there are many reviews about unique cosmetics from foreign brands. This can be a precious opportunity for foreign brands. Moreover, as live e-commerce is getting so important in consumer communication, I strongly recommend foreign brands to cooperate with KOLs (key opinion leaders, or influencers) to communicate with Chinese consumers.
Lastly, I would like to mention that it is very important for brands to create a loop, from product to marketing and to distribution. Remember that consumers are constantly looking at your brands from multi-channels: e-commerce, social media, offline retails, online stores, and etc.. Connecting with consumers closely from multi-channels and being agile is something that is crucial for your growth in this market.
Holly: Share Marketing Strategies in 2021 THE NEXT China Beauty Seminar
Q4. How do you see the future of O2O?
O2O in the Chinese market is nowadays present reality. The seamless integration between the on-line and off-line channel into one integrated comprehensive channel became the standard for beauty brands and retailers in China. As for future developments, we see a trend toward the integration between e-commerce and social media: on one side e-commerce platforms develop social media and content management functions, while social media platforms on the other side develop selling functions. These functions are organically integrated into the physical retail space that evolves into a “social-retail” space (see for example the new social retail store of Burberry in Shenzhen).
There is a lot of progress in this area already and it will only continue. Bonnie & Clyde offer for their cross border brands to be displayed in their Shanghai store. Customers can test and try the products and then in the store they use their mobile to purchase online and B&C ship from their Shanghai FTZ (free trade zone) warehouse - they guarantee delivery within 4 hours. Little Bee also has several Cross Border brands like Charlotte Tilbury where they have a similar model - try offline and buy online. Harmay is another retailer that is well placed to straddle offline to online for Cosmetics.
O2O market has been trending in the Chinese market for a couple of years. From the dining, to travel, and to the beauty industries, many are utilizing O2O as the key to connect with consumers.Now, due to the covid, I feel like that O2O became more important. Nowadays it is important to connect with consumers both online and offline, as these two channels can complement each other. It's only by establishing the two channels well that brands can provide satisfying experiences for consumers.
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