Internet and social media platforms play an important role in the daily life of Chinese consumers.
Social media is a powerful tool to beauty brands that want to boost their presence in China.
In China there are 634 million internet users and 91% of them have a social media account. Around 500 million people use mobile devices to access to internet and they spend an average of 46 minutes per day on social media platforms.
The common Chinese user follows eight brands via social networks and more than 38% of Chinese shoppers make purchasing choices based on information that they find and read on social media platforms.
This trend has been a revolution for the Chinese market and has changed the marketing strategies of the companies, therefore brands have to focus their efforts and marketing strategies on social networks.
Beauty is the luxury category with most presence on social media platforms in China.
Nonetheless, international beauty brands have to continue to improve their digital strategies in China.
There are 2 kinds of luxury beauty brands in regards to their market position. Some of them are positioned as “exclusive” luxury categories while other are positioned as “accessible” brands. As a consequence of this, the “accessible” luxury beauty brands have to reach more consumers and therefore must create more online campaigns than the “exclusive” categories.
The luxury beauty companies with most and better online presence in China are Lancôme, Estée Lauder, and Sephora according to a report about the luxury beauty companies’ digital proficiency in China.
The report classified the digital proficiency in China of 84 beauty companies in five different categories. Only Lancôme, Estée Lauder, and Sephora have been classified in the “genius” category while other 12 brands were situated in the “gifted” category. On the other hand the remainder of the brands were labeled as “average,” “challenged,” or “feeble” in their online presence in China
That means that beauty brands have to change their digital marketing strategies in order to boost their online presence in China.
There are some techniques than luxury brands can keep in mind to improve their digital presence in China.
Presence in different social mediaplatforms:
The majority of beauty brands have an account on Sina Weibo, the most popular microblogging platform in China.
Nevertheless, only 61% of those brands have accounts on WeChat, the largest messaging app in China with more than 600 million users. That is a mistake because an increasing number of Chinese consumers are using WeChat and to the contrary Sina Weibo is losing members and the 37% of those users who stopped using Weibo have begun to use WeChat, according to a Chinese government report.
In addition, there are many others social media platforms such as Youku, Tencent Weibo, Renren, Tudou, and Douban that brands should assess because they can be useful to reach to more audience.
Adapt online strategies to mobile devices:
Around 49% of all beauty brand searches on Baidu have been made via mobile devices but only few brands have a mobile-optimized site.
In addition many brands with a WeChat account link their accounts with desktop sites instead mobile sites and only 13 beauty brands have links directly to e-commerce on their mobile sites.
Beauty brands should improve their mobile sites in order to facilitate consumers’ navigation and boost their sales.
Develop e-commerce sites:
Chinese consumers are more willing to purchase beauty products online than any other shoppers in the world. Over the last years the number of online transaction related to beauty products has rapidly increased.
The most popular products online are color cosmetics, fragrances and skincare products.
Create a SEO strategy:
Brands without presence in the first pages on search engines have much less probability to reach Chinese consumers and therefore they will lose benefits.
Only 6% of beauty brands are situated in the first page on the Chinese search engine.
Brands which want to be found by Chinese consumers have to be well positioned on Baidu.
In order to motivate consumers to purchase your product it is important have a fast and user-friendly website. Also, online sites must include toll-free customer service and a store locator.
Following the previous steps beauty brands have the opportunity to improve their online presence in China. However it is necessary to have an efficient marketing strategy in order to study the market, understand the potential customers and know what social platforms are the most convenient. If you are interested to boost your presence in the Chinese market, don’t hesitate to contact us!