Eye make-up market growth in China
China is the world’s second-largest beauty market after the U.S. in terms of revenue and consumption value. Revenues in the beauty market amount to over $55 million thus far in 2020. The market is expected to grow annually by 7.1 percent through 2023.
The Chinese beauty market is dominated by skincare and makeup products. Skincare products are the largest segment among cosmetic products in China, accounting for 55.2% of industry revenue in 2019.
However, in recent years there’s been a clear shift towards more makeup products. Although it is the base makeup of China’s fastest-growing beauty category, the eyes make upmarket is also growing fast and online market places are helping the growth of this market by simplifying the purchase of foreign and non-foreign products.
For example, during the recent 618 Tmall Shopping Festival, eyes make up have seen a sale growth of +166% in the Chinese market. This clearly explains that there are ample opportunities for growth in this market, which is starting to be seen by Chinese consumers as an additional way to satisfy their growing interest in their good appearance.
Foreign brands are very attractive to Chinese eye make-up consumers
From the perspective of Chinese cosmetics consumers, people born in the 1970s-1990s are the leading force whose consumption accounts for nearly 90%, of which nearly 40% is contributed by those born in the 1980s.
Foreign brands still play a dominant role in the Chinese cosmetic market, with an 86% share of total retail sales. Foreign brands have always been considered more reliable, expert, and trendy for Chinese consumers, leading them to spend even a higher price for foreign cosmetics products.
During the first three months of this year, sales of eyeliners and eye shadow products made by foreign brands increased by 40% on a yearly basis on Tmall.
For example, French cosmetics group L’Oreal said during the past months, sales of eye makeup products, including eyeliners, eye shadows, mascara, and eyebrow pencils grew faster than other product categories in the Chinese market.
Eye make-up trends in 2020 in China
Social media and marketplaces are boosting sales
Chinese consumers are showing an increasingly high demand for quality lifestyles, and more people are buying makeup to look beautiful.
According to Chinadaily, cosmetics that improve eyebrows and eyes are increasingly in demand, judging by the speed with which these products fly off the shelves and are sold in online marketplaces like Tmall, Xiaohongshu, Pinduoduo, Jumei, Kaola.
In fact, as face masks have become an essential part of Chinese people’s life, they are now looking to source beauty and cosmetics products that complement the masks, like eye shadows, mascara, and so on.
Brands follow the actuality
Many cosmetics brand like L’oreal, Shiseido, Estée Lauder, Urban Decay, Revolution, the Chinese brand Perfect diary and others have started to raise the concept of makeups paired with surgical masks, and they promoted the content on popular social media platforms such as Wechat, Weibo, Tik Tok (Douyin), and Little Red Book(Xiaohongshu).
Branding is essential in China and a presence on Wechat and Weibo, the most used Chinese social networks, is essential to get visibility in the Chinese market. Chinese people get a more solid connection to the brand via social media and at the same time brands can reach Chinese consumers and interact with them.
Wechat and Weibo: the best Chinese platforms were to reach Chinese consumers
Wechat is born as a messaging platform, but over the years it has introduced several innovative and advanced features that have made it a tool where:
- to interact with other
- to buy products
- to share news and opinion
- to make reservation
- to put advertisement
- to open brands accounts
- to manage customer relationship
However, compared to Weibo, it offers a one to one service thanks to the sending of direct messages, newsletters, and promotions, while Weibo is a platform that allows you to communicate to the masses – that is, one-to-many. Through Weibo, companies can increase their brand awareness, convert users into customers, and retain those already acquired.
Weibo is a micro-blogging platform similar to Twitter, but it offers many additional functions like:
- follow account (Brands, KOls, stars)
- communicating with consumers by posting contents on a brand’s value and products
- to put advertisements
- to buy products through Weibo store
- collaborate with KOLs to increase followers
TikTok (Douyin) the funny short-video platform were to create engagement
Douyin 抖 音, the Chinese counterpart of Tik Tok, is a short video app. Used by users to scroll through fun mini-videos, it has often proved to be a strategically for international brands in the make-up sector in China.
This app capture users and keep them in front of the screen through captivating and funny short videos.
On Douyin videos of make-up products are very popular. To promote brands many experts or KOLs explain all the tricks to always look your best.
Little Red Book (Xiaohongshu) the social eCommerce platform where to give tips
Xiaohongshu’s user-generated content plays a big role in helping Chinese consumers shape brand perception and build brand loyalty. It encourages users to share their personal experiences with products, gives tips, and provide discounted information.
In addition to creating networks of contacts and publishing content, it is in fact possible to directly purchase the products shown on the screen through the practical “link-to-buy”. Cosmetics are the top industry utilizing KOLs on this platform.
As you can see in the following picture, there are also male KOLs even though there is talk of eye make up. Why? Because in China, the male beauty market is making great strides and make up male consumers are more and more!
Makeup products with skincare benefits are the most requested
Chinese make-up users have distinct needs for multi-functional cosmetics products as they have more skin conditions like enlarged pores and acne. Therefore, a growing number of makeup products with skincare benefits claims in the Chinese market. Brands, during their marketing campaigns, should be riding this trend by promoting products with skincare benefits.
Products can include various plant extracts which:
- claim to protect the skin from environmental aggressors
- calm the irritation of sensitive skin
- regulate skin hydration
- maintain a healthy skin condition.
Artificial intelligence and Augmented reality to improve consumer experience
Technology is also something that beauty brands can look into incorporating in their marketing strategies. In fact, VR interaction and AR makeup trial in offline cosmetics stores, a voice-guided mirror that can offer professional skin testing, as well as, mobile apps that offer skin diagnostic or a way to try products digitally.
Easy to use products appealing
Chinese consumers are looking for colorful cosmetic products that are easy to use. In fact, being a relatively young market, in China over half of the consumers between the ages of 20 and 30 say they do not have excellent eye makeup skills and take too long to wear makeup every day.
Therefore, promoting user-friendly products is important and appealing to this market group.
For example, the below image of the L’oreal marketing campaign clearly shows how are important highlights easy to use products.
Live streaming as a tool to teach how and what kind of eye make-up products use
Funny and creative makeup tutorials can now be found everywhere on live streaming platforms like Douyin and Little Red Book (Xiaohongshu), Taobao live, and others.
KOLs, beauty bloggers, the protagonist of live streaming, have gathered great influence over young consumers of make-up products. Thanks to living streaming on Chinese social media, KOLs give tips and secrets about how to use specific products, what kind of products is more suitable for different skin. Chinese consumers really love this kind of service, therefore, brands can look into providing industry secrets or backstage makeup products to appeal to and engage with this buying group.
Live streaming gives companies the possibility to sell items making this marketing technique particularly powerful to drive both brand awareness and sales. Discounts during these live streaming are also very attractive for Chinese consumers that see it an opportunity to buy foreign and expensive products.
Ecommerce platforms are the best place where to sell your eye make-up products in China
Chinese consumers prefer to buy foreign eye make-up products, and what is the best way to buy products from foreign brands that do not have a physical presence in China?
Cross-border eCommerce is the solution!
China Cross-border e-commerce platforms have become highly popular among consumers as major channels to buy authentic foreign goods.
If you want to sell your products without having to face the long and complex authorization procedure with local authorities, which is mandatory for export and sale through traditional channels, you can choose between Tmall global and Kaola.
If you already have a physical presence in China, eCommerce platforms can be a good option!
Tmall, Xiaohongshu, Pinduoduo, Jumei are the most used platforms to sell makeup products.
Why Branding is so important in China and how to create branding?
In conclusion, when you want to enter your brand in the Chinese market, you should understand that Branding is the key to success because Chinese consumers don’t buy products they don’t know.
In the pre-purchase phase, they rely on people who have tried that product, on friends, on reviews on social networks, and above all on the reviews of their idols.
Therefore, a good digital marketing campaign is essential and since channels for promoting your brand in China are different from the western ones, the key to running a successful advertising campaign is localizing. Combining SEO, PPC, PR, forums, social media, and eCommerce will ensure your company to increase awareness, loyalty, and sales.
Do you want to know more about How to use Chinese channels to boost sales? Contact GMA a digital marketing agency, specialized in Chinese digital market.