Single’s Day 2020: Strategies of Beauty Brands for 11.11

Key takeaways from 2020 Single’s Day shopping festival on Tmall

This year’s Singles’ Day Tmall shopping festival has drawn to a close, with Alibaba reporting sales figures of 268.4 billion RMB, an all-time record. Beauty was one of the top categories, with 36 beauty brands each reaching over 100 million RMB in sales. Find below some key takeaways about cosmetics brands during 11.11:

  • A total of 100 brands, such as the brands L’Oréal and Estée Lauder, topped GMV of ¥100 million in 111 minutes after sales officially began (about $15.1 million).
  • Estée Lauder was the first Tmall flagship store to surpass ¥1 billion (about $150 million) in sales among American and European brands during 11.11.
  • By the end of day one, 34 emerging newcomers had each achieved over  ¥10 million (about $1.5 million) in sales.
  • Estée Lauder broke its 11.11 record from last year in a little more than 9 hours.
  • Guerlain broke its record in under an hour.
  • Sisley did so in an hour and 15 seconds.
  • L’Oréal within the first 11 hours.
  • Lancôme in under 14 hours.
  • Amorepacific, Shiseido, and The History of Whoo also surpassed its performances from last year’s entire 11.11 sales period.

L’Oréal Paris, the Top Cosmetics Seller for 2020’s 11.11

L’Oréal became the top-selling beauty brand on Tmall this year, beating out peers Estée Lauder and SK-II. L’Oréal became one of just 15 brands to crack one billion RMB in sales on Singles’ Day. How did live streaming turn out for L’Oréal? The company opened its Tmall/Taobao live streaming channel during the Singles’ Day pre-sale period, keeping it open for 17 hours a day.

L’Oréal was the top-selling beauty brand on Singles’ Day 2019 and became one of just fifteen brands to generate over 1 billion RMB in sales. L’Oréal worked with live streaming influencers such as Austin Li to create demand during the period leading up to Singles’ Day. Over a period of 392 live streaming hours, L’Oréal served over 10.34 million orders, a new record. On average, over 300,000 people watched each live streaming session.

L’Oréal transmitted a video of a lit-up Arc de Triomphe to commemorate Singles’ Day, and also launched a pop-up store in Hangzhou to simulate French heritage and educate customers about the product development process.

MAC Cosmetics, a wise strategy for Single’s Day

MAC Cosmetics launched two special-edition product collections for 11.11, including one with Chinese activewear brand Li-Ning, and is marketing across China’s top social platforms including Weibo, WeChat, Douyin (China’s TikTok), Red, and short video and live-streaming app Kuaishou. Although official results have not yet been released, the brand was listed as the fifth highest-selling cosmetics brand on Tmall for the Nov 1-3 sales period. 

Celebrity content remains crucial for brands’ success, with top brands using some of China’s top pop stars as the face of their campaigns across social platforms. MAC Cosmetics benefited from the massive popularity of its newly announced brand ambassador, Lisa from the K-pop band Blackpink. 

Perfect Diary, the rise of C-beauty for 11.11

Perfect Diary’s marketing strategy combines Celebrity endorsements with KOL corporation and KOC sharing on social media, with a goal to create an overwhelming response for the 618 and Double 11 shopping season! Prior to 618 and Double 11, Perfect Diary launched a large number of new products and opted for celebrity endorsements and famous KOLs to help build a successful brand image and attract more interest from the public. The brand spent lots of money on KOL reviews.

However, Perfect Diary needs new marketing methods to better enhance the brand’s interest and influence. So, their solution is Brand crossover. Like many brands, Perfect Diary looks for stars to better promote its products and events. The brand also takes advantage of the fashion week, with famous brands and supermodels seeking cross-industry cooperation. Perfect Diary also seeks cooperation with major international well-known IP. For brands, this marketing approach not only helps the brand to penetrate into different consumer groups but also expands its user circle and enhances the brand’s reputation.

Perfect Diary is a beauty tech unicorn funded by VC firms including Sequoia China whose parent company Guangzhou Yatsen E-commerce Co. earned RMB 3.03 billion (about $458 million) in income in 2019. In late October, the company filed for a U.S. IPO and acquired French premium skin-care brand Galenic. For the first three quarters of 2020, it reported an RMB 500 million (US$75 million) adjusted net loss due to expansion and investment in marketing and R&D.

Perfect Diary operates with a digitally native business model, earning 377% income growth in 2019 driven by social commerce across Chinese platforms, especially Red and Tmall. C-beauty startups’ command of social platforms on their home turf makes the market more competitive for international brands. 

What’s next for cosmetics brands participating in 11.11

Red, meanwhile, remains a crucial social shopping platform for brands, because of the way content is created by consumers. Brands are using a new smart combination of classic big social media like WeChat and Weibo merged with new trendy social media, going viral in China, like RED, Kuaishou, Bililibili, or Douyin. Live streaming is crucial.

With the evolution of social platforms in China, you really have to buckle your seatbelt because it’s evolving so quickly. The elaborate campaigns that brands undertake for their 11.11 promotions are “years in the making,”. Cosmetics and beauty brands are already planning merchandising for future 11.11 events going into 2023. 

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