China is the world’s second-largest cosmetics market after the U.S. in terms of revenue and consumption value. Nowadays, Chinese customers are very attracted to cosmetics products especially those that come from abroad. Indeed, they are sensitive to their own appearance. Chinese consumers are more and more connected and spend a lot of time on e-commerce platforms in order to find a special product with offers and promotions around it. In 2019, the retail sales value of cosmetic products in China reached a record high of 299.2 billion yuan. With the development of e-commerce, the Chinese cosmetics market witnesses the burgeoning online sales. Therefore, online beauty e-commerce platforms serve as a significant factor of the Chinese cosmetics industry’s sales, as well as brand promotion.
More information: China’s Cosmetics Market
Sell Beauty Products on Meizhuang.Tmall.com (天猫美妆)
Tmall, China’s leading cross-border website, Asia’s largest integrated shopping platform, has more than 18,000 brands from 74 countries and regions. In 2020, Tmall plans to incubate 1,000 new international beauty brands to satisfy Chinese customer demand. Taobao and Tmall are both Alibaba’s shopping platforms, but not like the C2C logic on Taobao, Tmall is a B2C model. The homepage provides viewers a clear catalog of cosmetic products, classified in brands, skincare, makeup, perfumes, and man’s beauty.
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With over half-a-billion active users, the platform is an ideal testing ground for new products before mass distribution. Through Tmall, brands can get direct feedback from users and know what kind of products are in the mode, at which time it’s best to launch their products. Meanwhile, viewers can also get opinions of products provided by former buyers.
JD.COM (京东) Innovative eCommerce
JD.COM, one of the leading B2C platforms on China’s giant retail landscape by transaction volume and revenue, sells tens of thousands of brands. JD.COM gets a good reputation from its fast delivery, with great investment in AI and Hi-tech delivery systems through drones.
With more than 380 million active users as of March 2020, JD.COM is a strong competitor to Tmall. Together with Tmall, they account for more than 70% of the retail e-commerce market in China.
The App released its mini-program services back in April 2020 to offers more possibilities to merchants as well as users. This means, that if Sephora wanted to launch a hire a makeup artist service, uses could order makeup articles directly via JD.
Short Video app Kuaishou and JD are now partnering, meaning that Kuaisou users will be able to purchase from JD directly inside the Kuaishou app. An opportunity for the merchant to try out Live streaming, which usually generates more engagement and improves brand conversion rate. Kuaishou is especially good to sell beauty products and better at e-commerce than its main competitor Douyin.
Live streaming eCommerce has been developing rapidly in China if you want to learn more about it and would like to develop it for your brand, feel free to ask us for a free consulting session.
Xiaohongshu, also known as RED, literally Little Red Book in Chinese, is a famous social media and e-commerce platform. It provides a trusted source of advice and recommendations for its community of fashion and beauty lovers. Xiaohongshu is very friendly to users who have”no clear purchase target”. Viewers don’t know what to buy, but they are willing and searching for fashion and beauty products.
RED was just a UGC (User Generated Content) community before transforming into e-commerce. Users can share their shopping experience by uploading text and pictures. By July 2019, Xiaohongshu declares over 300 million registered users, with 70% of the users born after 1990s, 80% of the users are females, which are RED’s target customers.
Xiaohongshu is the king of app when it comes to beauty and fashion. 80%+ of its user’s bases are women. The vast majority of these women live in 1st and 2nd tiers cities and are active. They are looking for premium foreign cosmetic and this is exactly what little red book offers.
In 2020, Xiaohonshu also launched its live streaming services, which coupled with its integrated eCommerce store and well developed Kols network works wonder.
VIPshop, one of the leading online retailers, is specialized in discount sales for luxury, fashion and cosmetics products. Following Tmall and JD, VIPshop is considered as the third largest e-commerce platform in China. His model is to cooperate with brands to sell their excess inventory at discounted prices.
VIP.com is ranked No.1 in China’s online discount market with 38.1% market share. According to the company, it has more than 20,000 brands, serving over 300 million users across China, all of which more than 2,200 brands have developed exclusive online cooperation with VIP.com.
Kaola is a cross-border shopping website – The biggest Chinese cross-border eCommerce, ahead of Tmall in this section. Sales categories include maternal and infant products, makeup, nutrition, health care, global cuisine, fashion goods, digital appliances, and so on. Koala has successfully solved the situation of unequal information between foreign merchants and Chinese consumers. Kaola’s success is due to its self-operated model, pricing advantages, efficient warehousing management, overseas logistics system, and babysitting services. Koala chooses commodities suitable for the Chinese market and guarantees the quality of products from the source.
In 2019, Alibaba Group announced a wholly-owned US$2 billion acquisition of Koala Haigou, aiming at creating the largest cross-border e-commerce platform.
It can be rather complicated for a foreign brand to obtain a license to sell directly within Chine. Cross border is a good alternative to get started and try out the Chinese market. Kaoloa is also a cheaper option than JD or Tmall with less requirement to open a flagship store.
GMA Cosmetic & Beauty is also an agency. We offer varied services to help your beauty brands enter the Chinese market or/and grow in the Chinese market. Try news apps & tools, find news audiences, etc.