Ecommerce changes Chinese consumer behaviours towards colour cosmetics

April 25, 2018
3 min read

China is the largest ecommerce market globally, with brands across categories viewing the digital space as among the most important channels.

Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) shows that 7% of all global colour cosmetics products were launched in China in 2017, up from 5% in 2016 and just 1% in 2015. What’s more, new launch types (instead of range extensions, relaunch, new packaging and the like) accounted for 64% of new colour cosmetics introductions in China between 2015 to 2017. This compares to 58% of all new colour cosmetics introductions in South Korea, and 46% in Japan. This indicates that the Chinese colour market is more active in the field of innovation.

Mintel and Early Data research reveals that lipsticks are the driving force behind the colour cosmetics ecommerce market. Lipstick/lip gloss holds over a quarter of China’s colour cosmetics online value sales, followed by BB/CC cream and makeup/beauty tools.

It’s clear that Chinese consumers love buying colour cosmetics online, especially as the ecommerce channel has a social soul of its own in China. In today’s digital era, Chinese consumers are becoming more demanding than ever. With greater exposure to digital channels, they are transitioning from ‘value hunters’ to more sophisticated shoppers, seeking more than just meeting their basic needs.

How a brand makes Chinese consumers feel is key:

Selling ‘lifestyle’ before product
While buyer reviews and feedback used to work as references and recommendations, upgraded demonstrations with visualised effects, such as live streaming and vlog tutorials, benefit many beauty ‘blogebrities’ and online celebrities in their ascent to becoming key opinion leaders.

Trying something new based on ‘experience’
Mintel data shows that almost half of urban Chinese female consumers would buy colour cosmetics that they have never tried before and the same percentage say they need a trial before making a purchase. This creates a new opportunity for brands to improve the consumer online trial experience through innovative means the likes of augmented reality (AR) which is now penetrating into various channels.

Reinvent the tradition
Companies need to personalise the voice of their brands, as what they’re trying to say could be interpreted differently in this digital era. For example, 2017 saw the emergence of a new trend that had consumers self-decorating their luxury goods with traditional Chinese style tapes.

To learn more, join Mintel at MakeUp in Seoul on April 26, where Crystal Xu, APAC Senior Insight Analyst, will be discussing these topics and more. Click here for full details.

Crystal Xu
Crystal Xu

Crystal Xu is a Consulting Analyst at Mintel based in the Shanghai office. She manages consulting projects and delivers Insight presentations for Mintel clients.

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