Niche brands and new websites rock China’s beauty market

Niche brands are set to take a prime position in China’s beauty market according to an insight report by Reuter.

The study titled The New Face of Beauty in China found that Chinese beauty consumers are shifting away from big-name beauty brands to pay more on relative newcomers and organic goods. Data from the study came from speaking with over 300 consumers across the first-tier cities of Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou.

Lee Folland, head of research at Reuter Communications, said, “Our proprietary community of luxury Chinese consumers allowed us to access the mindset of the demographics which are driving this exciting, booming beauty industry in China. We hope that the insights we have presented via this research gives brands a clearer understanding of how to capture the attention of Chinese luxury consumers in such a quickly evolving market.”

Discoveries from this research centred around the growth of new e-commerce platforms, demand for hi-tech, holistic retail experiences, and the changing tastes of Gen Z.

Some key findings

  • Physical retail in China is in demand. 86% of consumers prefering a holistic in-person experience
  • Green is in. 85% of those surveyed would pay a premium for brands with organic products/ingredients
  • Niche is fresh. 92% of male Chinese beauty consumers prefer niche brands over big brands
  • Online media is adapting. Beauty influencers are using creative content to fight off market shifts and stay above the KOL (Key Opinion Leader) bubble
  • Alibaba isn’t the only online game in town. Red Book (Xiaohongshu) is now the number one platform for Chinese beauty consumers

Now if Red Book is unfamiliar to you, it’s because of its part of a multitude of new platforms with a focused product type. Only two years old, user-generated content from the next generation of influencers has rocketed it up in popularity for beauty shoppers. 88% of its user base is females born after 1980,

Chloe Reuter, founder & CEO of Reuter Communications, said, “Beauty in China is booming. Today, the market presents one of the most exciting opportunities for beauty brands. Young, curious and engaged consumers seek novelty; whether it’s trying new niche brands or new categories. We undertook this research find out what is really driving preferences and behaviour, where are consumers finding information, how do they buy, what do they look for and how influential are the influencers? The report brings to light the diverse issues that brands need to know to make sure they are top of mind in this hugely competitive area that’s at a tipping point for commercial success.”

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