Skincare & Cosmetics

The opportunity

Chinese consumers want natural products

When it comes to skincare and cosmetics, Chinese consumers follow trends and look at the new developments each brand comes up with – however, ‘naturalness’ remains a must and this is undoubtedly a great opportunity for New Zealand brands. This consumer behaviour derives from Chinese culture – the holistic approach to beauty in China makes a link between health and beauty, and traditional Chinese medicine focuses on the use of natural ingredients to cure ailments and promote health.

Chinese consumers are buying into beauty routines

This is a trend that actually comes from Japan and South Korea. Skin care routines in these countries are far more detailed and complex than in Western countries but, surprisingly, also more than in China. These multi-step processes include many different products and can seem very advanced for beginners.

Chinese consumers have seen their buying power grow over the past few years and they are buying more cosmetics than they used to. With increased access to more foreign brands (through cross-border e-commerce platforms),they are integrating more and more global brands into their daily beauty habits.



Global brands, that have understood this trend, are offering more and more products which include natural ingredients and are tailored for complicated beauty routines. This attempt to increase sales is reducing points of difference and increasing competition, thus making it harder for New Zealand brands to be seen or even win in China.



Exploring the potential of e-commerce

Consumers would rather buy luxury products in physical retail stores where they can try them and get first-hand information, but when it comes to foreign products consumers are happy to buy online – especially some foreign brands that cannot (or refuse to) meet animal testing requirements in China. Even with many rumours about fake products being sold on e-platforms, consumers are still happy to purchase foreign brands online – since they are sold in flagship stores, there is a lower chance that they will be counterfeit. Jumei, Tmall and are popular e-commerce websites for foreign cosmetics.


The trust issue is not over

There is still a real trust issue regarding product quality in China. The country is known for its production of fake products and you can find these on any distribution channels. Even trustworthy supermarkets have been affected by these scandals and they can cover any type of item – fashion, cosmetics, or even food products. The Internet and its many e-commerce platforms do not help to resolve this issue. Consumers are now looking for proof of authenticity when buying online (any official document that can be provided by the brand to the purchaser) but counterfeit manufacturers are now also providing fake authenticity certificates. A product origin tracking system should be considered and we can help you with that. Please feel free to contact us for more information.


Internet word-of-mouth is still the way to go

Since Chinese consumers are so cautious about their purchases they rely heavily on what other consumers have to say. This explains why forums and blogs are so popular in China – it is a way for people to hear from those who have tried the products they are interested in. Consumers will trust what their peers say more than what a brand officially communicates.

If you are looking into making your product appreciated by Chinese consumers, you should focus on listening to what is being said about you, and to try to steer the conversation in a positive way. Please feel free to contact us for more information.


Using cosmetic how-to guides

Following on from word-of-mouth, there is another type of content which Chinese consumers are really fond of – beauty tutorials. These are mostly videos or how-to picture guides explaining how to do a particular type or style of make-up or hair-do.

This type of content is very popular on social media. On WeChat the highest engagement levels are achieved by beauty brands, especially due to tutorial based content. We can help you design and produce such vidoes and release them to your targeted consumers.


Talk to us

If you have an enquiry, please contact us for further information.

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