China, the world’s second-largest economy, is expected to have a cosmetics and toiletries sector worth US$97.9 billion by 2024, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 6.2% from US$72.6 billion in 2019.
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At present, Chinese beauty or C-beauty continues to be dominated by international major brands, but local brands are increasing in popularity, as consumers look to tradition and heritage, including ingredients and rituals from traditional Chinese medicine, according to a Globaldata report.
Younger beauty consumers and the Covid-19 pandemic mean Chinese beauty is turning more local and becoming more digital.
“What makes China a high-value market is patriotic consumerism and rising affinity for local brands, especially among the younger generations,” said Sumit Chopra, Consumer Research Director at GlobalData.
“Brands too have realized that they cannot succeed in the post-pandemic beauty market with the past arsenal. As a result, personalization, aesthetic shift and a hyper-digitized retail reality gained further momentum during the Covid-19 pandemic,” continued Sumit.
Digitally speaking, consumers are increasingly opting for touch-free experiences and have responded toonline shopping, added Globaldata.
As a result, Chinese manufacturers have developed virtual systems for consumers to try make-up products. Chinese beauty technology company Meitu this year launched an augmented reality tool to generate virtual make-up effects via its virtual make-up editor.
Dubbed Meitugenius, the technology can be added to e-commerce platforms, including purchase links, which redirect consumers to brand websites and make way for product purchases.
“Right from C-beauty, J-beauty to K-beauty, all brands have suffered to a different extent. The impact was directly proportional to a brand’s ability to weather the crisis, be it in terms of budgets, digitization abilities, AI skin testing, strong social media presence, openness to alternative sales channels or other new retail tools,” added Chopra.
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“Future opportunities for C-beauty will be to explore unique products with an amalgamation of Western and local culture to attract consumers, who are open to products influenced by Western culture without forgetting their cultural roots,” continued Chopra.