Riding on the homegrown C-beauty wave thanks to the Guochao trend, a patriotic brand movement that promotes local traditional culture and style, Chinese cosmetic brands expanded by 78 percent in 2020, according to Alibaba Group’s online marketplace Tmall, far exceeding global cosmetics’ growth rate of 23 percent in general.
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Among the sea of up-and-coming C-beauty brands, the brainchild of Wu Chenglong and Freeman founded in 2017, Florasis excelled among its peers, and has successfully landed its feet in Japan – making a debut on Amazon Japan in March last year, becoming the first C-beauty disruptor to open an overseas store.
Retail in Asia had the pleasure to catch up with the brand, together we discussed a few milestones Florasis has achieved, the brand’s KOL tactics and its omnichannel strategy.
RiA : What is Florasis brand’s mission and vision? Please advise Florasis’ USP.
Florasis : Florasis is an innovative makeup brand that takes inspiration from Chinese culture and heritage and gives it a modern interpretation for today’s consumer.
Florasis saw that many beauty brands in the market do not provide enough representation of Eastern beauty, aesthetics, and culture. Our team wanted to bring a fresh perspective to the beauty space, increasing its diversity and inclusivity to consumers. As a result, Florasis created a brand that represents our history and culture, and uses makeup to celebrate and share the story and memories of ourselves.
Embracing and celebrating classic Chinese elements gives Florasis a beautiful and compelling aesthetic. Our unique product design and style is distinctively different. More importantly, Florasis is building a Eastern Beauty R&D System to expand the scientific innovation of Chinese floral extracts, herbs, and medicinal elements in modern cosmetics.
RiA : Can you tell us about the milestones Florasis has achieved since its launch (in terms of customer base, number of points of sales, promotions, shopping festivals, GMV / sales, etc)?
Florasis : In 2017, Florasis brand was born by the West Lake in Hangzhou, China. In August 2017, Florasis launched its official store on Tmall.
In March 2021, Florasis started global business by opening its first official store on Amazon Japan.; Later in May 2021, Florasis launched its international wesbite florasis.com as its main sales channel and branding site.
In August 2021, Florasis’s parent company launched a comprehensive R&D center.
In Jan. 2022, Florasis ranked No.1 on 2021 Douyin E-commerce sales chart in cosmetics category. Florasis’s Tmall store also ranked No.1 among all Tmall stores in the cosmetics category.
In March 2022, Florasis launched a 5-year Eastern Beauty R&D Plan with over 1 billion RMB investment.
In 2020, the total GMV reached 3 billion RMB.
In 2021, the total GMV grew to 5.4 billion RMB.
Up to date, Florasis has over 35 million paying customers. Consumers from 100+ countires and regions have purchased Florasis products..
RiA : How efficient is collaborating with influencers and KOLs to the brand’s growth? And how relevant is it for your customer base?
Florasis : We value our collaboration with influencers in China and globally. They have creative ways to reach and engage with customers with their own personalities and chracteristics. They also provide in-depth insights into consumer trends and product feedback, which are very helpful for us to deepen the understanding of the markets.
In China, we have a very close and collaborative relationship with top beauty influencer Li Jiaqi, who not only features our products in his livestreams, but also participates in product ideation and development proccess to “co-create” some product lines, such as “Impression of Miao” series. We call it the 2.0 version of the influencer collaboration model as it truly empowers creators and hosts a long-lasting conversation between brands and the influencer community.
We collaborate with a wide range of influencers in beauty, lifestyle, fashion, and other categories.
RiA : Florasis is a digital native brand. What’s your current brick-and-mortar and online footprint? Can you elaborate on your omnichannel strategy?
Florasis : For the moment, Florasis supports online purchase only.
In China, we have official stores on all major e-commerce marketplaces, including Tmall, Douyin, Kuaishou, and JD.com.
In international markets, we have an official website florasis.com (English) as our main sales channel, which currently supports 46 countries and regions. To better adapt to local markets, we also have official stores on Amazon Japan, Qoo10 Japan, as well as Shopee and Lazada across the SEA region.
RiA : Can you tell us more about your customer profile?
Florasis : Currently, our main customer base is people from 18-35+ age group(mostly women) in tier 1-3 cities in China.
RiA : From your point of view, what does it take for an homegrown emerging brand to succeed in China?
Florasis : Understand and solve consumers’ pain points and needs for make-up brands. Before, Chinese domestic cosmetics products were considered to be cheap and of low quality and harm the skin. We invested heavily into research and developing products based on these needs, and drew inspiration from Chinese traditional culture and beauty philosophy to create a mid and high end brand that offers skin-nourishing products with Chinese flower and herb essences.
Know the customers and how to interact with them. Brands need to research customers’ preferences and habits, where they look for information and discuss with their community, etc.
RiA : What’s your take on the guochao trend and localisation in China?
Florasis : We have found that Chinese consumers are increasingly embracing Chinese domestic brands. We believe nowadays, consumers not only look for functional products from a brand, but also the emotional connections and value recognition.
However, we don’t develop products just catering to the Guochao trend, nor do we define ourselves as a Guochao brand. We want to build an Eastern beauty brand globally in the long run, not a “fad” that passes quickly.
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RiA: What are Florasis’ future plans in Asia and globally?
Florais : We have established a presence globally – In Asia, we have both official websites and local e-commerce marketplaces in selling. And we are also building a global network of influencers and strengthening localized operations in different markets.