China – a bellwether for online prestige beauty sales

Chinese consumers continue to trade up in purchasing beauty products.

China’s e-commerce market is the largest and fastest-growing in the world.

With a value of US$1.94 trillion in 2019, The NPD Group considers the Chinese online market to be a bellwether for the evolution of other markets worldwide post-lockdown, especially for prestige beauty.

This year has witnessed a huge spike in short videos, apps, livestreaming and customised services for selling prestige beauty online in China, says NPD.

All these innovative marketing activities are what we see as the biggest change of this year, says Martine Ringwald, senior vice president, business development, beauty and luxury at NPD.

During the coronavirus crisis Chinese consumers have not been able to purchase international brands overseas.

Alibaba’s Tmall’s growth rate for prestige beauty in June was up 90 per cent over the same month last year, notes NPD.

JD.com, the other Chinese online titan, saw prestige beauty sales soar 74 per cent in June.

Chinese consumers continue to trade up in purchasing all beauty products, regardless of the negative impact of COVID-19, says Samuel Yan, e-commerce commercial lead for the NPD Group, based In Shanghai.

According to the data tracker, pre-COVID-19 the value weight of the major beauty categories was – 64 per cent skincare, 28 per cent makeup, 6 per cent fragrance and 2 per cent haircare.

Post-lockdown, skincare sales rose 5 per cent to 69 per cent, makeup slipped 4 per cent to 24 per cent, fragrance remained unchanged and haircare was down to 1 per cent.

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