top of page
  • Writer's pictureAkina Wong

【Competitive Analysis】The Beauty Tornado: A New Force Sweeping Across The Country

Updated: Jul 24, 2021

Over the last few years, online marketing of cosmetic products has achieved swift entrance in the young consumer group and has dominated the market.

As a festive season cramped with festivals like May Day, Chinese Youth Day, Mother's Day, Network Valentine's Day, etc., May has become an important month for marketing activities of different brands. Brands often go the extra mile to launch new products and publish relevant publicity materials on social media for online marketing purposes.

The end-of-season has always been the peak season for the sales of cosmetic products. During the Chinese New Year in 2020, sales of high-end beauty products on Tmall have dropped by 40%. As the pandemic alleviated, people were less likely to stay at home. The "618" sales festival also fell during this period of time. Hence, the spring season of 2021 has collaborated with these festivals in providing a good market foundation and customer group for the beauty field.

[Remarkable female consumption and the soaring sales of cosmetic products]

Loving beauty is the nature of human beings. Beautiful people are more likely to have a higher level of confidence and become popular. Looking good is not only for pleasing others but also be more pleasing in their own eyes. As the old saying goes “Everyone has the love of beauty.”, which is written in the famous “Kao Tsze Part 1”.

With the ever-changing nature of society, aside from materialistic needs, the grouping and socialization of human beings in modern society equips everyone with a sense of aesthetics. Statistics show that the global cosmetics market has climbed to US$75.1 billion in 2020. It is estimated that the scale of the global cosmetics market will escalate up to US$169.67 billion by 2025.

According to iiMedia Research, the scale of China's cosmetics market in 2020 has dropped at year-on-year by 7% to CNY¥ 395.8 billion. It is expected that when the pandemic is stabilized, China's cosmetics market is going to reach CNY¥ 478.1 billion in 2021, a year-on-year increase of 20.79%. It is expected that the market size will rise to CNY¥ 512.5 billion in 2023.

The substantial increase in the market size of the beauty and cosmetics sector reflects the rise of people's consumption ability and the improvement of their living standards.

The data also mentions that over 50% of consumers’ monthly average spending on cosmetics falls in the range of CNY¥200 to 1000, in which female consumers prefer the mid-price level of CNY¥500-1000, while male consumers would prefer CNY¥200-500, which belongs to low to the medium price level. In addition, the low-end market below CNY¥200 is mainly occupied by male consumers. Undoubtedly, the domestic cosmetics market is dominated by female consumers, yet the overall consumption level of male consumers still has room for growth. At the same time, as more and more domestic brands with good value for money enter the market, it will gradually become apparent for the concentration of average consumption shifting towards middle and low price goods.

Apparently, young women occupy the leading role in the cosmetics industry. Hence it would be a thorny problem for beauty brands to attract consumers’ attention, and turn them into hardcore fans of the brand.

[The rise of cosmetics: emotional belongingness from “fanquan” culture]

Domestic cosmetics are in a stage of rapid development. With the high-cost performance and flagship stores across all major shopping apps, the market is opened quickly, thus bringing in some of the consumers of time-honored brands.

According to Alibaba Data, in April 2021, the sales of the domestic cosmetics platform surpassed international cosmetics brands for the first time, with Florasis, Perfect Diary and Proya placed at the top three.

In order to penetrate the domestic young market at a much faster and deeper rate, as well as keeping old customers and attracting new customers, both domestic and international cosmetic brands have adopted the strategy of inviting stars with devoted fan bases as brand spokespersons. For example, Pechoin has invited Wang Yibo as their brand spokesperson; Givenchy has invited Cai Xukun as their spokesperson, and Wang Junkai was invited by Bobbi Brown to be their spokesperson.

In this new era of consumption, the experiential value and social value of a product is becoming increasingly vital. As the quality of brand-name product is guaranteed to a certain extent, consumers are not only driven by its “brand”, “price” or “function”, but also the rise of the “fanquan” culture, a term referring to a group of fans developing their in-group culture. These consumers are willing to pay for their mental needs, in which if they support a brand, they would definitely pay for them.

The influence of celebrities is strong enough for the majority of fans. Therefore, choosing celebrities with devoted fan bases as brand spokespersons, then integrating them with the brand would be the best choice for brands to expand their young market, draw consumers' attention, as well as to increase their sales.


bottom of page