Shampoo in China: Top Marketing Strategies Revealed

The Shampoo Market in China is a fast-growing market, and today our expert will explain what are the Top Marketing strategies to sell Shampoo Products in China.


The Chinese market contains a shampoo market of 30 million yuan and a hair-care market of 20 million yuan. From a long-term view, the prospects of the shampoo market are booming. The global shampoo market is predicted to grow to about $25.73 billion by 2020. It is predicted that in the next 5 years, the annual growth rate of the shampoo and hair-care industry will be 1.8%.

The shampoo industry is a huge opportunity for foreign brands, nowadays foreign brands P&G (Head & Shoulders, Rejoice, Pantene, etc.) and Unilever (Lux, Hazeline, etc.) occupy 75% of the Chinese shampoo market, they entered China in the ’80s and ’90s of the last century. Group C-BONS takes about 15% and the third group includes local brands such as TKCL, HOUDY, etc. about 10% of the market share.

Tier 1,2 cities such as Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing, etc. are represented by the first group mostly P&G and Unilever, and local Chinese brands are represented in Tier 3 cities.

Even ten years ago Chinese consumers didn’t pay too much attention to shampoo and hair care products as they do now. This trend is especially growing amount young Chinese consumers born in ’ the 80-the ’90s, hair washing is becoming more than a daily routine, making people choose products by shampoo ingredients, effectiveness, type of skin, and other criteria.

Consumers are becoming more cautious when it comes to product choice. Indeed, according to the latest Mintel research, 81% of urban Chinese consumers say they prefer to buy all-natural hair care products, and 10% rate the presence of natural ingredients as their most important purchase influence.


Any brand entering the Chinese market should identify the right target audience for a successful marketing campaign. Each category of consumers prefers using shampoo from different market segments, as old people use popular brands like Head & Shoulders, Rejoice, and Pantene which are well-known in China since the ’90s.

They don’t use the internet/SM for checking the product’s reviews and only select products by price/availability in offline stores. Young and middle-aged consumers are picky about choosing healthcare products and check a lot of comments/reviews before purchasing. Chinese consumers, probably more so than any others in the world, depend heavily on product recommendations from online reviewers.

According to McKinsey’s research word of mouth may be more powerful in China than in developed countries. An independent survey of moisturizer purchases, for example, observed that 66 percent of Chinese consumers rely on recommendations from friends and family reviews and comments on the internet, compared with 38 percent of their US counterparts.

Q&A forums are the best choice to create an online reputation for a new brand that just entered the Chinese market. Right keywords and mentioning of the brand name will help to increase visibility in Baidu. Forums such as Baidu Zhihu, Baidu Tieba, etc. rank highly in Baidu search engines and are used by millions of Chinese people daily.


More than 70 percent of Chinese Gen Z consumers, those born after 1995, prefer buying products directly via social media than through other channels, compared with the global average of 44 percent, according to a recent study by the consulting firm Accenture.

Italian shampoo brand Davines entered the Chinese market in 2018 and started a huge marketing campaign cooperating with big KOL 叫我大表哥好吗好的 has more than 3 million followers on Weibo. She launched the contest among her followers with a chance to win 3 bottles of shampoo if the user likes and comments on this post.

Davines also chose KOL 哈鲁小姐姐 in Little Red Book with 3,5 followers. KOL explained to followers how to choose the right shampoo according to their hair type and put the link to Davine’s store on Little Red Book directly where users can buy shampoo.


China is one of the top countries for retailers to turn their focus to in 2019. China leads the world in e-commerce, with more than 40% of the world’s e-commerce transactions taking place there, up from only 1% a decade ago. E-commerce total retail e-commerce in China will reach nearly $2 trillion in 2019.

Tmall (Chinese: 天猫) – professional online shopping platform, the quality shopping city of consumers around the world. It aims to lead Chinese consumers to discover and experience globalization and a better lifestyle for the first time, and to open up the ideal life in the trend ahead of time. Tmall is the platform for famous brands with a good reputation out of the platform.

Little Red Book, also known as Xiaohongshu (Chinese: 小红书) is a social media and e-commerce platform dedicated to fashion and cosmetics.

By January 2019, Xiaohongshu says it has over 200 million registered users, with most of the users born after the 1990s (or Generation Z).

The app allows users and well-known personnel to post and share product reviews, travel blogs, and lifestyle stories via short videos and photos. Xiaohongshu also operates RED Mall, which sells international products to Chinese users.

Read also:

  1. How KOL marketing works in China
  2. All about e-commerce in China
  3. Tips to Promote a Beauty brand in China


  • Cheaper, than Tmall/JD
  • Dedicated to cosmetics
  • Has its own KOL on the platform
  • Fast-growing platform with 300 million USD investments from Alibaba

Our White Book about Little Red Book is available. Send us an email to get it


We have a White book available about the Problem of New brands in China. (available if you send us an email)


GMA (Agency website) is specialized in the Chinese market, more precisely in digital marketing in China. We have developed a lot of successful cases, using the latest digital tools and knowing your Chinese consumers well.


  1. This post is just the tip of the iceberg. There is much more to know about marketing strategy in China, those who call me will get to know more.
  2. We have good case studies in Shampoo and Hair Care brands in China (I can share them with you)
  3. I have extensive experience in promoting Health Care Products in China.
  4. Everyone needs good advice, and I give good advice for Free.


  • lapeyre

    I just launched my shampoo and haircare brand in the Philippines. My products are innovative, made from pearl extracts, and triple keratine solution more damaged hair. I think it would be very successful in China too with the good marketing campaign and by using kols as you explained in this article. Thank you for all your advice!

    • Kseniya

      Hi Lapeyre, thank you for your request!
      I will share with you our case study by e-mail and I’d be happy to discuss how we can help you to start selling products in China.

    • Kseniya

      Hello, thanks for reaching us out! I sent you an e-mail, looking forward to hearing from you.

  • We are still in the process of evaluating our market opportunities China. In fact we do have a limited online/offline distribution in China already but we have reasons to review our market approach. Please consider that our contact is confidential as we currently do have a distributor in China and for now we do not involve them into our strategic planning but will do this later.
    . Our question would be: “how can you support us with your Marketing services for possible CBEC or a domestic e-commerce concept. From what service modules could we chose from and what costs would be behind those service models.

    By the way: we are a cosmetic company specialized on hair care (more towards medicated shampoos than standard shampoos). We also do body care but our core competence

    is with hair care. If you need anything from our end to prepare please let me know.

    Looking forward to your comment. Thank you very much.

    • Kseniya

      Hello Bruno, thanks for reaching us out! I sent you an e-mail, looking forward to hearing from you.

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