What is the Secret of Beauty Brands that Thrive in China?

How does the Chinese Beauty Market landscape look like?

China is the world’s second-largest beauty market after the U.S. in terms of revenue and consumption value. As a result of urbanization, growing disposable income, and social media influence, the beauty, and personal care market is facing a burgeoning demand for higher quality, premium, high-end brand products.

It’s an extremely profitable industry, as a matter of fact, revenue in the beauty market amounts to over $55 million thus far in 2020. The market is expected to grow annually by 7.1 percent through 2023.

Beauty industry china - marketing segmentation

China Consumer’s Behaviors when buying Cosmetics

Because of changes in consumer behavior/sales patterns and the greater proliferation of e-commerce, to be successful within the Chinese beauty industry, you don’t have to be a big cosmetic brand like L’Oréal, Estee Lauder, or SK-II; smaller brands still have the opportunity to excel as long as they understand the value of branding.

Chinese beauty shoppers are steadily in pursuit of the latest and greatest cosmetics to match their consumer-centric lifestyles. This means that brands should utilize innovative and personalized strategies to draw the attention of these consumers.

This change did not happen overnight and marketing strategies are a key point in this situation.



The rise of the millennial generation has played an important role in the growing demand of the cosmetics market together with the awakening of health-conscious consumers. This has also caused changing attitudes in terms of brand loyalty in the cosmetics sector. Modern Chinese beauty consumers are far less loyal to major international brands because of their growing curiosity about niche brands.

These beauty consumers really take the time to research and analyze product reviews before making a purchase decision. The decision generally depends on the desire to obtain products with better ingredients and improved functionality rather than the price.


When a brand wants to enter the Chinese market, there are several steps to follow to achieve its goals and to be successful. This is even more true when it comes to the beauty market. Chinese girls love to buy foreign brand because it is better, more quality, higher status.

GMA can help you with the best marketing strategies for your brand. Below you will find some important points for success :

Invest in reputation through

  • Social Media

These are important for a brand to share its brand story, value, and products. WeChat & Weibo will always be great picks when it comes to brand recognition because they are some of the first social media platforms that Chinese users will use to learn more about your products and brand. Live streaming might be the perfect choice when it comes to showcasing the personalization and authenticity of your beauty products.

  • Hire the right KOLs: Whether you are interested in boosting awareness or generating leads, a KOL can do wonders for reaching your ideal audience. Your KOL search should consist of choosing an influencer that has quality content and deep insights into their viewers.
  • Manage online comments and interactions

Create your branding/brand awareness through

  • Traffic improvement

GMA can help you to improve your traffic in e-commerce platform, more traffic means more sales. Given the reputation of e-commerce in China, it is essential to have a strategy that creates a seamless experience for self-care products. Your brand must include items such as free samples, exclusive products, discounts, and some form of loyalty program when buyers visit your products online. You should offer a quality customer service experience.

You can also read our full guide on the Top Marketing Strategies to Succeed in the Beauty Market


The Chinese cross-border e-commerce sector has become extremely popular with beauty consumers and is one of the main doors to buying international cosmetic products. Cross-border e-commerce can be an efficient and inexpensive way to showcase your beauty products without setting up an offline store. Here are some of the best platforms to consider to sell your products:

Kaola is an e-commerce company part of the NetEase group (group listed on NASDAQ).

The platform provides online sales of various imported products via cross-border e-commerce. The products range from cosmetics, household products, and food supplements, to clothing, and accessories.

Cosmetics and fashion brands often consider Kaola as the gateway to the Chinese beauty and skincare market. It provides international companies the opportunity to sell their products securely to Chinese consumers and is known for cost-effective and trustworthy products among shoppers since the platforms buy products directly from foreign companies.

  • Meizhuangxinde

Meizhuangxinde has become a great reference platform for cosmetics in China where users share their experiences and advice on the best use of beauty products. Some of the platform’s main functions include branding discounts, cosmetics ranking lists, testing, and a product library.

RED’s user-generated content plays a big role in helping Chinese consumers shape brand perception and build brand loyalty. Xianohongshu encourages users to share their personal experiences with products, gives tips, and provides discounted information. This app is turning into a social commerce hub for beauty beginners and professionals alike.

  • Pechoin (百雀羚)

Pechoin is a skincare brand of SPDC. The package of this product is often a small round iron box in yellow or blue. In 2008, it won the title of a Famous Trademark in China. And before that, it had already won the title of Famous Trademark of Shanghai.

The brand is widely seen as a pioneer of tailored digital marketing strategies, which opened the company up to a novel demographic and a younger consumer base. In fact, the brand’s repositioning on the market as a millennial-friendly brand was achieved by creating a successful visual brand identity with creative and memorable ads.

  • One Leaf

One leaf took only a few years to become a market leader in China thanks to its best-selling mask sheets. Its natural message has been very tempting for Chinese consumers looking for healthy and reliable products.

As mentioned, the success of One Leaf was based on a product (their mask sheets), so the brand could concentrate its resources on this highly targeted product instead of dispersing them between the launch of seasonal products and various departments.

  • Chando

Chando has been one of the most successful players in the domestic market.

Some of Chando’s marketing launches received high engagements, such as the Chando Love Lines campaign, which was launched for Mother’s Day and was reminiscent of Dove’s Real Beauty campaign. The ads encouraged women to embrace their “natural beauty” lines and marks instead of chasing cosmetic procedures.

  • Mask Family·1908

Mask Family·1908 is another Chinese skincare company that became a household name thanks to its sheet masks and sleeping masks.

The line is available in specialty stores, cross-border e-commerce sites (Tmall, JD.com, Aliexpress), and apps like WeChat.

  • Herborist

Herborist, a premium cosmetics brand takes advantage of traditional medicines and natural ingredients and enhances the intrinsic characteristics of organic ingredients through innovation.

Considering how much Chinese consumers mistrust synthetic ingredients and chemical compounds,

it is not surprising his conquest of a greater market share.

Today, its products can be found at over 1,500 stores and counters.

Do you want to know more about How to sell your beauty products in the Chinese market? Contact GMA a digital marketing agency, specializing in the Chinese digital market.

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