On January 16, 2017, China Beauty Expo’s Asia Pacific Professional Buyer’s Group kicked off its Singapore international forum with the “four new” factors that will shape the region’s beauty industry in 2017: the new economy, new retail, new consumers, and new markets. The China Beauty Expo’s (CBE) Secretary-General, Ying Sang, shared the latest developments in the China cosmetics industry with brands, distributors, spa operators, and senior-level beauty product buyers from across Southeast Asia.
Discerning China Millennials Move from Brands to Products
CBE’s Sang’s provided an insightful glance into the retail behavior and millennial shopper attitudes that are transforming China’s cosmetics sector. Chinese consumers’ rising quality expectations and interest in the lifestyle behind the brands are two factors fueling this shift. In parallel, China’s market structure is quickly reshaping itself from a traditional pyramid to one dominated by middle class consumers. As a result, China’s domestic, lower end cosmetics manufacturers can expect increasingly fierce competition.
Sang also observed that China’s millennial consumers are far more focused on the product, itself, than the brand. In the new retail era, these product-centric consumer attitudes may erode brand loyalty, creating new challenges and opportunities for brand marketers. This product-driven environment puts ever more pressure on innovation to stay ahead of competitors.
Commenting on major growth segments in 2016, Sang saw a major surge in the make-up category. China’s mask market remained stable with some niche categories pulling out ahead of the pack. In addition to the strong growth in make-up, 2016 also saw skincare products perform very well. Personal care and cleansing products stood out as a major growth category. Oral care products have also begun pick up and premium sub-categories are also attracting attention.
Cross-border E-commerce Reshapes Access to China's Retail Sector
CBE’s Ying Sang was joined by Singapore-based e-commerce expert, Jerry Li, to share his recent analysis of cross-border e-commerce in the cosmetics industry. Last year, beauty products leapt ahead of maternity and children’s products to capture the largest slice China’s soaring cross-border e-commerce spending. According to recent Tmall Global data, China’s cross-border e-commerce purchases jumped by 30% in 2016. Japan, the US, South Korea, Germany and Australia were the main beneficiaries of this growth. Li’s research shows that Japan and Korea were particularly popular sources for purchasing cosmetics products and that volumes remain high as we enter 2017.
China Beauty Expo: the Hub of China's Cosmetics Industry
Cross-border e-commerce in the cosmetics industry will be just one of the topics that China’s cosmetic industry leaders discuss as the converge at the 22nd Annual China Beauty Expo in May. CBE will bring together more than 3,000 exhibitors and beauty industry professionals from across Asia for the event that is at the heart of China’s beauty industry. CBE has emerged as the leading platform for showcasing international beauty product innovation in Asia. Not only do brands and suppliers have access to one of China’s largest groups of buyers, but Asian distributors and manufacturers have the chance to connect with over 1,000 providers of materials, equipment, packaging, and ODM/OEM services from across the beauty supply chain.