Cosmetics stood out as an important product category at the recent China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai. Shanghai remains the gateway for 30% of China’s imported products – and at more than 53% of its cosmetics imports. In 2017, the volume of imports flowing through Shanghai’s port jumped by 18.9%, setting a new record.
Kantar Worldpanel’s recent data indicates that imported cosmetics purchases represented 40% of the total expenditures by China’s urban female consumers. This represents a 29% jump over 2017. Among imported cosmetics, sales of make-up outpaced skin care products.
Premium Product Demand Drives Imports
According to data released by JD.com for the third quarter of 2018, the top five premium brands for cosmetics and perfume are all international brands with Shiseido’s Perfect UV Sunscreen topping the list. JD.com’s data indicates that women account for 57% of the purchasers of make-up products. Most JD.com users are young, educated consumers. Meanwhile, demand for men’s skin care products also continued to rise.
Consumers are drawn to imported brands by their quality and premium positioning. Kantar data found that lipstick and foundation from top brands accounted for as much as half of the sales volume. In sunscreen and make up remover categories, imported brands made up 50% of all purchases. Among eye cream and toning liquids, important comprised 40% of the sales volume.
Online Sales Boom, While Offline Channels Remain Flat
Online sales, including sales via online flagship stores, cross-border platforms, and shopping apps represent 35% of the imported product market. Among online shopping channels, Wechat remains the fastest growing – increasing by more than 100%. Offline channels remain active and increasingly diverse as new single-brand stores enter the market.
China Beauty Expo 2019 promises to be the “CIIE of the beauty industry”. China Beauty Expo (CBE) brings together beauty suppliers from more than 40 countries and territories and over 10,000 beauty brands. Hundreds of thousands of beauty professionals will connect through over 100 events during the expo. Don’t miss China Beauty Expo 2019 – May 20-22, 2019 in Shanghai. Pre-register today!