However, if you think about it seriously, none of the products are personalized. The technologies under discussion are aimed more at speeding up consumers’ decision-making process than at meeting their real needs. Once consumers realize this trick, they are less likely to fall back into the trap. This implies a great potential for personalization which is waiting to be explored in China.
How brands can capitalize on China’s personalized beauty boom
This brings us to the ultimate question: how can American and global brands enter the personalized beauty market in China?
First, brands need to determine the products and services they will offer. For products belonging to the hair care and makeup categories, consumer behavior is more focused on mix & match, which emphasizes the precision of algorithms, based on safe ingredients and formulas.
For skin care products, it is more about safety, effectiveness and efficiency. China was once one of the few countries in the world to require mandatory animal testing on imported cosmetics. It was only by obtaining approval from the CFDA (China Food and Drug Administration) that the products could be imported and distributed in China. This has undoubtedly prevented many cruelty-free international brands from entering the Chinese market.
However, in March 2021, the National Medical Products Administration issued arrangements for the management of cosmetic registration and notification records and announced that imported “ordinary” cosmetics, including shampoos, makeup and perfumes, will no longer be subject to animal testing from May 1. , 2021. In order to benefit from the exemption, brands must obtain a certificate of good manufacturing practices (GMP) issued by the competent regional authorities where the company is located and provide safety assessment results that can fully confirm the safety of the product.
If it sounds further complicated, as an alternative, cross-border e-commerce could be the link between brands and Chinese consumers as no CFDA certificate is needed for this business model. However, after-sales can be a headache: it can take a lot more effort and higher costs to recycle exchanged or returned products. Il Makiage has a possible workaround, as it offers a free 14-day return in the US and a 60-day warranty for consumers in the UK, Germany, and Australia.
Once brands have identified the products, it’s time to choose a platform as the primary “battleground”. An independent e-commerce site might be a suitable option. Brands can develop their own algorithms and design personalization processes. Still, it’s harder to attract traffic than it is to sign up on mature platforms, such as Tmall and JD, as it relies more on offsite marketing.
The powerful WeChat ecosystem offers a full cycle of data collection – Branding – Marketing – Sales – Brand refresh
WeChat mini-programs are a more suitable alternative for Chinese consumers. The powerful ecosystem of the popular social media platform WeChat could form a complete cycle of data collection – branding – marketing – sales – brand actualization. Once the brand is established, the business could expand to other shopping platforms. The personalization algorithm and effortless data collection relies on WeChat mini-programs because it is much more convenient for users to take the quiz on an app they already use every day and share the links with others. Next, Effortless launched a Tmall store to sell regular, ready-to-use hair products. The company always encourages consumers to follow their WeChat account and take the quiz if they are not sure which products to use.
Apart from product and placement considerations, there are also many details that brands need to consider, such as how to rejuvenate personalized beauty in China, how to get the most out of current platforms, how to adjust their management systems customer relationship (CRM) to meet Chinese needs. consumers, etc. Either way, there is no doubt that personalization in the beauty industry is back with a new look and more advanced technologies. The big questions are more how, rather than if and when, beauty brands will embark on China’s lucrative personalization trend.