Beauty News

Tapping into the Explosive Growth of Personalized Beauty in China


However, if you seriously think about it, none of the products are personalized. The technologies in discussion are more for speeding up consumers’ decision process rather than catering to their real needs. Once consumers realize this trick, they are less likely to fall for it again. This implies great potential in personalization 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 US and global brands enter the personalized beauty market in China? 


First and foremost, brands need to determine which products and services they will offer. For products falling in the haircare and makeup categories, consumer behavior is more about mix & match, which emphasizes the accuracy of the algorithms, based on safe ingredients and formulas.

For skincare products, it is more about safety, effectiveness, and efficiency. China was once one of the few countries in the world that required mandatory animal tests on imported cosmetics products. Only by obtaining approval by the CFDA (China Food and Drug Administration) could products be imported and distributed in China. This no doubt stopped many international cruelty-free brands from entering the Chinese market.

However, in March 2021, the National Medical Products Administration released Provisions for Management of Cosmetic Registration and Notification Dossiers and announced that imported “ordinary” cosmetics, including shampoos, makeup, and fragrances, will not be required to undergo animal testing starting on May 1, 2021. In order to be qualified for the exemption, brands must obtain a good manufacturing practices (GMP) certificate issued by the relevant regional authorities where the company is located and provide safety assessment results that can fully confirm the product’s safety.

If this still sounds complicated, as an alternative, cross-border e-commerce could be the link between brands and Chinese consumers because no CFDA certificate is needed for this business model. However, the after-sale could be a headache—it may take much more effort and higher costs to recycle exchanged or returned products. Il Makiage has a possible workaround, as it offers free return within 14 days in the US and a 60-day warranty to consumers in the UK, Germany, and Australia.

Once brands pinpoint products, it is time to decide on a platform as their main “battlefield.” An independent e-commerce site could be an appropriate option. Brands can develop their own algorithms and design the personalization processes. Nonetheless, it is more challenging to attract traffic compared with registering on mature platforms, such as Tmall and JD, as it relies more on off-site marketing. 


WeChat’s Powerful Ecosystem Offers a Complete Cycle of 
Data Collecting – Branding – Marketing – Selling – Brand Refresh

WeChat mini programs are an alternative that’s more catered to Chinese consumers. The powerful ecosystem of the popular social media platform WeChat could form a complete cycle of data collecting – branding – marketing – selling – brand refresh. Once a brand is established, the business could expand to other shopping platforms. 

Effortless’ personalization algorithm and data collection rely on WeChat mini programs as it is much more convenient for users to take the quiz on an app that they already use every day and share the links to others. Then Effortless launched a Tmall store to sell normal ready-made haircare products. The company still encourages consumers to follow its WeChat account and take the quiz if they are not sure about which products to use.

Aside from product and placement considerations, there are also numerous details brands need to consider, like how to rejuvenate personalized beauty in China, how to make the most of current platforms, how to adjust their customer relationship management (CRM) systems to cater to Chinese consumers, etc. Be that as it may, there is no doubt that personalization in the beauty industry is back with a fresh look and more advanced technologies. The big questions are more about how, rather than whether and when, beauty brands will pounce on China’s lucrative personalization trend.



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