Quality and safety remain biggest concern of the Chinese consumer

By Andrew McDougall

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Marketing

Chinese consumers have more trust in multinational brands manufactured outside of China, as well as big concerns over quality standards, product safety and consequent damage to their skin, according to a new market report.

The ‘Chinese Beauty Shopper Behaviour 2012’ research, conducted by Diagonal Reports has been researching the local consumer in order to understand the opportunities for the beauty industry, as it claims buyer behaviour remains relatively unknown.

According to the report, fear of the consequences of a bad buying decision informs Chinese beauty care purchasing behaviour and the ‘Made-in-China’ label does not inspire consumers with confidence due to product safety concerns.

The issue of country of manufacture of beauty products merits special attention, as China may now be the workshop of the world but quality conscious consumers in the region look elsewhere for their beauty products.

Home-grown label does not in spire confidence

Beauty retailers, at all price points interviewed by Diagonal Reports across China, insist that the ‘made in China’ label does not inspire confidence.

“Consumers have serious concerns about quality standards, product safety and consequent damage to their skin,”​ says the report.

“Premium imports are perceived by all consumer segments to deliver the highest quality skin care. This so-called obsession with prestige brands is, in fact, quite rational, given serious product quality concerns which exist.”

Consumers appear to have more trust in multinational brands manufactured outside of China than the same brands made in the country.

Sought after products must meet needs

Products from some European and Asian countries are very highly sought after, as Chinese buyers attribute what are regarded as national characteristics to brands. France continues to benefit from the historical status of Paris as the global arbiter of culture (especially fashion and beauty), according to the research.

There are other complicating factors however, as Chinese buyers also want these imported skin care products to be specially formulated for their particular needs.

Imported brands must be formulated for Chinese skin and conditions, and multi-functional products which save money and time are a big hit with buyers, and price, especially in the premium segment is very important, as consumers want a price which is commensurate with value.

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