Asia in Focus
WeChat is re-inventing China's direct sales model, says expert
According to our regional expert, Florence Bernardin; WeChat is becoming an increasingly important way to distribute in China, especially in the sheet mask segment, which is the only category dominated by local brands.
“WeChat can help to re-invent direct sales model,” she tells CosmeticsDesign-Asia.com, following a recent visit to the region.
She informs this publication that Chinese brands are now even recruiting WeChat users to present and sell their products directly to followers.
“This is an efficient way of marketing and selling thanks to photo sharing and word of mouth,” Bernardin says.
Brands are using the platform for official launches
Take for example, Choiskycn (俏十岁), a new premium brand specialized in sheet masks.
The company officially launched in 2013 via WeChat and managed to generate sales of 1 bn RMB by 2014.
According to Choiskycn, 3 million individuals are currently selling its face mask on WeChat.
Traditional retailers are having to add digital elements to compete
In order to compete with these successful platforms, the expert says traditional retailers need to invest in the digital experience.
In store connection, such as the interactive ‘P-Wall’ at Parco's department store in Tokyo features over 1,000 product references from its website and online EC store and is going down well with consumers.
From the wall, they can view items, get additional information on products and search for Parco distributors by using the touch-response display.
Premium cosmetic brand Herborist, opened its first experience store last December in Shanghai Super Brand Mall.
Here, customers can sign up for skin care courses and book appointments on a WeChat store account, as well as arrange for ordered products to be delivered to their home by the next day.
Reporting from the cosmetic trenches in Asia, monthly contributor Florence Bernardin has been guiding cosmetic players on where they should be investing and why.
Florence is bilingual and proficient at kawaiphilosophy, trained in the Japanese school of thought for 15 years at Kao Corporation.
The CEO of 'Information et Inspiration', a Franco-Asian team of experts is entirely dedicated to monitoring the cosmetics markets in Asia.