Although full official figures are still to be released for the visitor numbers, the show floor was crammed with attendees during its opening March 12 – 14, in Guanghzhou, southern China.
We caught up with Elynn Xu, project manager at Reed Sinopharm, to get her take on the show, its course of development and how technology is helping to drive the development of the cosmetics industry is evolving in China.
What’s in the App?
PCHi started off as a one hall event back in 2008 and has since grown to become a major event on the industry calendar. Its growth has been reflected in both the content and functionality of the event, highlighted by the evolution of the show App.
“This year we had a comprehensive App specially designed for the event, which reflected the increased scope and functionality of the event,” said Xu.
“Attendees could download the App, enabling them to schedule interviews and appointments, keep track of the conference programme and to know exactly where exhibitors were located on the show floor. Next year, the App will be more even more developed, so don’t forget to download it!”
All about e-commerce
One of the highlights of this year’s show has been e-commerce, which has taken the retail market in China by storm of late, and the cosmetics and personal care arena has proved to be perfect for its expansion.
“This year our conference programme really reflected the fact that e-commerce and e-business has become crucial to the industry, which is why we devoted a half day conference segment to this fast growing area of the industry,” said Xu.
“Here in China, TaoBao is proving pivotal to this trend. It is the China equivalent of Amazon and is taking the retail channel by storm and on the back of this success it is now attempting to expand worldwide."
“Small domestic players have grown fast on the back of TaoBao success and now bigger global players such as L’Oreal are attempting to replicate this success by selling their products using this channel.”
On the social media front, WeChat has evolved as the number one medium in China and it is also fast shaping up as an important commercial portal for the industry.
First launched at the beginning of 2011, it takes the form of an app and has evolved to become the largest standalone messaging app by active users.
“This is a much more powerful social network than Facebook or Linked-in. It is C to B, B to C, C to C and B to B and can be linked to any bank account to enable to buy and sell as you wish," said Xu.
“On the back of this innovation, the China online business is moving, evolving and growing rapidly. This is why the growth of online commerce in China is now outpacing that of growth in the West.”