Across the globe, Euromonitor analyst Joanna Chan noted at the recent in-cosmetics Korea event, “consumers embrace online retailing, social media advertising and technological innovation”.
In Asia, the sector has particular potential as many key markets by population are still developing when it comes to digital: indeed it has seen stronger than average growth over the past five years. Globally, internet skin care retail grew at a CAGR of 17%; in Asia Pacific, it was 26%.
Opportunities for APAC digital beauty
Euromonitor has picked out three key findings when it comes to digital beauty retail in the APAC region, two opportunities and one challenge.
M-commerce is one major opportunity for beauty brands, as APAC consumers drive growth in this area. Japan and China in particular are seeing a high proportion of purchases via the mobile channel when compared to other key markets globally. More than a third of remote retail purchases in China are done via mobile.
Another opportunity is observed in the way consumers in the APAC region make purchases online. Chan describes it as “impulse but informed decisions”: consumers may well make snap decisions on a product they happen to see while browsing the internet, but due to the ready availability of online reviews from peers, they will rapidly research the product before going through with the purchase.
The importance of maintaining a strong brand presence online, even down to the individual product’s profile, is crucial in the APAC region.
According to Chan, one of the biggest challenges facing brands looking to dominate in the digital arena is the limited reach of branded apps.
Consumers tend to browse a limited number of apps across all media, the market expert notes, so pushing forward a specific beauty brand app tends to have limited success with APAC consumers.
One way to get around this is seen in the efforts of those brands who are using existing social media platforms to host their advertising content, such as L’Oréal’s recent efforts with Snapchat filters and Shiseido's recent 'Rouge Rouge Kiss Me' smart phone campaign.