Digital landscape set to revolutionise consumer and brand habits

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Online cosmetics in Asia

Related tags: Cosmetics

Customisation, wellness and digital retailing are three of the main trends in the Asian-Pacific cosmetics market that look set to take shape and continue to grow in 2017 and beyond.

As diversified and evolving trends unite in singular products in the Asian-Pacific cosmetics market, we spoke to Joanna Chan, Beauty and Fashion Research Analyst at Euromonitor International about the key trends in the APAC market.

The latest in digital
“The Asia Pacific region generates the highest sales via digital retailing for the beauty and personal care market. Its 2010-2015 CAGR at 25% outpaces global internet retailing CAGR at 15%,” ​emphasised Joanna Chan, Beauty and Fashion Research Analyst, Euromonitor International. “Therefore, targeting Asian consumers requires a strong online strategy.”
The direction this online strategy takes, however, is not consistent throughout Asia.
“Digital retailing in developed Asia and emerging Asia is vastly different. While the former boasts high internet penetration rates and fast connectivity, emerging Asia is plagued with issues such an infrastructure too poor to support connectivity, as well as low security for online purchases,”​ said Chan.
Despite these sizeable differences, the opportunity is considerable for emerging Asia too as it “continues to hold high potential for internet retailing, especially in areas where store-based retailing is limited”.
In fact, for those brands seeking contemporary promotion methods through innovative channels, digital marketing may prove a lucrative choice.

“Non-urban internet retailing sales have been on the rise and, for beauty players seeking for relatively untapped market segments, this channel might prove to present a perfect opportunity,”​ added Chan.

Digital retailing today
When analysing digital retailing for the beauty and personal care market, “the Asia-Pacific region generates the most online sales, compromising of an astounding 50% of global sales”.
“M-commerce is driven by Asian consumers [and] unlike the US and the UK“To adapt to Asia’s retail preferences, a brand must have a mobile-friendly online presence.”
Success Stories: The Future
“Understanding Asia’s internet retailing landscape is crucial to success,”​ said Chan.
Chan explains that working with popular local internet retailers has proven to be an advantage for Asian cosmetics and beauty brands. “In Indonesia for example, Jakarta’s terrible traffic created an opportunity for the app ​Gojek. This allows consumers to purchase beauty products on their mobile phones instead of having to drive to the shops [and, instead] delivers the products to consumers within an hour or two.”
One country that has embraced the digital landscape and encouraged the popularity of internet retailing is China. Therefore, “a frequent question asked is whether it is possible for a beauty player to have a pure internet retailing strategy? Can a brand succeed without physical stores?”​. Perhaps surprisingly, Chan believes it can. “Interestingly, Chinese skincare brand, Yu Ni Fang, has been successful with a retailing strategy predominantly based online."
Originating from Taobao, China’s largest online shopping platform, Yu Ni Fang is one of the most popular face mask brands on the website. “It later expanded to other platforms like JD.com and vip.com, which significantly increased sales,”​ added Chan.
However, without a brick and mortar store to offer the traditional face-to-face customer service that consumers recognise, brands such as Yu Ni Fang have to create strong relationships with other businesses and generate innovative campaigns.
“To gain consumers’ trust with limited offline presence, Yu Ni Fang cooperated with variety shows and arranged for beauty experts in the television show, The Beauty, to introduce the brand. Further product placements raised awareness and allowed the brand to resonate with consumers,”​ said Chan.
Looking ahead, the future of the APAC cosmetics industry looks set to take full advantage of the revolutionary digital landscape to provide consumers with the latest in personal and wellness retail.
Joanna Chan, Beauty and Fashion Research Analyst, Euromonitor International will present on ‘Asian beauty consumers: Key trends shaping the industry’ on Tuesday 8th November from 11.00-11.45am at in-cosmetics Asia.

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