exclusive interview

The Convenience Factor part III: Diversifying demographics

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Demographics in China cosmetics
In the third part of our interview with Matthew Crabbe, Director of Research, Asia-Pacific at Mintel, we explored how convenience in cosmetics shopping is appreciated by all demographics, and how brands can communicate this across marketing campaigns. 

Demographic differences

Mintel research reveals how females in their 20s are more likely than other demographics to be interested and convinced to purchase items in convenience stores that offer a wider range of products. These same females are least likely to worry about service provisions relating to faster customer service.

While older consumers focus on basic shopping needs, the busy working parent is more interested in the services that convenient stores offer.

Younger consumers, on the other hand, tend to rely more on their mobile phones than convenience stores.

The Millennial demographic poses problems for the convenient cosmetics sales as it demands “retail transitions from separate online and offline functions into a merged ‘new retail’”, ​Matthew Crabbe, Director of Research, Asia-Pacific at Mintel highlighted.

Luxury versus convenience

As has been seen in the beauty business, “different consumer groups are more willing and quicker to adapt to that shift than others—generally younger consumers and those with higher incomes,​” Crabbe highlighted.

While convenience may appear to greatly contrast with high-end luxury cosmetics sales, this is not necessarily the case amongst Chinese consumers.

Although “some are moving towards online channels, urban Chinese consumers with higher income levels are still appreciators of the offline shopping experience”​.

A balance must be met by luxury brands that combine “the convenience that online provides and the in-store experience”​.

Brands are expected to adapt to boost their claims and reputation for convenience.

Building a convenient brand

“Word-of-mouth recommendation is crucial; brands need to build this by encouraging existing users to share their enthusiasm, and this could be done by rewarding users who share their recommendations online, for instance,”​ Crabbe emphasises

Chinese consumers also tend to prioritise the popularity and consumer ratings relating to beauty and personal care goods.

With online channels, urban Chinese shoppers are looking for the best price from the widest range of choice. However, when it comes to the offline experience,  urban Chinese consumers want the “immediate gratification and sense of having an enjoyable experience when shopping at convenience stores”​. This is particularly the case with consumers aged between 20-39 years old.

The importance of convenience is here to stay and is tipped to a long term trend: “Online and offline converge into what we call ‘new retail’, retailers and brands will need to find the best combination of consumer and industry trends to suit their own target markets”.

Demands for convenience will see a combination of the best of both online and offline store services, while also offering better customer service and experiences.

In the future of beauty and health care, we can expect to see an emphasis on increased customer service options including colour combinations and customisation leading to individual packaging, along with in-store make up services and comprehensive advice from trained staff.

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