Global goals: C-beauty heavyweight Florasis on a quest to rival international titans
Florasis, or Hua Xi Zi, is one of the heavyweights in China’s local beauty scene. It gained a following as national fascination with Chinese history and culture grew, mainly with the millennials and generation Z demographics.
The brand successfully tapped into the rising tide of nationalistic pride by highlighting the heritage and culture of China in a way that was not done by a cosmetics company before.
“Florasis is heavily influenced by our heritage and culture. Our style is one-of-a-kind; the aesthetics and the stories we are telling sets us apart. We’ve taken traditional recipes but used technology to revamp them into modern products. That’s something that makes us different from other brands,” said Chloe Kou, international public relations, Florasis.
There is no doubt the brand has resonated with local beauty consumers. Between its launch in 2017 and 2020, the brand’s annual gross merchandise value (GMV) grew to over RMB3bn (U$457.4m).
Like most beauty companies, the firm from Hangzhou had to endure the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic from 2020 to 2021. Despite the economic mayhem, Florasis managed to almost double its total GMV in 2021 to RMB5.4bn (U$823.3m).
Kou pointed out that this was quite impressive, especially as the brand deals primarily in colour cosmetic products and this category generally took a dip because of the COVID-19 market conditions.
Sharing C-beauty with the world
Last year, Florasis took on a new challenge by expanding its presence internationally.
The brand quietly launched in the US, Japan, Taiwan and South East Asia through e-commerce marketplaces including Amazon, Lazada and Shopee. It also launched an official English website as its main international sales channel.
“The big goal for us is to be a global success. This is something the team has wanted to do from the beginning,” said Kou.
The brand was coy about sharing any financial figures of its overseas business with CosmeticsDesign-Asia, noting that it was still in the early stages of its expansion. However, Kou hinted that the results have been largely positive so far.
“Just in terms of sales, I think we’re seeing a huge potential for us to grow even further. We have achieved some scale of sales already, especially from the US. That is probably the most surprising because we thought it would be too niche and new for the US consumers, but they have embraced our brand.”
She added that on Amazon Japan, its lipsticks and highlighters have topped the charts in their respective categories. The brand has also gained a large following on both TikTok and Instagram with 800,000 and 300,000 followers respectively.
When it comes to strategy, the company will leverage its expertise in digital marketing and content creation to build brand awareness overseas.
Furthermore, it is building a network of influencers around the globe which can help them reach local beauty communities.
Make-up artist and YouTuber Wayne Goss is one such influencer the brand has reached out to. Goss, who as of publishing had 3.94 million subscribers on his channel, published a very flattering video of the brand and its products.
“It’s still pretty early for the global business. We are still exploring the market and getting to know the consumers and platforms more so we can plan the strategies for each market,” said Kou.
“The number one goal this year is to understand the markets and figure out what’s the best marketing strategy and what’s the best product selection for each market. We are already working on some product localisation already – this is definitely the utmost important thing that will help us be successful.”