Entering a new market is a thorough mission and brands need to manage all the aspects of their strategy in this new country. When getting into China, there are many elements a cosmetics brand needs to adapt, in order to succeed in this very demanding market. Besides product offer or marketing and communication strategy, one very important matter to determine is the distribution strategy. How critical is a beauty brand’s distribution strategy in China?
You first need to understand the specifics about consumption habits regarding cosmetics in China.
You must keep in mind that there are many counterfeit products on the Chinese market, and that the beauty sector is not an exception. Therefore Chinese consumers do not trust brands and products anymore, unless they can make sure they are authentic ones.
When buying cosmetics products, they like being able to try them in shops or at department store counters. However, even if they can try them in a shop and get advice from a salesperson, Chinese consumers will look for information about the product prior to making a purchase. And this is even truer when they are about to shop online: getting informed is an important step in their buying habit and the information they will find will determine whether or not they choose to buy. They will mainly look for information on the Internet: search on Baidu or on social media. What you should remember here is that:
Chinese consumers like the whole shop experience when buying cosmetics, and advertising is really effective They are wary of new brands and will be very cautious when buying online Their buying decision process relies heavily on what is said about the brand or product, among their friends or online.
A beauty brand therefore needs to be either present in shops or online (or both), in places regarded as trustworthy ones by Chinese consumers. The brand’s marketing strategy should be well-thought, since consumers will not buy a new product unless they are convinced it is good. Finally, the digital marketing part is essential too.
Making your products available in shops is not enough.