Following China’s economic growth and the abolition of the one-child policy, parents are now more serene when it comes to starting a family. Thanks to the global rise in terms of wages, Chinese parents have now more purchasing power than before and are ready to invest as much as they can for their offspring. Thus, the baby skin care market is anticipated to register an unprecedented growth rate owing to rising concerns over baby health, reaction to pollution, increasing awareness among young parents about hygiene, etc. Even though the market was for a long time dominated by foreign brands, the competition is tougher than before. That’s why you’ll have to understand Chinese consumers’ habits and adapt your strategies in order to sell your baby skincare products in China.
The Baby Skin Care Industry in China
Following rising concerns about Chinese babies’ health over the years, baby personal care, in general, is poised to witness significant growth.
In 2019, the market size of mother and baby products in China reached approximately 2.7 trillion yuan, growing at around a 15% rate annually in the past three years. According to ECNS.cn news, China’s mother and baby products market is expected to grow steadily over the next decade due to growing demand from young parents who pursue high-end lifestyles, particularly in lower-tier cities.
China: The leading country in terms of baby & child skincare products
As in anywhere else in the world, the baby & child skin care industry is one of the most lucrative, as parents want the best for their children. However, if we look at the top 5 countries selling the most baby and child skin care products in the world, China is by far the leader.
In 2020, the baby and child skincare industry’s revenue accounted for 554.7 million US dollars, far ahead of the U.S with its 361.3 million US dollars. Even though Chinese parents don’t have lots of children, they still invest a lot in baby skincare products.
Now, if we look at the leading pregnancy and maternal product types by purchasing frequency, we can see that maternal hygiene products and maternal skincare products are the second and third priorities among Chinese mothers. More than half of Chinese parents have purchased maternal skincare in 2020.
Chinese consumers shifting to foreign brands after recent scandals
International brands are often perceived by Chinese consumers as being of higher quality, safer and more reliable than Chinese ones mainly because of the scandals. Thus, Chinese parents are more cautious than before when it comes to applying products directly to their child’s skin. For example, one of the most popular scandals related to baby skincare products was the steroid cream scandal.
According to surveys, the safety of products is the most important criterion in choosing skincare products for Chinese parents. After seeing this picture, you probably understand why Chinese parents tend to be extremely cautious when it comes to skincare products.
How to sell your baby skincare products in China?
The baby skin care market has seen steady growth through both online and offline distribution channels. In fact, although offline channels are still priviliged by Chinese consumers, the growing online presence through both e-commerce and social media seems to indicate a shift in consumption to online channels in the years to come.
For example, following the Covid-19 pandemic, the demand for baby products has skyrocketed and on the platform JD.com, sales have increased more than 10 times compared to 2019. Other popular platforms have had the same phenomenon over the last few months.
Sell Baby Skincare on Chinese E-commerce platforms
In recent years, being on e-commerce platforms has become a must-have for both Chinese and foreign companies that are ready to invest a lot of money in order to be on the most popular e-commerce platforms such as Tmall or JD.com. In fact, the majority of the Chinese population regularly purchases products online, as it is easier and more convenient. By the way, China has 782.41 million online shoppers as of 2020 and is among the leading market in terms of e-commerce. China’s digitalization and the daily use of smartphones connected to the internet have greatly contributed to this growth as consumers spend a lot of time on their smartphones.
- Tmall 天猫
Founded in 2008 under the famous Alibaba group, Tmall (天猫), is a subsidiary of the e-commerce website Taobao (淘宝网). Tmall stands out from its competitor’s thanks to its strict standards in terms of quality and renown. Over the years, Tmall was able to grab the majority of China’s e-commerce market shares, establishing itself as the most popular Chinese e-commerce website and becoming the best online gateway for local and international retailers.
Thus, if you want to sell your baby’s skincare products on Tmall, you will have to pay consequent fees and complete a long procedure, but you also have to be already known online. In fact, Tmall is more targeted to the biggest international brands. If you succeed to be on Tmall, don’t forget to put a lot of pictures, and videos if you want, as well as a detailed description written in Mandarin Chinese.
- JD.com 京东
Founded in 1998 by Liu Qiangdong in Beijing, JD (which stands for Jingdong 京东) was at beginning only a magneto optical store, which diversified over the years with electronics, computers, mobile phones, etc. In 2004, it opened its online retail platform and quickly became one of the two massive B2C online retailers in China with its competitor the Alibaba-run Tmall. Now, JD.com is partly owned by the giant Tencent, which has 20% of its stake. As of 2021, JD.com has over 470 million active customers.
JD.com has set its standards for online shopping through its commitment to quality, authenticity, and the variety of products it offers, covering everything from fresh food and apparel to electronics and cosmetics. Another asset of JD.com is the delivery time, which is, in general, the same day (or less than 24 hours). JD.com can be a powerful platform to sell your products, but you will also have to promote your product on social media to increase your visibility. The combination of JD.com and social media will be your key to success in the Chinese market.
- Taobao 淘宝
Launched in 2003 by the Chinese giant Alibaba, Taobao (淘宝网) is one of the most popular online shopping platforms, specialized in both B2C and C2C transactions, as well as the most popular online entrepreneurship platform, enabling thousands of young entrepreneurs to be successful. It has hundreds of millions of products and service listings, which are really appreciated by Chinese consumers. As of 2019, it has 300 million daily active users and 668 million mobile monthly active users. Taobao accounts for nearly 60% of the total e-commerce sales in China.
Taobao can be a powerful way to sell your baby products, without paying as much as you would on other platforms like Tmall or JD.com. Moreover, the conditions are not as strict as Tmall.
- Xiaohongshu 小红书
Founded in 2013 by Charlwin Mao and Miranda Qu, Xiaohongshu (小红书) also known as ‘The Little Red Book’ and ‘RED’, is a social media and one of the world’s largest community e-commerce platforms. Over the years, it has grown to become China’s foremost shopping platform in terms of beauty, fashion and luxury products. In 2018,was listed on Forbes’ “Top 50 Most Innovative Companies in China 2018” list. As of 2021, Xiaohongshu is boasting over 300 million registered users and 85 million monthly active users.
Xiaohongshu can be a powerful tool to grow your community, as it allows consumers to share their experiences, pictures, videos, results, articles etc. about your products and your brand. As it is mainly used by Chinese women, you will be able to target mothers.
How to promote your baby skincare products in China?
Promoting your baby’s skincare products is as important as being on e-commerce platforms. It is estimated that brands that do not promote their products online have almost no chance to succeed in China. Following China’s digitalization and its tech-savvy population, the majority of the population looks for information on the internet before purchasing something.
When it comes to Skincare & Infants Baidu is Key
To succeed in China, you will need to increase your visibility. How? You can start by focusing on the most popular search engine in China: Baidu (百度). As a matter of fact, more than 70% of online research is conducted through Baidu. After creating your Chinese website, you will have to focus on Baidu to increase your visibility and e-reputation.
When looking for baby skincare products, almost 90% of Chinese parents will look on Baidu before purchasing products both offline and online. So, you need to rank within the first pages on Baidu to increase your visibility.
To develop your visibility on Baidu, you can use different marketing solutions such as:
- Pay Per Click (PPC)
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): you will need to create qualitative content, shareable information, use keywords to increase your online presence on Baidu, etc.
- Learn more Baidu: Baidu SEO & Baidu SEM
Having a Chinese Website: A Must Have in China
Having a Chinese website should be at the core of your digital strategy. You have to know that the majority of the Chinese population is not fluent in English, so if you don’t have a website written in simplified Chinese, they won’t even look at it. Moreover, this is also an important key for your ranking on the search engine Baidu. No matter how strong your reputation is in your country, remember that when your company enters China, you are almost invisible. You need to actively promote your company through your website, by giving as much informations as possible to visitors.
Use Chinese forums targetted at new moms
Even though it might seem as old fashion in Western countries, forums dedicated to mums are quite popular in China. They can share their experience, give advice, ask for information, etc. For example, one popular forum is babytree.com.
In fact, Chinese parents are sensitive to other parents’ recommendations, testimonials, and opinions. Developing your presence on this kind of website can help you increase your visibility.
Communicate about your Infant Skincare on Chinese Social Media
Due to China’s digitalization, China’s way of advertising and promoting products shifted to social media. Chinese users are very active on social media platforms and are used to comment, share their purchasing experience as well as give purchasing advice. So, if you want to attract Chinese parents, you need to be on Chinese social media.
- WeChat: The Most Popular App in China
With more than 1.2 million monthly active users, WeChat is the most popular app in China. Even though it was at first a messaging app, the app released under the giant Tencent in 2011 quickly became a vast ecosystem of services. Nowadays, WeChat is a must-have for every citizen and businesses as it became a new player in the e-commerce industry. Not only you’ll be able to promote directly your brand, but you will also be able to promote your e-commerce shop.
One key point for successfully promoting your brand through WeChat is to create an Official Account. Don’t worry, if your brand is still not present in China, we will help you find and reach your target audience by improving your brand awareness as well as creating your WeChat official account. Then, to successfully promote your brand, we can launch campaigns to create buzz, as well as to create an H5 brochure in order to promote your baby products.
- More about WeChat Marketing : WeChat Marketing: The Ultimate Guide
- Weibo: “The Chinese Twitter”
Launched in 2009 by the Chinese technology company Sina Corporation (新浪), Weibo (微博) is one of the biggest social media platforms in China. As its name indicates (“micro-blog”), Weibo provides micro-blogging services and is often compared to Twitter. However, it has evolved into a microblogging hybrid with Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, and YouTube over the years. As of 2021, Weibo has 56.8% of the Chinese microblogging market in terms of active users, and 86.6% in terms of browsing time over Chinese competitors such as Tencent and Baidu. It has more than 511 monthly active users and millions of posts per day, making it the largest Chinese-language mobile portal.
If you want to develop your online presence, it is highly recommended to have both an official account on WeChat and Weibo. On Weibo, you will be able to share content with your followers, send news and write article, post photos, reply to customers, etc.
- Zhihu: The Most Popular Q&A Platform in China
As word-of-mouth is the best way to have new customers, it is recommended to use Zhihu, the most popular Q&A platform in China. Zhihu is highly appreciated because users replying are most of the time experts, or really have experience about the subject they’re talking about.
KOLs to leverage your Baby Skincare brand
If you want to attract Chinese consumers and win their trust, it can interesting to collaborate with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) who are moms at the same time. They will be able to try your product and share their experience with their followers. In fact, the best to convince Chinese consumers to buy your product is to let another share their own experience. It’s kind of like word-of-mouth, which is the best way to attract Chinese consumers.
Contact us if you want to sell your baby skin care products in China
It can be very difficult to enter the Chinese market as regulations and habits are not the same in China. However, even if it might seem unreachable, you can expand your activities in China with the help of experts. You need to seize the opportunity to conquer the most promising market in the world in terms of baby skin care products. To do so, you will need to do a lot of research beforehand as well as be prepared to complete long procedures to sell your goods on e-commerce platforms, and that why specialists can be quite useful.
Working with an agency which has both the western and Chinese point of view like Gentlemen Marketing Agency can help you overcome the pitfalls of the Chinese market. Our agency has accompanied many companies entering the Chinese market through various e-commerce platforms. Proud of the success of the companies that have contacted us, our experts are ready to help any company willing to do business in China. So, if you are interested in doing business in China, do not hesitate to contact us and we will reply within 24 hours.