The market for beauty products in China is huge. According to the National Bureau of Statistics of China, retail sales in China reached 182.5 billion yuan. The majority of products you can find in China are imported ones, with very large ranges of trusted, quality products. High end cosmetics brands are very popular and many are making a lot of efforts to attract Chinese consumers to their counters in department stores as well as their online stores. Another very important element of their strategy is for them to be present on social media and to engage with online users: this visibility is essential since Chinese customers will not buy a brand which they have never heard of or which was not recommended by friends.
Today, we will look closely at what Nuxe is doing online in China.
First, what is Nuxe?
Nuxe is a cosmetics brand whose products all use natural ingredients. Its President, Aliza Jabès, took over a small laboratory in Paris in the early 90s and set a new direction for the brand: bring luxury, innovation and nature together to propose a very feminine skincare range. About 15 years later, the brand was already in the top 5 of all cosmetics brands bought in pharmacies in France, a distribution canal well-trusted by French consumers in terms of cosmetics. Starting from 2003, the companies started expanding in other countries, and in China in 2014.
What does Baidu says about Nuxe?
Let’s start from the beginning: when Chinese Internet users look for information on a brand they will look for it on Baidu. Which pages appear in the results?
Nuxe on JD.com and Taobao.com
These two websites are marketplaces where you can find diverse products, available in different qualities… which is why Chinese consumers do not really trust the products here. Indeed, you can find many counterfeits online, and since these products are more and more difficult to distinguish from real ones, customers will be suspicious about what they find.
Nuxe on JD.com
Nuxe on Taobao
Nuxe on Mei.com
Mei.com is another marketplace, but it is not well-known. Besides, the link appearing on the web results for Nuxe guides Internet users to the home page of Mei.com and the absence of a search bar makes it impossible to find Nuxe products on the website.
You will first see a brand website dedicated for the Chinese market, nuxechina.com and then, further down in the results, Nuxe’s main website in English.
What is the problem here? The first website does not inspire trust either. 24 years old Olivia says “I don’t know if this website is the real website or not”, and that is true: there is no content about the brand itself thus the website is focused on the promotions made on Nuxe products. It could be just another e-commerce website, and the quality of the pictures do not make it look very professional. “Plus, it also sells other brands such as Avène, Clarins, L’Occitane or Caudalie. How can this be official?” Indeed, although the website is named after the brand Nuxe, you can find its competitors on it: a distributor who does not really care for the marketing strategy of the brand?
Having the official, English-language website in the results is a good sign for a foreign company. However, it will be deceptive for Chinese consumers who cannot read English.
As usual, there are Baidu products results: first, Baidu Baike (the Chinese version of Wikipedia), then Baidu Wenku (a website for sharing documents) and Baidu Zhidao (Yahoo! Answers Chinese counterpart).
Maybe the most interesting of all to Chinese consumers are blog posts. The first page of Baidu features one blog article, and it is pretty positive. Why the most interesting? Because Chinese consumers rely a lot on recommendations and like to read user experiences because they will not always trust the corporate talk.
How social is Nuxe?
More than just being visible on the Chinese search engine, brands need to stay close to their customers and the best way to do that in China is to engage with them on social media.
Good news, the brand is present on Weibo with an official account. Wait: it has been more than 2 years the last post was published. “They have tried to publish content to reassure us about the quality of the products but it does not look so good and overall I don’t trust them more”. The intention is good since knowing that products are authentic is really an issue, but it is not effective. The quality of the visual content is not the best, to say the least.
The website nuxechina.com features a QR code which redirects on a WeChat accound. It could have been a positive thing, if this WeChat account was not a personal one: instead of ending up following a brand’s account and learning about its products, you end up adding a “friend”. The latter will send you a message saying he is the official Nuxe account and that you can ask him questions about the products and the reward system featured on the website. “This is weird, I would not trust that.”
Sadly, countless examples of mistakes to avoid, if you want your beauty brand to appeal to Chinese customers, which is really unfortunate because the brand has what it takes to attract this target. Indeed, they usually like natural products and French brands are quite popular.
If you are Nuxe Digital Team member, do not hesitate to contact us , we will send you suggestion. 🙂