Sephora is still growing in China
With an annual turnover around 2.5 billion Euros, Sephora has spread to all corners over the globe. Present in China since 2005, the brand has now 135 stores in 47 cities. The brand has grown very fast and doesn’t stop there. The brand aims to open more stores, in cities from 2nd and 3rd tiers in China. No doubt it’s the result of seeing the fact that China cosmetics market is expanding repidly and gradually every day.
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Sephora sees great
Recently, the brand has opened its second largest in Shanghai, only next to their store in Barcelona. A 1500m2 shop, occupying over 5 floors, with 98 employees, trained to advise all kinds of customers. The brand has developed within the store stands and devices to enable consumers to try some products and perfumes, a good way to build customer loyalty and to attract people.
The brand created a TV series to find an ambassador
The brand, like some of its competitors, understood the importance of media and Internet to communicate in China. The brand has created a Chinese reality show “Beauty Academy” to understand the expectations of the Chinese, and also to be known by them. The principle of the program was to elect the new brand ambassador among 12 candidates. The brand has selected three experts Chinese cosmetician on the judging team to contribute their insight in Chinese female cosmetic users. This program is a way for the brand to give to its consumers tips and tricks in the field of cosmetics. First Chinese reality show about beauty, it is a funny and rewarding program for Chinese still seeking information on beauty.
This TV show is a huge communication for brand awareness and it works quite well, 25 million people voted for their favorite participant, and the show has been much talked on social networks by Chinese bloggers, opinion leaders and this event also proven a success in improving the word of mouth for the brand.
For season 2 of the show, Sephora got Youku as an official partner, the Chinese YouTube.
Sephora presence on the web
Sephora has an official website for China, where people can place order there, but is not present on major cosmetics retailing sites online as Jumei or Taobao. However the brand promotes its products in cosmetics and fashion sites like Meilishuo or MoguJie, which is a way to promote its products. The consumers can exchange about it and read the comments and opinions from other users.
The brand also has registered official Sina Weibo account, with 250,682 fans on which it organizes campaigns. For example, it offers a member to share the page to 10 of her friends to participate in a draw to win a product. An easy communication to expand the number of users on the page.
The brand is also present on Baidu, like many foreign brands, Sephora invest in its online media presence. There are more than 84,000 reports about the brand taken by Baidu.
The brand is not perfect
The events of the brand are mainly to promote the stores. The problem is that Sephora seems not interested in inputing budget on opinion leaders nor celebrities to promote the brand; they just publish information by themsevles, so that the influence of the action is not huge and only few media speaks thereafter.
The strategy that Sephora takes focuses on offline promotion. It’s true that they don’t need as much as branding like those cosmetics producers do. However, with more and more Chinese cosmeitics consumers coming online, searching for information, it can never be a bad choice to develop the brand online. In fact, Sephora doesn’t try seriously online marketing. As a result, most people, especially girls know what is Sephora and even know which store is nearest to them, but they don’t know why they should go shopping there. While online marketing, especailly via social media, offers such an opportunity that the brand can talk, or even teach the customers why they should buy from Sephora.