WeChat, the best tool to promote your cosmetics brand in China
The Chinese cosmetics market
China is one of the largest markets for cosmetics. Actually, beauty is extremely important for Chinese women who pay great attention to their image. They have more complex beauty-rituals than Western girls which comprise at least ten steps. Thus, they are likely to buy more products than in the rest of the world. Therefore cosmetics brands should take these consumers’ behaviours into consideration and use these opportunities to promote their products in this special and lucrative market.
The Chinese are really connected to internet and the best way to communicate is through digital platforms especially social media. Unlike in the West, consumers in Asia with the phenomenon of the smart phone have jumped directly onto mobile platforms.
The main social media platform in China: WeChat
WeChat is a mobile-based social network in China that enables users to connect with their friends in multiple ways, including via online posts, voice chat, conference calls and group chat.
It is increasingly used by companies to communicate and promote their products because it offers lots of opportunities.
96 % of cosmetic brands have a WeChat account whereas last year only 30% did. We can see that this proportion is growing year by year.
There are different interesting features that can be used on WeChat.
89% of these brands use the customized menu of WeChat to show their personality and differentiate themselves from other beauty brands.
Then, 59% of them employ a loyalty program so that customers can benefit from special promotions and discounts.
52% utilize a special link that redirects customers to their customer services. Gamification is also a way to entertain the clients. Through WeChat, people often play games especially in the metro or during their free times.
51% of cosmetics brands give customers the possibility to play with the brand through virtual design and customization.
Finally, cosmetics brands are well set up on e-commerce platforms: 50% of brands offer links to their stores on Chinese web marketplaces and 40% provide links to a stand-alone company’s e-commerce site.
Why cosmetics brands in China should use WeChat ?
It is absolutely neccessary to communicate through WeChat if you want to reach the Chinese market. Actually, the social media offers brands lots of benefits. Here are 6 reasons why your cosmetic brand should use WeChat:
- First it has a large user base with 700 million monthly active users. This is already a huge amount and this figure is still growing. The user base increased by 39% in a year.
- Beauty brands have a higher engagement rate on WeChat than in other sectors.
Users’ experience and loyalty
WeChat helps to improve users’ experience and promote loyalty. In cosmetics, brands can give sample products to potential customers, they can easily let people try the products and thus improve the trust consumers have on your brand. Besides sharing photos, videos, product trial reviews and promotional messages to their followers on WeChat, lots of brands offer free samples for users to collect in store, and these incentives increased loyalty and secured a better level of commitment than in other sectors.
Wechat marketing tools
For cosmetic products, word of mouth acts as an important part on the decision making process. The function of “likes” and “shares” within friendship circles makes WeChat a very effective marketing tool and gives a good brand image .
Thanks to one-to-one conversation, WeChat allows an interactive relationship with customers. It is now possible for customers to talk to official accounts. This feature increases the engagement rate better than the other social media platform like Weibo, Facebook or Instagram.
Finally, WeChat Shop and payment enables a very easy shopping experience for customers. Users can purchase online easily and securely through the payment method offered by WeChat. Cosmetics are one of the goods most frequently bought online so it fits exactly with WeChat’s features. However, there is an opportunity to stand out here because only 20% of beauty brands offer in-app payments.
Benefit, the most popular cosmetics brand bought online in China
The American beauty brand sells online in China in several ways, including via a stand-alone company e-commerce site, Chinese e-commerce platforms such as Jumei.com or Tmall.com and a store on WeChat.
The brand also has its own website that is not designed for sales to inform customers about the products.
It has formed a partnership with Alipay, the digital payment system mainly used in China, in order to give customers the possibility to pay easily through their phone and without entering all their card details.
Clarins and their great strategy in China
In the West, Clarins sells its products through distributors but in Asia the brand has invested in a different strategy. It concentrates on online sales and platforms like WeChat.
Clarins offers prospective customers the chance to try before they buy. For each marketing campaign, there is an online sampling initiative where people have to register on the brand’s account on WeChat. After that, they can collect free samples at the store of their choice and benefit from the advice of the in store specialists to learn how the products should be used.
WeChat can help to re-invent the direct sales model because it is an efficient way of marketing and selling thanks to photo sharing and word of mouth.