As the dynamic zero-COVID policy gradually became the norm, China’s beauty market is gradually recovering. According to the latest China Customs data, the total import of cosmetics and beauty products started to increase to RMB11.97 billion (US$1.7 billion) in July 2022, up 5.18% year-on-year (YoY) is equivalent to. Despite a significant drop in retail sales in March and April this year, major global powerhouse L’Oréal managed to post double-digit sales growth in June, thanks to significant growth in new-channel sales. In July, the company ranked fourth for top brand sales on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, which has attracted 600 million active users.
The revival in beauty retail sales significantly outpaced sales in other industries. According to forecasts by Euromonitor, the penetration rate of e-commerce sales channels in the beauty industry is expected to increase to 40% by 2022 and continue to increase. Douyin had become an attractive channel for beauty brands. According to data from Sinolink Securities, Douyin’s beauty GMV was RMB9.6 billion (US$1.4 billion) in the first quarter of 2022, up 164% year-on-year, with the highest growth rate among e-commerce platforms.
Domestic Chinese brands contribute a significant portion of beauty product sales in Douyin, as Feigua Analytics estimates that Chinese domestic beauty brands account for about half of the top 20 brands’ Gross Merchandise Value (GMV). In this article we will analyze what C-Beauty brands on Douyin are doing to stay ahead of the competition and what international brands can learn from them.
1. HBN – Create a professional image and deepen consumer awareness of the ingredient brand
Founded in 2019, HBN is the newest effective skincare brand. As the morning C and evening A skincare concept became popular, HBN successfully penetrated the consumer market and made a strong brand impression with its retinol ingredient.
HBN has been on Douyin for a year and focuses on ingredient skincare. In the last six months, the brand’s sales reached 219 million RMB (32 million US dollars), and the monthly sales in Douyin remained basically at 35 million RMB (5 million US dollars) so far this year.
According to statistics, HBN brand self-live streaming sales for the past six months amounted to 72.285 million RMB (10.5 million US dollars), accounting for 32.93% of the total sales. Meanwhile, influencer live streaming revenue was RMB146 million (US$21 million), accounting for 66.69% of the total revenue.
In the past six months, HBN has partnered with 1,099 influencers in live streaming, for a total of 18,000 sessions. Revenue based primarily on live streaming accounted for 99.75%.
In its live streaming strategy, HBN chose to collaborate with a large number of influencers on Douyin through short video content. They illustrated the effectiveness of retinol to increase consumer understanding of the ingredient to improve brand awareness. The high quality content and massive video exposure also attracted some potential consumers who knew the brand and led to sales for subsequent live streaming from HBN, completing the closed loop of Douyin’s marketing.
From a consumer share perspective, the fans of HBN’s live streaming room are mostly women aged 18-40, which is 94% of the total population. The HBN live streaming room traffic is primarily composed of paid traffic and organic traffic. Paid traffic accounts for 75% of sales and organic traffic accounts for around 25% of sales.
In addition, HBN’s latest challenge, co-created with users on Douyin, has reached 1.24 billion views and garnered tremendous attention. In the last 90 days, there have been more than 5,000 short videos mentioning HBN and the total interaction volume has exceeded 5 million.