Haircare

Making Waves: Challenger Beauty Brands Disrupt China’s US$9 Billion Haircare Market – Alizila

Summary

Sales of premium haircare brands have soared in China. Photo credit: Shutterstock

As the coronavirus pandemic shuttered hair salons, women embraced greying locks and let their bangs grow out, sending shockwaves through the haircare industry.

A few nimble merchants rode a surge in e-commerce and China’s swift rebound…….

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Sales of premium haircare brands have soared in China. Photo credit: Shutterstock

As the coronavirus pandemic shuttered hair salons, women embraced greying locks and let their bangs grow out, sending shockwaves through the haircare industry.

A few nimble merchants rode a surge in e-commerce and China’s swift rebound from the pandemic, helping them outperform the industry.

France’s Kérastase and California-based Olaplex, to name a couple, quickly expanded digital operations in the world’s second-largest economy and have seen sales boom. 

“China, for the better part of the last year, recovered significantly faster than the rest of the world. People can travel, eat out and are literally getting on with their social lives,” said David Leong at British hairstyling brand ghd, which launched in China seven months ago.  

Millennial and Gen Z consumers have emerged as trendsetting demographics and have shown a marked preference for shopping online and discovering niche brands. That’s an easier pastime in China where digital channels represent roughly 60% of haircare sales, according to estimates from market research provider Euromonitor International.

“With e-commerce making up an increasingly large part of the total market in China, a lot of niche cross-border e-commerce brands are also proactively entering the market,” said Kemo Zhou, a senior analyst Euromonitor.  

These digitally native brands are quickly capitalizing on emerging retail categories such as ecologically friendly products, male beauty and scalp care. These trends are creating a vibrant, fast-evolving landscape, making China the second-largest market globally for the haircare industry after the United States.

ghd’s launched in China in April and made waves in the market. Photo credit: ghd

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E-commerce allows luxury start-up brands that don’t have people in China to quickly and relatively cheaply reach digitally savvy Chinese consumers. E-commerce platforms, such as Hangzhou-headquartered Alibaba Group, furnish them with insights and data analytics to navigate the complex market and respond rapidly to changes in consumer behavior.

During the first three days of the world’s largest shopping festival, 11.11, the gross merchandise value generated by hair-growth products ballooned 127.6% among Millennial and Gen Z shoppers year on year, per data from Alibaba’s online marketplaces.

“I’ve been given early reportings that we are already multiples over the same time last year, and last year we were already in a very good place,” JuE Wong, Olaplex’s CEO told Alizila.

The number of overseas haircare brands launching on Alibaba’s Tmall Global, a cross-border online marketplace for foreign brands and merchants to sell directly to Chinese consumers, has doubled in the first ten months of this year versus last year. Parisian brand Christophe Robin was one of the earliest scalp-health companies to launch on Tmall in 2018, Kérastase and U.S. firm Ouai joined last year.

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Source: https://www.alizila.com/making-waves-challenger-beauty-brands-disrupt-chinas-us9-billion-haircare-market/