China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI -

the num­ber of users claims to have

beauty depart­ment, at the se­cond Tmall Beauty Awards held in Shang­hai on Feb 26.

Hu ex­pected that by 2018, the over­all mar­ket size will reach 800 bil­lion yuan and al­most half of the beauty prod­ucts con­sumed by Chi­nese peo­ple will be pur­chased on­line.

How­ever, Zhu Zhenghua, gen­eral man­ager of Es­tee Lauder China’s dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing depart­ment, sees the vir­tual world as more than just a sales chan­nel.

“When Chi­nese con­sumers are choos­ing a lip­stick, they pre­fer to see the color on lips than on pa­per or color plates. But ac­cord­ing to cer­tain reg­u­la­tions, we can­not dis­play the color ef­fect on lips of our prod­ucts on­line,” said Zhu.

This prob­lem in­spired Zhu’s team to launch an on­line ini­tia­tive dur­ing the Chi­nese Spring Fes­ti­val this year, en­cour­ag­ing con­sumers to ap­ply their lip­sticks and up­load their self­ies on a com­mu­nity site set up by Tmall. The ini­tia­tive promptly boosted sales of lip­sticks both on­line and off­line.

Key growth en­gines for China’s beauty mar­ket have been iden­ti­fied as con­sumers from lower-tiered cities, where cos­met­ics com­pa­nies have yet, and are un­likely, to ex­pand their brick and mor­tar stores, and the male seg­ment.

In 2015, 30 per­cent of the beauty prod­ucts bought from Tmall were shipped to what has been cat­e­go­rized as third-and fourth-tiered cities.

There are over 50 brands, in­clud­ing ma­jor ones such as Es­tee Lauder, L’Oreal and Shi­seido, that have launched their flag­ship stores on Tmall. com. An­other 20 brands are ex­pected to en­ter the fray in 2016. The e-com­merce gi­ant claims to have 400 mil­lion users.

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