Japan and luxury cosmetics

I. High average price of Japanese brands

  • If we compare average price of brands by country, Japan has a higher average price compared to other Asian countries.
  • The respective average price of Top 20 brands in Taiwan, Korea, and China are all under 200 yuan, whereas Japan’s is 238.5 yuan. This price is not much different from that of France or US.
  • Three out of five Japanese products that sold the most in China during the first half had a price higher than 600 yuan(USD 87 or JPY 10,000). These products that sell at a price over 10,000 Japanese yen are called ‘high prestige’ in Japan.
Source: MeasureCommerce | MeasureChina

Top 5 Japanese products in the first half of 2019

Source: MeasureCommerce | MeasureChina

II. Strength in premium skincare

  • The followings are some common features found in the top 20 Japanese brands that were sold in Taobao and Tmall in the first half.
  1. Japan has strength in high-priced skin care: The brands that ranked 1st to 5th are all premium skincare brands except for Shiseido. They all managed to maintain high level of revenue during the period and have captured the local consumers heart despite the high price.
  2. Dermacosmetics brands are easily noticeable: Brands like Freeplus, Curel, and Biore sell products that are targeted toward sensitive skin.
  3. Not much color: In the top 20 brand ranking, the only color cosmetics brands are Canmake and Shu Uemura.
Source: MeasureCommerce | MeasureChina

III. Japan goes premium to target Chinese consumers

  • High average price reflects Japan’s intentional strategy to target China. Japanese corporations tend to bring high-priced, premium brands to Chinese market rather than cheap brands with mediocre quality.
  • Japanese premium brands sold in the local market shows constant monthly growth of revenue.
Source: MeasureCommerce | MeasureChina
  • SK-II, which is now under P&G, launches the same product with different designs every season, or actively collaborates with other brands to encourage purchases from consumers. The brand shows great increase in revenue particularly during special shopping events such as 618.
  • Cosme decorate(Kose) recently went through a full renewal of its priciest lineup, ‘AQ Meliority.’ In the past, the brand was manufactured in China, but after learning that Chinese consumers prefer ‘globally recognized’ products it altered the strategy to go ‘made in Japan.’
  • Cle de peau beaute(Shiseido) is one of the brands that most effectively carry out marketing in the local market. Shiseido invites famous actors and KOLs in its events, and uses this to promote both the image and awareness of the brand.
  • Sensai(Kao) is expected to jump into this competition among high prestige brands soon. Sensai was sold in Europe only, but will be available in Japan from coming September, and will be sold in China from 2020.

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