Year-end limited edition in Chinese beauty market

Year-end strategy

  • As the year is coming to its end, numerous brands start their promotions with limited editions and holiday season specials.
  • This is a popular strategy of cosmetics brands to attract customers at year-end. Limited editions have a higher scarcity value, thus customers who purchased the product feel more satisfied with the fact that they own a limited edition.
  • Looking into MeasureChina data, the engagement trend on keyword ‘limited edition’ shows a notable increase during the beginning and the end of a year. New years holiday, Single’s Day, and Christmas seasons are when limited editions are usually released.
  • From November 1st to 15th, average daily engagement on keyword ‘limited edition’ was 9,900. There is a rise in engagement during January and February, and the number starts to rise again from October due to various holidays coming up. Customers start expecting limited editions, and in turn, brands also communicate a lot about their special products.
Figure1. Monthly engagement of XiaoHongShu posting on ‘imited edition’ | Source : MeasureInfluence
Figure2. Brand ranking on keyword ‘limited edition’ | Source : MeasureInfluence

Characteristics of limited edition

  • With reference to the ranking table above, the most prominent characteristics of limited editions are as follows:
  • 1) Global luxury brands are leading the move on launching and marketing limited editions. Overseas brands such as SK-II, YSL, and Maybelline are taking the top ranking. All brands in the Top 10 list except for ZEESEA are from overseas, and most of them are in the luxury segment.
  • 2) Most are focused on color cosmetics. Looking into the actual products, nine brands out of Top 10 list except for SK-II are selling color makeup products including lipsticks. Overseas brands release limited editions by changing the colors and designs of lipstick container and packaging.
  • 3) 12 Zodiac animal specials. In China, it is common to see limited edition based on Zodiac animal for that year. Sephora has also showcased products with zodiac animal on the packaging, increasing sales from Chinese customers.
  • The zodiac animal for 2020 is a mouse, hence we expect to see the number of cosmetics brands launching limited edition with a character of a mouse. Which brands come up with what kind of limited editions would be an interesting point to note for the following few weeks in the beauty industry.
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