Insight – Women’s Day a boost for beauty goods in China – but watch for sensitivities

31 March 2022

Australian brands can boost exports on e-commerce platforms by tapping into culture-related shopping events in China.

However, brands should check for cultural sensitivities. They should ensure messaging is authentic and takes account of social issues – especially on social media.

Women’s Day pushes e-commerce sales to 3rd spot

The 8 March celebration of International Women’s Day is heavily commercialised in China. In 2022, sales of women’s products soared. 

Austrade’ e-commerce sales trackers reveal the skincare and beauty/cosmetics categories performed exceptionally well in early March. Sales were the third best for the year.

Sales of skincare and beauty/cosmetics products maxed in the run up to the November 11 Singles Day, and the June 6.18 sales period.

Name days are an e-commerce opportunity in China

The commercialisation of Women’s Day in China is a recent phenomenon. E-commerce platforms and brands began referring to 8 March as ‘Goddess Day’ or ‘Queen’s Day’ in 2017.

Brands typically launch promotions in the run up to 8 March. These campaigns encourage China’s ‘goddesses’ and ‘queens’ to treat themselves.

The tactic is highly successful across multiple categories. Many fashion brands also generate some of their highest annual sales in the lead up to 8 March.

Check for cultural sensitivities

However, Australian brands that want to build campaigns around landmark days in the Chinese calendar should check for sensitivities. They should also ensure that messaging is authentic.

For example, feminist issues figured prominently in social media during this year’s Women’s Day.

Some brands give their campaigns a serious message. In 2022, videos produced by beauty brand Florasis discussed mental health challenges faced by women and how this translates to skin concerns. This became an opportunity to launch a new makeup product.

This example illustrates how successful brands are evolving. Name days are a great springboard for Australian brands that use e-commerce. But exporters should pay close attention to how domestic brands behave and the tone they set.

About this insight

We commissioned this insight from China Skinny. China Skinny is a Shanghai-based market research consultancy.

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