What awaits for beauty brands in the 2nd half of 2021

The much-anticipated 26th CBE has successfully concluded for over a month, but the lively scene at the exhibition hall is still fresh on the minds of those that attended. The future of the beauty industry will commence with the following 4 focal points.


# 1High-end personal care brands

Previously, Hall W1 was mainly occupied by influential domestic and foreign skincare brands. However, this year, high-end personal care booths accounted for almost half of Hall W1, with mostly luxurious booth setup. Led by brands such as Adolf and Uni, many cutting-edge brands of high-end personal care products appeared one after another.

Meanwhile, a number of new faces of high-end personal care products also emerged during the exhibition. Announcing to tens of thousands of channel dealers at the exhibition, "China's high-end personal care is back!"


Will high-end personal care products continue to play the role of drawing consumers to the stores using "3 bottles for RMB 99 (shampoo + conditioner + shower gel)" in recent years, or will they return to the role of profitable products many years ago?

Personal care products are FMCGs and are daily necessities for consumers. Whether they are used for tangible value or making profits, being of a great value to consumers and with sufficient profit space for stores are the only way for the brand to gain competitive advantage, strive for more market share and reach deep into the hearts of consumers.


It is highly predicted that high-end personal care brands will spring up this year, which will definitely promote the innovation of China's personal care market and bring new energy and vitality to the CS channel. A head-to-head battle is inevitable. And, the competition will not just be about whose scent is better, but whose overall quality is better, whose price is cheaper, and who can better satisfy the consumer's material interests (great value) and spiritual interests (including packaging appearance and pleasure experience).  
In addition, selling shampoos is like selling skincare products, combined with head therapy services (to relax consumers physically and mentally), which will surely become the norms of sales method of high-end brands.

#2 Cleansing category emerging

As the saying goes, "skincare products are wasted if used inadequately." Cleansing is the first and an essential step in the entire skincare process. As daily necessities and FMCGs for beauty lovers, the cleansing category has received increasing attention from the industry in recent years.


At present, compared with the facial mask category, the cleansing category not only has the advantage of easier expanding sales, but also brings good profits to brand owners and distributors. It is believed that the cleansing category will become another hot category after high-end personal care in the CS channel this year. In addition, regardless of the number of exhibitors or the popularity of the booth, face towels (mainly including roll towels and wipes) that are seen in almost every store in the CS channel are also widely visited by distributors at this year's CBE. 

#3 CS exclusive brands being born

Many skincare brands showcased "exclusive for the CS channel" at this year's CBE, and launched new skincare products exclusively for the CS channel. In recent years, online channels (mainly live streaming, group buying, e-commerce) have had a serious impact on offline CS channels.


Things will develop in the opposite direction when they become extreme. This is the theory behind force applied and force reacted. It is for this reason that the sales of many skincare brands (including the original leading brands) in the CS channel have fallen sharply, and the retail outlets also present a shrinking trend. Therefore, for brands that used to use online products to harvest offline consumers, it is a self-help behavior to provide exclusively for the CS channel.

Brand owners recently launched a new series of products "exclusive for the CS channel" in the context of impetuous environment. Whether they can withstand the lonely CS channel offline, it still needs time to verify. But one thing is certain: you get what you sow. That means if benefits are constantly given, benefits will eventually return to the giver.

#4 Brands suitable for experiential services become the focus of attention

There are three main challenges facing the CS channel this year: Firstly, the reduction in traffic (the loss of old customers and the lack of new customers in physical stores); secondly, the short stay time of consumers after entering the store (window shopping), and thirdly, the unit price is low. The only effective way for CS channels to break through the predicament is to strengthen the experience and service functions of offline stores, and to serve consumers with care. This is the only distinct advantage it has over online stores.


More and more cosmetics shops have realized the importance of good consumer experience service, and have begun to transform in the direction of service upgrades, and re-emphasized the creation of in-store experience areas, but most stores still fail to turn things around. There are two main reasons: one is the lack of professional and easy-to-operate effective products suitable for experiential services; the other is that the skincare service of the clerk is not professional enough and the service is not very active. The launch of a brand suitable for experiential services undoubtedly seizes the opportunity in the market and meets the needs of CS retailers to transform into services in a timely manner.


During this year's CBE, general manager Cao Hongjun, the head of Shandong Anqiu Yongfang Chain Store, said that this type of store form has existed in Yongfang Chain many years ago. Later, he found that the front store business was simple and easy, while the in house service was relatively complicated, coupled with the lack of professional beauticians, so he cancelled the latter. Last year, they began to resume in  house services. From the perspective of the past few months, Mr. Cao believes that to do a good in house service has a lot to do with the professional knowledge, professional skills and incentive programs of the beauticians. 

This year, Yongfang Chain Store planned to cooperate with Shanghai JM Beauty Training School. It is hoped that with the help of professional training institutions, the in house service can be put on a healthy development, so as to promote the growth of the overall performance of the store.


In short, through the window of this year's CBE, it is not difficult to see that China's cosmetics industry has begun to enter a new era of "focusing on market demand and consumers". The new era has brought a series of new opportunities to the entire industry, and the new bonus period of the CS channel is already beckoning to us. Regardless of whether it is a brand owner, agent or retailer of the CS channel, as long as it can bringing better material and spiritual benefits to consumers, treat users with "love", develop products with "love", focus retail with "love", and provide service with "love", you will definitely be able to reap the new dividends of the CS channel!