China is not only the world’s leading producer of eyeglasses but also the world’s largest consumer of glasses. From children to the elderly, all of them are consumers. According to Statista, more revenue is generated in the USA with a forecasted revenue of 4.66 billion USD in 2022 compared to 2.14 billion USD in China in 2022. Sunglasses in China have been increasing by over 7.5% in retail sales per year since 2012, and represent the fastest-growing category
Sunglasses rank Top 3 in the Chinese lenses market
In 2021, sunglasses account for 12.5% of the whole Chinese glasses market. The biggest segment is the lenses market, including all kinds of transparent and correct glass lenses, which accounted for 38.4% of the whole market.
With the increase of myopia among the Chinese population, local consumers are more sensitive to corrected lenses for both glasses and sunglasses. The monthly sales of Helen Keller, a renowned Chinese sunglasses brand, are over 1,000+ items sold per month for their corrected sunglasses.
Sunglasses against blue light radiation on the rise in China
RayBan, the best-selling sun and prescription eyewear brand in the world, and the Peking University Eye Center (PUEC) have joined their forces to promote anti-UV Eye protection in China. The rapid aging of populations in China and around the world is resulting in an increase in AMD (age-related macular degeneration), which is one of the world’s leading eye-related diseases.
“It is a well-known fact that a long time of exposure to sunlight without UV-resistant eyewear can lead to permanent eye damage,” observed Yvette Ye, China Country Manager of Luxottica Group, the parent company of Ray-Ban.
The aim of the research is to enhance UV protection in sunglasses by improving lens technology and educating consumers about the importance of UV protection.
About Peking University Eye Center (PUEC)
PUEC is a joint venture of Peking University and Hong Kong Chinese University established in October 2001. PUEC has become one of the top eye centers in China and is committed to raising the standards of eye care and preventing ocular diseases by advancing knowledge and research.
Quality sunglasses are more appreciated in China
With the improvement of living standards, consumers pay more attention to the health and protection of their eyes when purchasing sunglasses, and they are increasingly seeking to purchase higher-quality eyewear products.
Chinese sunglasses consumers are also looking for useful products in general and so put attention to sunglasses’ practical functions. For example, we can find a lot of topics on Chinese online forums about “which lenses to choose for better eye protection ? ”.
It is opening a new market with wealthier and more demanding people, willing to spend on high-end products. This is a trend to consider for brands that have the capacity to make this kind of product.
Innovation and personalization are wanted features in the Chinese sunglasses market
At present, more and more people purchase sunglasses as an accessory to reflect their personal qualities. Many sunglasses brands and luxury brands have gradually expanded their sunglasses collections to further stimulate market sales.
More and more attention is paid to the design of sunglasses, and the trend of individualization and branding has become increasingly prominent in China. As consumers gradually seek comfort and individuation, the market for custom-made glasses has risen and is considered one of the directions for this industry and its brand’s development.
Custom-made glasses need to refer to one’s face shape, a special style design, and so on. Chinese consumers may be known as followers of trends, but believe me, they are more attracted by innovative and creative things and brands.
Customed-made glasses: a case study with Chinese brand AOJO
The Chinese brand AOJO is focusing on this latest trend to provide customized glasses. Their slogan “AOJO fits you” is highlighting their unique resolution to create glasses that can fit everyone. In their store, they even give the possibility to customers to choose and personalize their sunglasses frame.
They also focus on convenience, which is the latest trend in 2022. With their technology “Fast Clip”, they focus on the convenience for customers with sunglasses that could meet the needs of myopia and UV blocking with only one pair of glasses.
The latest trend in 2022? Wide lenses. Chinese consumers also like making their faces look smaller by wearing oversized sunglasses with wide sun lenses.
Who are the leading sunglasses brands in China?
From International brands to Domestic brands, the Chinese market is shared by strong leaders. Among international brands, RayBan, Gentle Monster, Oakley, Dior, and Armani drive the sunglasses sales on Tmall.
In 2022, the most successful sunglasses model is the Rosy model produced by Gentle Monster and using Zeiss sun lenses, favored by Chinese customers for its elegant design and high quality.
Among local brands, Beneunder, Bolon, Parzin, Helen Keller, Loho, Molsion, and Mujosh are the leading brands. On Tmall, their best-sellers are “celebrity same style” sunglasses, which are pairs that were seen on a famous celebrity in China.
The French company Essilor noticed the strong potential of the Chinese sunglasses brands… in 2014. Almost 10 years ago, Essilor Group acquired 50% of Xiamen Yarui Optical, the owner of Bolon and Molsion.
How to market your eyewear brand and sunglasses in China?
KOLs x Sunglasses Brands Collaboration
MOLSION Glasses announced its collaboration with Angela Baby, who become its official brand representative. Angela Baby is a film and television actress and fashion model in mainland China. She seduced a lot of Chinese people, especially millennial Chinese with her confidence, sweetness, openness, and straight character.
In China, KOL means Key Opinion Leaders, standing for large influencers. Angela Baby can be considered a KOL but this does not mean that every KOLs are a celebrity. KOLs can also be web celebrities or bloggers, someone who has a lot of followers on social media. They influence many Chinese people’s taste and indeed their purchases.
Examples of Sunglasses brands Collaboration with Chinese KOL
In 2022, Molsion also partnered with Zhan Xiao (Chinese actor and singer) and Dilireba (Chinese actress, model, and singer from the Uyghur minority) as brand ambassadors in mainland China. These new ambassadors boosted the brand’s sales with customers’ reviews including “trustworthy” and “cool brand with good quality”.
leverage Social Media Platforms to increase your sales in China
Chinese consumers are nowadays more online than in physical shops. To reach these consumers you have to ensure an online presence. The consumption is based a lot on an O2O model. Whether it is online to offline, offline to online, or online to online, marketers in China cannot get rid of the use of social media to promote their brand
- Weibo: Often compared to Twitter, this is the main micro-blogging platform in China. There is a need for a new brand to increase its awareness in order to break through the Chinese market. Setting up a Weibo account can be one of your first tasks.
- Xiaohongshu: Often compared to Instagram and Pinterest, this is the key social media for fashion and lifestyle brands. Chinese consumers are spending time on this platform to discover new brands, new styles, and new references.
Leverage UGC on Xiaohongshu (or Little Red Book) to Promote your Sunglasses in China
Xiaohongshu in Chinese or Little Red Book in English is the app you should know to market your product in China, especially for fashion, beauty, and accessories. It is a social platform for content sharing, where consumers post information about the product they use, advice, feedback, and so on.
It creates a very active community and nowadays Chinese people use Xiaohongshu’s platform as a reference before purchasing. They use the function of “shopping notes”, the more a brand has shopping notes on RED, the more it is a reliable and successful brand in China.
Xiaohongshu has also an e-commerce section where brands can sell their products. You will need first to set up a Little Red Book official account and then register a RED store. Since it is cross-border e-commerce, you can open a store without a Chinese business license.
Sell your Eyewear Brand in China through e-Commerce
Besides Little Red Book, there are a lot of other e-commerce platforms in China. Chinese consumers are more willing to purchase online because of the convenience and the greater range of available items on e-commerce platforms.
Nowadays, Chinese consumers have a huge appetite for foreign products and e-commerce platforms have become the channels of choice for Chinese shoppers looking to purchase such items.
For cost-effective entry, we recommend setting up a Little Red Book store. For long-term development and higher sales volume, we recommend setting up a Tmall store. On average, sunglasses brands sell between 1,000 to 30,000 pieces per reference every month.
Want to Sell Eyewear in China? Contact us
In fact, there are a lot of opportunities to develop a business in China. Thanks to the digitalization of society and the new marketing tools. However, in China, you really need to be faster than others to get the market share as the pace of business is very fast and the environment is constantly evolving.
In 2022, we worked with the sun lenses leader Carl Zeiss to develop their business in mainland China.
GMA is specialized in digital marketing in China. We have developed many successful projects because we know how to effectively promote your business in China, according to the market and Chinese consumers. Our team is familiar with the latest digital tools and market trends, which allow us to provide you with a complete range of services from business consulting to marketing operations.
Feel free to contact us 🙂