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 Euromonitor, retail sales of the Chinese optical market in 2016 increased by approximately 6%, reaching RMB 69.9 billion. Sunglasses retail sales have been increasing by over 7% per year since 2012, and represent the fastest growing category.
Sunglasses against blue light radiation
Ray-Ban, 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 ageing 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 to educate 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 raise the standards of eye care and to prevent 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. They are also looking for useful products in generally and so put attention on sunglasses’ practical functions. For example, we can find a lot of topics on Chinese online forums about “which lenses to choose for a better eye’s protection ? ”.
It is opening a new market with wealthier and more demanding people, willing to spend for high-end products. This is a trend to consider for brands which have the capacity to make this kind of product.
Innovation and personalization are needed features
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 for comfort and individuation, the market for custom-made glasses has risen and is considered as 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.
How to market your brand in China ?
Collaboration with KOLs
MOLSION Glasses announced last year 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 milliennials Chinese by her confidence, sweet, open and straight character.
KOLs means Key Opinion Leaders in China. Angela Baby can be considered as a KOL but this doesn’t mean that every KOLs are stars. 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 purchase.
Leverage social media platforms
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 a O2O model. Whether it is online to offline, offline to online or online to online, marketers in China can’t get rid of the use of social media to promote their brand.
- Weibo : 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. To set up a Weibo account can be one of your first task.
Xiaohongshu (or little red book)
Xiaohongshu (or little red book) is the app you should know to market your product in China, especially for cosmetic, beauty products and accessories. It is a social platform for content sharing, where consumer post information about the product they use, advices, feedbacks and so on. It creates a very active community and nowadays Chinese people use Xiaohongshu’s platform as a reference before a purchase.
Xiaohongshu has also an e-commerce section where brands can sell their products. You will need first to setup a store in its platform.
Go digital 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 choices for Chinese shoppers looking to purchase such items.
In fact, there are a lot of opportunities to develop a business in China. Thanks to the digitalization of the society and the new marketing tools. However in China, you really need to be faster than other to get the market share as the pace of business is very fast and the environment is constantly evolving.
GMA is specialized on the 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, according to Chinese consumers. Our team is familiar with the latest digital tools and market trend, which allow us to provide you a complete range of services from business consulting to marketing operations.
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