Top Strategies to Market Hats and Caps in China

Raised from different cultures, there is a huge variety of hats. Just like the clothing category, the demand for hats is also changing fast with the season and trends. Knowing what kind of hats are getting popular in the local market is essential for hat brands who are willing to join the Chinese market. While China has become a huge market for all kinds of accessories, it should be interesting for you to know more about the fashion hats and caps market and trends in China.

Overview and Insights on the Chinese Hats Market

The Chinese Hats & Caps Market Value

When you want to enter a market, the first thing you need to know is definitely the value of the market. Is the market important? It is big enough for so many competitors? According to Statista, the Chinese hats and caps market has a 6.63 billion USD market value in 2022. Compare to the Worldwide hats and caps market with 25.87 billion USD, the Chinese market is currently taking 25.6% of the global hats and caps market.

hat in China

The Hats & Caps Market for Men, Women, and Children in China

Who is the main audience of hat products in China? In 2022, the women’s hats & caps market in China has a 3.37 billion USD market value. This is 50.8% of the total market of China. The men’s and children’s hats & caps market counted for 2.45 and 0.81 billion USD, taking 36.9% and 12.2% of the market share. In 2022, the women’s hat market is still the most important category in China.

Chinese Customers are More Willing to Buy Hats Online

With their advanced e-commerce in China, Chinese customers are usually relying more on online shopping than offline retail. In 2022, the online sales of women’s, men’s, and children’s hats and caps are taking 58.7%, 59%, and 60.4% of their market value. Compared to the Global market with 35.2%, 35%, and 32% online sales, brands need to put more emphasis on online sales in China.

Guess Whose Hats are More Expensive on Average? Men’s!

In 2022, the market volume of hats and caps for women, men, and children are 1039.7, 505.3, and 465.3 million pieces. Calculated by their market value, you might find that the average price of men’s hats and caps is the highest at 4.85 USD while women’s and children’s are at 3.24 and 0.3 USD. Although the women’s hats market is taking more market share than men’s, Chinese male customers are buying more expensive hats than females.

Trends in China: What is On Time? What is Emerging?

Street Wear Leading to the Rise of Fisherman Hat

The Chinese fashion lovers among the younger generations (Gen Z) are putting more emphasis on the fisherman hat. With the raise of the hip-hop trend in China, many fashion youths are willing to dress in a street style. It has been a common choice for them to show their taste and find similar people through their outfits. They will show some featured detail in outfits inadvertently with their choice of accessories and clothing. This benefited fisherman hats with a growing popularity. In the winter of 2022, the search for fisherman hats on Douyin had a 58.1% year-on-year growth. The image of fisherman hats has been changed from outdoor headwear to a symbol of fashion.

Read more: Why Fisherman Hats are a Must-Have in China in 2023

Berets are Popular for Making your Face Looks Smaller

When Chinese customers are buying hats, they are very likely driven by the wearing appearance. This made berets popular in China for making their face looks smaller. According to CBN Data, the search for berets on Douyin has grown by 64.7% in 2022. More female customers are willing to buy a beret for this reason.

Contact us if you are a beret brand and want to sell in China

The Unisex Trend and the Boyish Girl Trend

The unisex trend is making the fixed gender of apparel blur or showing a feeling of contrast by mixing the elements of different genders. This trend is affecting more and more fashion lovers in China, especially girls. The boyish girl is an idea born from the unisex trend, Gen Z girls are discovering themselves from the fashion trends. In 2021, videos about boyish girls on social media have grown by 59.5%, with a +147.8% growth in total views.

Caps are Still the Main Category in Hats

In 1860, the Brooklyn Excelsiors wore the ancestor of the modern rounded-top baseball cap, which featured a long peak and a button on top. By 1900, the “Brooklyn-style” cap became popular. Although baseball does not have a big audience in China, this product related to baseball does have a big market in China. Actually, the relationship between caps and baseball is very thin, because, unlike English or French, caps are also called “hats” in Chinese. In this way, caps became a very normal category in hats. For its function of sheltering people from sunlight and being suitable for both women and men, it is taking a huge market share in China.

Read more: Caps are Leveraged by the Light Sporty Trend in China

How to Promote my Hats and Caps in China?

Function + Scene + Emotion = the Marketing Formula in 2022-2030

In the 2020s, what can be a good strategy to do marketing in China? You need to focus on what your customers need. Chinese customers usually ask themselves for a reason to buy. What can I use this product for? In what scenes can I wear it? These 2 questions are for the function and scenes, but that’s not enough to convince them to choose your product. What emotion your product is delivering become a key leverage to win the market.

Take the success of fisherman hats as an example. The function of a fisherman hat is to block the sunlight, its scene is street and outdoors, and the emotion it delivers is comfort, happiness, and imagination. These 3 factors build up a 3D image of a fisherman hat, which made it more powerful in marketing in China.

Show How to Make an Outfit on Social Media

People never wear a hat alone, so they always need a hat that matches their outfit. Promoting on social media to show how your hat looks in different outfit styles can be a good strategy. Chinese customers are now putting more eyes on the outfit’s appearance than the brand name. So when your hat looks good on different outfits, it convinces your customer to purchase.

To reach that target, you can cooperate with KOLs and KOCs on Douyin and Xiaohongshu. Both of these 2 social media are very popular in China. Users of Douyin and Xiaohongshu are looking forward to learning the outfits of those KOLs and KOCs. Releasing KOL or KOC campaigns showing different ways to wear your hats can grow your visibility among their audiences and have a better effect than traditional advertising.

Xiaohongshu: The Fashion-Focused Social Media

In 2022, Xiaohongshu now has more than 200 million monthly active users, of which 70% of them are female, 72% of them are younger generations, and 50% of them are from first and second-tier cities. This user base made fashion a top topic on Xiaohongshu. According to the data from Qiangua Research, the Top 1 tag on Xiaohongshu is Fashion lovers, counting for 19.6% of their users, while 8.96% of them are focusing on outfits. Promote your hats on Xiaohongshu can target your audience directly and effectively.

Baidu SEO: A Must for Your Online Reputation

This is on your brand level, it’s the solution when your customers doubt your reputation. Chinese customers are more willing to purchase a product from a brand with an online reputation. The very basic demand is to see you on the top when they search your brand name. Just like what you might be doing on Google, search engine optimization on Baidu is very necessary for China. Since Google is blocked in China, you really need to repeat what you did with Google on Baidu, the No.1 search engine in China.

What’s more, you can also build your brand profile on Baidu Baike (the Chinese Wikipedia) to show your brand history and story. Or you might want to take advantage of Baidu Zhidao for QA campaigns. Both of them can help you with your brand’s online reputation.

E-commerce is the Key to Sales in China

As we have discovered, the online sales of hats in China have taken around 60% of the market value. This made e-commerce very important for your brand. In China, there are 3 main e-commerce platforms Tmall, JD, and Taobao. You can open a flagship store on Tmall or JD to show your orthodox. Depending on your business license, you can also choose to open your store on Tmall Global or JD Global, which saves you time and effort in applying for a Chinese business license.

Combine your E-commerce with Marketing on Social Media

How to convert the result of your marketing activities into sales matters and how much your revenue can benefit from all your effort. Since social media has become a must for your marketing in China, why not combine it with your e-commerce? Here we introduce you to 2 plans:

  • The first solution is to redirect your audience on social media to your e-store on Tmall or JD. You can put CTA (Call To Action) content in your copyrighting with a quick link. Your audience on social media like Douyin or Xiaohongshu can copy the quick link for a quick redirect to your product page on e-commerce.
  • The second option is to open your e-shop on these social media. Yes, you read it right, you are available to open a store on both Douyin and Xiaohongshu. This way your customers are able to place orders in one single tap, but it takes extra cost for an e-shop on these social media.

GMA: Your Marketing Partner in China

About Us:

If you need a marketing partner that can handle any of your demands, we will be the best choice! GMA has more than 10 years of experience in digital marketing in China. Based in Shanghai, we offer customized services to any brand that is willing to join the Chinese market. Hundreds of brands have trusted us and benefited from this huge market, contact us and be the next to win the Chinese market!

How Can GMA Support You

GMA always makes our marketing plan based on our current situation and your demand. We can help you start from the previous market research to know your position and competitors in China. Based on the result, we carefully make your marketing strategy. GMA never tries to sell as many services as possible, all we want is your success with the best ROI. The strategy won’t be our final step, GMA can offer 360°services based on what you need. E-commerce, Social media, Baidu SEO, all you need is all we offer.

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SMILEY is an award-winning brand shaping and sharing happiness. Registered in over 100 countries worldwide, Smiley is always looking for new retail partners to join and spread the happy revolution. For the past 45 years, the brand is dedicated to shaping the way its clients share happiness online and offline. In China, Smiley needed to pursue its happiness revolution with a strong strategy.


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