L’Oreal China said Friday it will partner with Tmall’s dedicated research and development arm to create male beauty products specifically for the China market.
The deal will bring together the China division of the world’s largest cosmetics group and the Tmall Innovation Center to leverage insights from Alibaba’s over 600 million users to help the French company tailor its product development and marketing strategies to Chinese consumers.
To start, the partnership will look to tap the male beauty sector. According to a white paper released Friday on the sector from TMIC and the L’Oréal China Consumer Intelligence, total sales of male-beauty products in China grew 59% and 54% in fiscal years 2017 and 2018, respectively, the latter figure off a larger base, highlighting the market’s potential.
“We have been very happy to ride the wave of the digital transformation together with Alibaba Group’s Tmall,” said St√©phane Rinderknech, CEO of L’Oréal China. “As the number-one beauty company in the China market, L’Oréal China will continue to deepen collaboration with innovation partners locally to unleash the value of data insights and create value for our consumers.”
Launched in 2017, TMIC guides brands through all stages of the production cycle—from discovery to design to development—including market research, sales and data analysis and even product testing. While product creation isn’t new for an e-commerce company, TMIC’s end-to-end solution, which also comprises marketing and customer feedback, without stamping its own logo on the product, is unique. So far Mars, Mattel, Unilever, Wyeth, Procter & Gamble and Anheuser-Busch InBev are among the 62 companies to partner with TMIC on new product innovations.
“Tmall has transformed product development in every area, from product innovation and brand-building to consumer assets and channel management,” Tmall President Jet Jing said. “We help brands discover new demand and markets as well as offer completely new customer experiences.”
“With Tmall’s unparalleled customer insight, we are committed to helping L’Oréal China offer its customers best-in-class personalized product experiences,” he said.
The white paper co-authored by Tmall and L’Oreal highlighted some of the most-important trends in male beauty in China, including:
- Purchases by men of male-specific brands on Tmall are were up 56% during the year ending in June.
- Those male-only purchases have grown across all categories, including skincare (51%), body (43%), fragrance (57%) and hair (47%).
- Men are paying up for luxury brands, especially makeup, which saw sales soar 218% for the fiscal year.
- Still, there is a lack of choice for men-only products, especially in facial skincare, indicating that brands should expand their product lines to meet this demand.
The white paper identified five types of male consumers of beauty products, from early twenty-somethings who want only men’s-specific products to more professional thirty-somethings more focused on personal care than appearance. The bulk of the segment (58%) is made up of what TMIC and L’Oreal called “traditional men,” who are currently buying mass-market products in categories from moisturizer and cleanser to toner and shampoo.
L’Oréal China and Tmall are using the white paper to launch an online-offline marketing campaign, “Super U Carnival,” aimed at these five segments. The companies will recommend products to men based on characteristics of each segment when they log onto Tmall to shop. At a pop-up store in Hangzhou, five showrooms have been tailored to each of the five segment’s unique styles and preferences.
On a related note, L’Oréal on Tuesday launched David Beckham’s House 99 brand on Tmall. House 99 sells a full range of high-end grooming products, including skin and body care, hair and shaving products, for men.