Of the four categories measured in our Digital IQ Index: China Beauty supplement, the one we weighed most heavily was Site, worth 30 percent of a brand’s total score. How gifted or feeble we deemed a brand’s site depended on a host of carefully calculated factors, and in this case, because we were looking at the Chinese market, specifically, we looked beyond the basics of load time, customer service options, store locator and e-commerce. In this supplement, we also looked for things like comprehensive Chinese translation, presence of Chinese currency (RMB) equivalencies and integration of Chinese social media platforms (Sina Weibo, Youku, Kaixin, et al.). To score a Gifted or Genius Digital IQ in this round, a brand not only had to have an innovative, fast site but one that was well-tailored to the Chinese consumer’s needs as well.
Below is a breakdown (click for greater detail) of how the 20 Beauty brands included in the study fared across eight of the Site sub-categories.
With the addition of Bobbi Brown and Shiseido in 2012, now all but four of the 20 brands in our study — Guerlain, Dior, Chanel and Elizabeth Arden — sell their products online in China. With the online market there pushing $50 billion or more per quarter, it will be a shock if those not currently riding the Chinese e-commerce bullet train aren’t on it by year’s end.