As Alibaba’s B2C e-commerce platform Tmall makes major headway in attracting global luxury beauty brands to open official stores, L2’s new report finds that mass brands still have the edge on search visibility.
Among beauty brands tracked by L2 since 2015, prestige brands’ rate of Tmall flagship adoption has increased from 55% to 84% in the past four years. These results have come as Tmall has introduced initiatives like its Luxury Pavilion and promotional activities exclusively for high-end brands. Major recent beauty Tmall flagship launches have included Giorgio Armani Beauty and Givenchy.
Yet mass brands that move high product volume have an advantage in Tmall search results, according to L2’s study. For color cosmetics search terms, prestige brands take up less than 15% of all first-page search results, and only 11% of skin care results. When the results are sorted by best sellers, prestige brands’ visibility is even lower, with only 8% of color cosmetics results and 4.1% of results for skin care terms.
Although Tmall remains a platform oriented toward bargain hunting, high-end beauty brands can still use multi-channel promotions to drive sales on the platform. Despite low search visibility, Shiseido had the second-highest Q4 2017 year-over-year sales growth on Tmall out of all analyzed beauty brands, including mass labels. It was able to achieve this mainly through promotion of its Power Infusing Concentrate Serum using actor Huang Xuan, who serves as the face of the product. The brand staged a Weibo campaign with a contest offering the chance to meet the actor, as well as Tmall livestreams linking to purchase pages and ads on popular online video platforms, helping contribute to 424% sales growth for the quarter.