Is K-Beauty here to stay? According to the data released by the Korea Customs Service and Korea Cosmetic Association, South Korean cosmetics exports climbed 16.1% to reach nearly USD7.6 billion in 2020 despite the pandemic. In addition, latest research forecasts that the market size of K-Beauty will continue to grow at CAGR 9% from 2021 to 2027*.
Susanna Yuen, Exclusive Brands Director of Watsons International, says, “We continue to see that K-Beauty is highly sought after by our Watsons customers even during the pandemic. To meet this surging demand, Watsons has partnered with a number of K-Beauty brands to deliver more choices to beauty lovers across Asia while helping to incubate up and coming brands to expand their penetration. Mise En Scène and COSRX are two outstanding examples that show how Watsons has helped K-Beauty brands enter new markets and build up a strong market position.
“Watsons’ strong O+O (Offline plus Online) platform has effectively helped brands to engage and connect with their target customers anytime, anywhere, in all major markets in Asia.”
O+O Retail Hypercharges Customer Connectivity
Mise En Scène is a total hair cosmetic brand under Amorepacific that offers a diverse range of hair styling products. Its signature hair product, Hello Bubble, was first introduced in Watsons Taiwan in 2018 and exclusively launched in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand in 2020. It is expected to roll out in Hong Kong soon. Since its launch, Mise En Scène’s Hello Bubble has grown at a CAGR of 90% owing a lot of its success to its partnership with Watsons.
Most recently, Watsons Thailand ran a Hello Bubble x Black Pink campaign to promote its range of hair products on the campaign webpage and social media. It offered tips and ideas on some of the hottest hair color trends. Customers could also access the webpage by scanning QR codes in-store, pick a hair color that best suits them, and “click” to place an order. During the 4-week campaign, Hello Bubble’s brand awareness increased with a sales growth of over 1,000% and became the No. 1 hair colourant in the market.
“We’re delighted to partner with Watsons to officially launch Hello Bubble in Asia in 2020 despite the impact of COVID-19. With extensive O+O activities and exposure at Watsons, customers can easily get Blackpink’s inspired hair color at home,” says BK Rho, Head of Mise En Scène.
Incubating Brands for Growth
COSRX is yet another K-Beauty brand that has benefited hugely from its exclusive partnership with Watsons. This skincare brand launched through Watsons in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines exclusively in 2017, resulting in a CAGR of over 80%.
Sang-Hun, Jun, CEO of COSRX, says, “Watsons’ extensive global knowledge of the beauty industry and CRM data enabled COSRX to launch products into the Southeast Asia market, as well as stay close to and interact with our customers. This ultimately helped us to become one of the most-loved brands in Southeast Asia.”
In Singapore, the brand ran a Thank You campaign to thank its customers for their continuous support and love. Using Watsons strong data capabilities, the brand was able to target the right customers and to send them special offers via eDM. Capitalising on Kim Soo Hyun’s popularity, they also gifted Limited Edition postcards of the Korean actor as a free gift upon any purchase in physical and online stores.
Launch of Watsons K-Beauty Land
Yuen reinforces, “The demand of K-Beauty products keeps growing but due to the pandemic, customers are not able to travel to Korea to shop for the hottest K-Beauty products, so we have launched Watsons K-Beauty land. With over 8,000 products to choose from instore and online, Watsons K- Beauty land is expected to become the go-to place for all K-Beauty lovers.”
Given that customers can shop the trendiest products easily at home, and have it delivered or collected in store, Watsons’ strong O+O capabilities enable customers to enjoy the benefits of both offline and online shopping, which effectively help K-beauty products and many other health and beauty brands to engage and connect with its target customers.
*Source: Global K-Beauty Products Market – Opportunities and Forecasts 2021-2027 by Allied Market Research