As the world’s most populous country and biggest economy, China is a key market for any company doing business around the world. If you’re looking to sell your brand in China, there are a few things you need to know first.
In this blog post, we’ll outline some of the basics you need to get started and help you make the most of this burgeoning market. So keep reading to learn more about the China glasses market!
KPI and Results focused. We are the most visible Marketing Agency for China. Not because of huge spending but because of our SMART Strategies. Let us help you with: E-Commerce, Search Engine Optimization, Advertising, Weibo, WeChat, WeChat Store & PR.
China Glasses Market Overview
Nowadays, with the growing consciousness among Chinese consumers about the importance of regular eye checkups and proper eye protection, the eyewear market has rapidly developed over the years. The glasses are perceived as an accessory of fashion, which motivates consumers to buy multiple products from eyewear for more fashionable or better quality options
The eyewear market in China
The glasses market is subdivided into many important areas: there are classical glasses, sunglasses, and contact lenses. In 2018, the total Chinese eyewear market volume was 64 billion yuan, an increase of 6% compared to the previous year.
In 2022, this figure was up to US$13.11bn (about 91bn RMB). The Chinese glasses market has not quite caught up with the US one yet (almost US$30bn in 2022) and it’s great news for eyewear brands as it shows the market still has a lot of untouched potential!
Plus, it is expected the Chinese glasses market will grow annually by over 10% in the 2022-2025 period.
Another interesting piece of data about China’s eyewear market is that most sales (94%) are not luxury sales, and this can be in part explained by the large rate of eyesight issues in China.
The large myopia rate in China
According to the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education, China has a large myopia rate of 33% particularly among young consumers. More than 400 million Chinese people are myopic and wear glasses. China has reached a high record in myopia, today up to 90% of the Chinese population are short-sighted while 60 years ago, this number only reached 10% to 20%.
The rate of myopia occurrence in primary schools, junior high schools, and senior high schools is 25%, 70%, and 85% respectively, due to essential hours of classes in schools as well as the excessive use of electronic devices, such as computers, tablets, and smartphones.
China has one of the highest frequency cases of myopia in the world and its myopic population is expected to increase by 8% on average annually.
With the rising disposable incomes, Chinese consumers are paying more attention to their health and the protection of their eyes. So they are very careful when they are choosing glasses because they prefer to buy glasses of higher quality.
Consumers are attaching greater importance to the ornamental qualities than the practical functions of the spectacles they buy. Especially for their children, parents want to find the best in the world for them.
The sales of sunglasses have increased in China
The sunglasses segment in China is quickly growing in the Chinese glasses market.
Influenced by celebrities’ styles and social media, there is a rise in the use of sunglasses as fashion accessories. This has contributed to a rise in demand for sunglasses, which is one of the fastest-growing categories in eyewear in recent years.
Chinese Eyewear Market is driving sales of spectacle frames, as luxury brands such as Jins, Ray-Ban, and Zoffs are providing fashionable sunglasses frames at affordable prices.
The Chinese eyewear market is slowly turning toward high-end products
The eyewear market is very complex in China, mainly because of the barriers to entry for manufacturers, including eyeglass frames, contact lenses, and sunglasses.
Thus, a large number of local brands are providing products value-added at low prices to attract massive consumers who are price sensitive.
However, thanks to the strong desire of Chinese consumers for premium and luxury products, they are increasingly aware of brands with technology improved and better quality.
It is increasingly trendy to purchase luxury glasses in China
The Chinese market eyewear sells more than 50 million pairs annually, nearly 20 billion Yuan. The residents of small towns buy new glasses once every three or four years unlike those in the cities change approximately every two years.
China Eyewear Market: Sales Channels
The optical stores continue to dominate the sales channels while the internet has also made a contribution as a robustly developing distribution channel for sunglasses in China.
The pandemic has had a huge impact on online sales of glasses. Indeed for the first time, there were more glasses sold online than offline in China in 2020.
Although the trends have gone down a bit, online and offline sales are still relatively balanced.
The optical stores represent the most important distribution channel for glasses and contact lenses. Consumers prefer to buy quality products and luxury brands in optical stores because they can try them on.
In addition, optical stores provide physical shopping for a better professional experience service of optometry that consumers can easily seek recommendations and information about the product from the salespersons in these stores.
E-Commerce can help eyewear brands reach out to more Chinese customers
E-commerce is very popular in China. China represents 50% of the world’s e-commerce and 35.3% of Chinese retail sales occur online. Selling online in China can help you to reach more customers.
Online sales of optical products, especially contact lenses and sunglasses, are becoming increasingly popular in China. Online sales reportedly accounted for 10%-15% of total sales in 2016, with online sales channels complementing offline ones and online sales accounted for 48% in 2022.
With the rise of the post-90s consumer market and the rapid development of online business, more eyewear brands are established on online comprehensive e-commerce platforms such as Tmall.com, Taobao, and JD, and more consumers are ready to purchase eyewear online. What’s more, a number of online vertical eyewear e-commerce, such as Sigo and Yichao (亿超) have also emerged.
The O2O e-commerce model has also become popular in the Chinese eyewear market. This model consists of experience in physical stores and online purchases.
How Can You Market Your Sunglasses in China?
There are plenty of ways to market your sunglasses brand in China. You could start by establishing an online presence through a website and Chinese social media platforms like WeChat and Weibo, Little Red Book, Douyin, and so on.
Apart from that, participating in trade shows and building relationships with retailers in China would also be beneficial. Ultimately, the key is to have a compelling strategy that resonates with the Chinese market.
A Chinese Website
Chinese website is very important to develop strong visibility and create an authentic source of brand news and product launches in China.
China is the largest world-connected country, with over one billion Chinese internet users. Chinese consumers spend more than 40% of their daily life on the Internet. Chinese internet users trust more Chinese websites than English websites.
Moreover, your website should observe some rules to make sure that it will be easily found and has a nice feel and touch for the Chinese visitor. It’s very important to be available for Chinese visitors. Don’t forget to have 24/7 customer service able to reply to any queries anytime.
Your website should be hosted in China and nearby in order to have a fluent user experience
Baidu for visibility and credibility
Baidu is essential for brand credibility in China because it is the leading search engine in the country. Over 60% of Chinese Internet users use Baidu to search for information online, which makes it an invaluable tool for companies seeking to generate awareness and visibility for their brands in China.
There are a few things to keep in mind when using Baidu SEO and SEM to promote your brand in China. First, because Baidu is the most popular search engine in China, it’s essential to make sure your website is properly optimized for Chinese search engines.
Proper keyword research. Baidu is competitive, you do not want to spend resources on keywords you’ll never be able to rank on!
Take advantage of Baidu’s powerful targeting capabilities to reach specific audiences with your marketing messages. Baidu advertising has many ad formats that do not exist on Google but is highly recommended for any brand with enough budget
Brand zones are the perfect example of this. Brand zones are top tiers of branded ad campaigns where you take half or more of the first Baidu SERP page to display links to several landing pages in a customized fashion (see above pic)
Online Reputation is very important in China
Chinese consumers pay attention to word of mouth and trust what they see on the net. So, it’s capital to build a good reputation for its company or its products and services so that the Chinese will make purchasing decisions. Having a good reputation is one thing but keeping it is another thing.
Online reputation management is also a good way to erase the bad content on the web and take your business to the next step if done at an early stage and properly.
Bad e-reputation in China: customers stay away
A bad reputation can easily destroy your business in China because negative contents have the power to influence customers ‘decision and push down your brand image and you can lose your integrity and credibility among Chinese consumers.
In the era of the internet, Chinese consumers like gathering information about everything through the internet. They are seeing the comments about your company and your product present on all online Chinese platforms.
Building a strong presence on popular social media platforms and getting some attention from KOLs (key opinion leaders) will boost your brand image and promote your conversion rate.
Chinese social media to promote your brand awareness
Chinese social media landscape is totally different from Western social media. 9 out of 10 Chinese internet users own at least one account on social media. All the Western social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and WhatsApp are blocked by the ‘’great China Firewall’’, there are just Chinese social media platforms such as WeChat, Weibo, Xiaohongshu, QQ, and TikTok…
WeChat (the Chinese version of Facebook) is an audio/text instant messaging app, with more than 800 million active users. Wechat offers some functionality such as a Wechat account for brands, Wechat pay, buy taxis, book reservations…
Weibo, is the Chinese Twitter, with more than 550 million active users in 2020. If you want to be connected with Chinese customers you have to be present on WeChat and Weibo. You can create on both platforms an official account that will offer you special features.
When it comes to glasses and lenses, it’s good to have an official account on Xiaohongshu. This is a platform perfect for all fashion-related content and a great place to gain a good reputation. You can also start an account on Douyin, China’s second-largest social media platform, known in the West as TikTok.
Chinese KOLs / Influencers: essential for conversion rate
KOL (Key Opinion Leader) is now the most used approach by brands for reaching more and more Chinese consumers. KOL or influencer is now a strong weapon in marketing for brands. Through the million followers, Kol has the possibility to influence the Chinese consumer’s decision, and because of this latter trusts more Kol or influencers than any Chinese website.
Branding in China: Hire an Agency and Save Resources
In the bustling Chinese eyewear market, success hinges on a strategy that connects with consumers’ distinct preferences. This is where Gentlemen Marketing Agency’s expertise becomes your asset.
Why Hire Us?
- Local Insights: We translate consumer trends into actionable marketing strategies for your brand.
- Digital Mastery: Our campaigns across WeChat, Weibo, and Douyin cut through the noise, ensuring your brand stands out.
- E-commerce Savvy: We’ll place your eyewear on China’s top retail platforms, making it effortlessly accessible to consumers.
- Influencer Collaboration: We leverage our KOL partnerships to build trust and aspirational value for your brand.
- Data-Driven Results: Our approach is rooted in analytics, so your investment is informed by metrics that matter.
Choose Gentlemen Marketing Agency, and frame your brand for success in the Chinese glasses market. Contact us today!