China’s Top Selling Global Beauty Brands: Insights From 1.2 Million Transactions On Taobao

Preen.Me’s Business Intelligence team looked at 1.2M transactions on Taobao for the month of March 2017, focusing on 33 leading western beauty brands that are known to be popular in China.

Key Takeaways

  • There is strong demand for both mass and luxury beauty brands on Taobao
  • Avon is the leading brand by a number of transactions.
  • La Mer, Dr. Sebagh and Cle De Peau Beaute command the highest prices.
  • Cle De Peau Beaute is the leading brand by revenue.
  • Helena Rubinstein has the largest share of product offers, at 12.4%.

Brands Tracked:

Estee Lauder | Biotherm | Elizabeth Arden | La Roche-Posay | Nuxe | Avon | Lancome Clinique | L’Oreal | Cle De Peau Beaute | Guerlain | Revlon | La Mer | L’OCCITANE Olay | Maybelline New York | Caudalie | SK-II | Clarins | Origins | Avene | Dr Sebagh Fresh | Helena Rubinstein | Jurlique | Nivea | Vichy | Nars

For a PDF version of this article, please contact us at:

Why Taobao?

Taobao is the “ebay” of China, a marketplace with over 503M monthly visits.

Tmall, spun out of Taobao, is a platform for local Chinese and international businesses to sell brand name goods to consumers in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. This is the traditional retail channel.

Taobao, like ebay, is where people go to find products that are hard to find, and to find lower priced versions of products they can buy elsewhere. That’s where we went to understand the brands that are in demand in China.

Note: Taobao removes listings for certain brands (such as Estée Lauder, Clinique and L’Oreal) from the website as part of Taobao’s efforts to limit the sale of these brands’ products to their official channels on their sister site Tmall, which focuses on official brand stores.

1,279,956 Transactions Tracked  | ¥107,166,465 Estimated Revenue [app. $16M]

Top Brands By Transactions: Avon Leads

Avon was the most popular brand in terms of both the total number of transactions and average transactions per product.

The mean number of transactions per product for Avon was 146, more than three times its closest competitor.

Top 15 Brands By Total Number of Transactions

Top 15 Brands By Average Transactions Per Product

Top Brands By Revenue: Cle De Peau Beaute Leads

Luxury brands lead on revenue, with Cle De Peau, Helena Rubinstein and Clarins leading the pack.

The average price points for these brands vary:

Cle De Peau:   ¥ 800 (app. $116) average per product

Helena Rubinstein: ¥ 400 (app. $58) average per product

Clarins:  ¥ 220 (app. $32) average per product

Top 15 Brands By Revenue

Price Points: La Mer, Dr. Sebagh and Cle De Peau Beaute command the highest prices

The price range for the products was very wide, indicating a healthy demand across all product segments, from high-end to mass products. While the average product price varied between ¥800 to ¥48.57, the median range was between ¥500 to ¥25.9.

Average Product Price Per Brand

Median Product Price

Brand Product Offers: Helena Rubinstein has the largest share of product offers, at 12.4%

There seems to be an alignment of supply and demand on Taobao, with the brands having the largest number of product offers also having the highest share of revenue.

Brand Product Offers, By Percentage of Analysis Total


Avon and La Mer, the two leaders on a number of transactions in this analysis, are missing from the Brand Product Offers chart. Here’s why:

Helena Rubinstein has 9,003 product offers or deals, the highest share of the brands. Avon has 1,689, and La Mer has 747.

This leads us to conclude that a relatively small number of Avon and La Mer product offers have particularly high sell through and are therefore responsible for the high transaction levels for the two brands.

Number of Product Offerings By Brand

This is where it’s important to keep in mind that Taobao removes listings for some of the biggest brands, like Estée Lauder and L’Oreal, from it’s peer to peer marketplace in order to protect the official brand channels on its sister site Tmall.

We would love to hear your feedback and thoughts in the comments below. Learn more about how Preen.Me helps brands tell their stories on social here.

About Preen.Me

Preen.Me is an influencer marketing platform that delivers large scale social campaigns for LVMH, Coty, Estee Lauder, L’Oreal and KAO brands by leveraging our army of 70,000 influencers.

We focus on effectively reaching and activating women of every age, around the world. Our difference is scale. We work with a minimum of 50 micro-influencers at once – amplifying key initiatives with hundreds of user stories to create a social tipping point.

The difference is in the results that we guarantee – millions of impressions, videos views, and social actions, as well as measurable traffic to brand sites. Our campaigns instantly and powerfully flood social with high quality branded content + conversation. This is how we help brands create storytellers.


Because the best people to tell your brand’s story are the people who love it.

Written by PREEN.ME