China E-Commerce: Your Category Can Make or Break You

I was recently talking with a friend of mine who had questions about the online market for beauty products in China. I shared with him a principle that applies to almost all types of consumer goods being sold online in China – your category often determines how hard you’ll have to work to succeed.

Let me give you an example. Through research, we noticed that home kitchen/appliances is absolute gold. It’s hugely underserved and is super-fast growing right now. We’re talking to a couple of cookware brands, and the nice thing about that category is that very few brands are selling these types of products in China. So you actually have way less competition, which makes achieving success so much quicker and easier. In the beauty category, the sheer number of brands coming into China & the level of competition makes it hard to win. If you were launching a new product in China, which category would you chose…the one where you’re up against five other brands or five million?

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