TOKYO -- Japanese cosmetics makers are stepping up marketing programs to attract tourists visiting Japan from China. One product line that has proved particularly popular with tourist from across the sea is "self" cosmetics -- makeup bought without consultation from a shop assistant.
Sold at drugstores, this cosmetics line is cheap. Manufacturers are trying to further boost sales by offering bulk purchases to meet Chinese demand and holding seminars about new products for Chinese residents in Japan to create buzz.
Pdc released a charcoal-kneaded facial treatment black mask, Liftarna Concentrate Mask, in February 2014. Its color was a hit with Chinese tourists. Shipments in May topped initial projections by six to seven times.
The Tokyo-based company, which belongs to Pola Orbis Holdings, began selling the product in a package of seven masks at an assumed before-tax retail price of 430 yen ($3.48). Expecting a further increase in sales, Pdc recently released 30 mask packages for 1,600 yen.
To make the product more recognizable to Chinese tourists, Pdc has introduced Chinese-language advertising. "Black Mask" and "Aging Care for Pores" signs in Chinese and fixtures to advertise the product have been put up in stores frequently visited by tourists in areas such as Shinjuku, Tokyo, and Shinsaibashi, Osaka. The company plans to make the product available at 300 stores by the end of this year, up from 100 at present.
Glide Enterprise, which sells the LuLuLun facial mask at a before-tax retail price of 1,500 yen for 42 sheets, holds seminars for Chinese residents in Japan to explain its honey and other skin-friendly materials in Chinese.
Product seminars aim to encourage Chinese residents to talk about the product with family and friends in China, Sumire Sato, a Glide director, said.
Glide began word-of-mouth marketing via Weibo and other microblogging websites in China in April. To further enhance the LuLuLun brand, the company is considering holding product seminars in Hong Kong, Shanghai and other Chinese cities.
Tokiwa Pharmaceutical has opened a website in Chinese for its Nov skincare line of cosmetics. The website offers product information and explanations of dermatology studies on which the products are based. It aims to show Chinese consumers its products are effective.
Although Tokiwa does not sell its Nov product line in mainland China, it expects that the website will prompt Chinese to buy them when they visit Hong Kong or Japan.
According to the Japan Tourism Agency, some 2.41 million people visited Japan from China in 2014, up 83% from the previous year, and 63% of them bought cosmetics and perfumes. Manufacturers of self cosmetics expect that Chinese tourists will buy more upscale cosmetics at department stores and also their products at drugstores.