$20 Billion and Counting

So you think the biggest consumers of Internet beauty products are from the United States and Europe? Think again. The reality may surprise you.

Kline & Co. recently issued its Beauty Retailing Through Direct Sales in Emerging Markets 2011: Channel Analysis and Opportunities report. The report found that Internet beauty sales in China have grown nearly 200% since 2006 and are estimated to be worth nearly $8 billion at the retail sales level in 2011. This makes China the largest Internet beauty market in the world.

Karen Doskow, industry manager at Kline, notes, "To put this into perspective, Chinese online beauty sales in 2011 are nearly equal in size to the entire beauty market for France, which is the largest market for cosmetics and toiletries in Europe; and [their] sales are nearly nine times larger than the Internet beauty market [in the United States]."

And that’s not all. These booming statistics are further driven by “e-malls" such as Tiantian.com and Alibaba's Tmall in China. Customers can buy from a wide range of domestic and foreign skincare and makeup brands in a convenient one-stop shop configuration.

It truly is a global marketplace. So keep your eyes open and your cash registers ready. Some of your best customers may not be ones who come through your doors but rather through your store’s website.

—Shelley Moench-Kelly

—Image courtesy of iStockphoto.com—