Pure Beauty

Can Puig and Tmall boost China’s fragrance sales?

By Julia Wray | Published: 14-Feb-2023

25 brands have participated in a seven-week pilot of Puig’s new Scent Visualizer on Tmall

Puig has teamed up with Alibaba Group-owned marketplace Tmall in a bid to boost Chinese consumer’s uptake of fragrance online.

The beauty and fashion house has developed the Scent Visualizer, a digital technology to enable fragrance newcomers to discover, recognise and visualise the scents of perfumes.

Currently, in China, just 5% of the population wears fragrance, according to a BCG report cited by Puig and Tmall.

It is hoped that the Scent Visualizer, which lets users browse, compare and choose fragrances from a library of 21,500 fragrances, will allow Chinese online shoppers to discover new products, especially in the niche category.

The Scent Visualizer works by displaying the main olfactive ingredients in a perfume, allowing the user to picture, literally, how the perfume smells.

It is powered by a visual library of more than 1,400 unique ingredients and Puig’s recently-launched WikiParfum database.

25 brands participated in a Scent Visualizer pilot on Tmall over a seven-week period and the results are claimed to be ‘promising’.

According to Puig and Tmall, by just adding a simple picture for each perfume, brands’ online gross merchandise volume increased by 5% on average.

Both conversion rate and average transaction value were improved as a result of shoppers’ ability to ‘read’ the scent.

Following this, Tmall plans to launch Fragrance Finder, a tool powered by the Scent Visualizer that can generate personalised recommendations for specific perfume brands and products, based on users’ preferences.

“We are happy to share our expertise and digital ecosystem of technologies to introduce more shoppers to the pleasures of fragrance,” said Camila Tomas, Puig Global’s VP of Innovation & New Technologies.

“We have specially adapted the fragrance descriptions and visualisations to the Chinese consumer, by working hand in hand with Tmall, which has a very impressive consumer-centric and perfume expert team.

“We expect this first phase to be the beginning of a long-term collaboration which will elevate the fragrance category for China’s fragrance’ lovers.”

Bao Ling, the Fragrance Category Director at Tmall, added: “As China’s fragrance market continues to grow, there is tremendous interest from Chinese consumers in finding out about new fragrances, as well as buying their favorite scents.

“We are excited by the results of this initial Scent Visualizer pilot, in partnership with Puig and look forward to seeing further growth in this category.”

Online fragrance discovery

The fragrance industry been active in overcoming barriers to selling scent online.

In addition to Puig’s Scent Visualizer tool and WikiParfum database, recent weeks saw Givaudan introduce its Myrissi technology, an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered method of translating fragrance into colour patterns to help market fragrance to consumers via e-commerce.

Such leaps forward are especially helpful when targeting the Chinese consumer as, according to Statista, in 2022, about 27.2% of all retail sales in China were made online.

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