SEOUL – CJ Olive Young, South Korea’s CJ Group’s pharmacy and beauty store franchise, has launched the Japanese version of its global online mall to appeal to young Japanese female consumers who feel comfortable with the use of an online store. South Korean cosmetics, also known as K-beauty products, are gaining popularity in Japan, the world’s third-largest beauty market, thanks to K-pop and theater fandoms.
According to data released by the Ministry of Commerce, K-beauty exports to Japan jumped 58.5% year-on-year in 2020. About 64.7% of teenage consumers use K-beauty products, up from 6.8% from 2018. Recent popularity has been boosted by an increase in K-drama fans during a coronavirus pandemic. The great success of K-pop groups including BTS has also boosted the popularity of K-beauty products. The K-drama “Crash Landing on You” was the most popular drama content on Netflix in Japan in 2020.
A survey of the global cosmetics market conducted in 2021 by Statistica, a global market research company, showed that 46% of the Japanese population had used an online shopping service at least once in 2017. Among those who had made purchases online, 61% were 15-year-old consumers. and 24.
CJ Olive Olive Young said in a statement that it launched the Japanese service through its online shopping mall for overseas customers. The mall with some 200,000 members was launched in 2019, targeting the North American market. The cosmetics retailer said sales in the North American market accounted for up to 80% of its total sales.
Olive Young’s Japanese service paved the way for Japanese consumers who mainly went to offline stores to buy cosmetics. Consumers preferred to try samples before making a purchase. Olive Young started selling cosmetics through Rakuten, one of Japan’s top online shopping services, in 2019, but its products have been shunned by consumers who prefer to shop at offline stores.