Local or Imported Beauty Products, Which Interests Indonesians Most?

Beauty product industry is one of the most resilient businesses that keeps growing in bad financial conditions like during Covid-19 pandemic [1] and recession (if it happens, most people from Indonesia confessed that they would still buy beauty products) [2].

According to Euromonitor International, developing countries, including Indonesia, have contributed 51% to the global beauty industry [3]. And additionally, based on several studies, Indonesia was also expected to be part of the top 10 markets for global beauty and skin care products, worth over 130 billion USD globally [4]. We can see it from the number of cosmetic companies in Indonesia that indeed has increased until 20,6% year-on-year (yoy) from 2021 to 2022, while the revenue growth for skincare has also risen up to 29,6% in 2022 [5].

This situation makes beauty brands from various countries (imported) and the local brands from Indonesia try their best to develop their business in this country. According to the data from the Indonesian Ministry of Industry and research from ZAP Beauty Index 2023, the sales of local cosmetic and skincare products are keep increasing [6]. However according to the Importers Association of Indonesia (GINSI), the import value of cosmetic products also continues to increase almost every year; in 2013 it was US$576 million, and in 2019, it increased up to US$737 million [7].

In order to figure out Indonesian consumers’ taste in choosing beauty products, in April 2023 Snapcart conducted a study with 2.000 respondents (50% female & 50% male) who live in various cities or area in Indonesia, and here are the results.

As we expected, women are the ones who use beauty products most, like cosmetic (88%) and skincare to cure their skin problems (75%). Meanwhile men prefer to ignore their skin disorder(s) or use traditional materials instead of skincare like women do.

However on the other hand, our study found an intriguing fact. This whole time, we think that Indonesian women want to have fair skin so much. But in reality, most of them expect to have clean, flawless, and healthy skin after using skincare. And ironically, even though acne (62%), oily (50%), and dull skin (41%) are top 3 skin disorders that most Indonesians have experienced, but the ones who want to have lighter, glowing, and younger skin after using skincare are mostly men! You can see the details of the data on the infographic above.

Furthermore, in sync with some previous data above that show beauty products are one of the most important things for Indonesians, this research also figured out that indeeed, most Indonesians are using skincare sedulously and pretty constant in their daily life, and majority of them usually set a budget every month from IDR 100.000 until IDR 400.000 to buy skincare product(s).

In addition, we found out that people from Balikpapan are apparently the ones who use skincare very often, that majority of them usually buy skincare until more than four times in a month. The details of the data are represented on these graphics and table below. 

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Moreover, our study also found out that people from various cities have their own favorite place to shop, and e-commerce is still become almost everyone in Indonesia’s favorite place to buy beauty products.

Additionally, we also figured out that people from Makassar are the most flexible ones in buying beauty products. Among people from many cities, people who live in Makassar are the ones who dominate the number/percentage of beauty products’ buyers at e-commerce, supermarkets, beauty specialty stores, and minimarkets, as represented on the table below.

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Everyone Has Their Own ‘Types’

As time goes by, many beauty product companies continue to develop their products to be more various. And among many types of skincare, we figured out that in facial cleanser category, facial wash, toner, and micelar water are favored by most Indonesians, especially females. However scrub, oil cleanser, and gel cleanser are liked by quite many men.

On the other side, in order to treat their facial skin, we found out that sunscreen, cream, and serum are the top 3 most favorited types of facial skincare for Indonesians, especially women. Meanwhile facial lotion and face oil are favored by quite many males. You can see the details of the data below.

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Indonesians’ Favorite Brands

From some studies at the beginning of this report, we can conclude that the competition between local and imported beauty brands is pretty strict. Thus, we asked our respondents about this issue, and majority of them (60%) confessed that they use local beauty brands/products more often than the imported ones, and 71% are satisfied with the products. Meanwhile 64% people who use imported brands are satisfied as well with the products that they use.

For those who feel less satisfied with imported or local beauty products, we also asked them why they feel it that way, and majority of them confessed if minimum and/or slow results are the reasons of their disatisfaction toward both imported and local beauty brands.

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Over and above that, we also figured out that affordable price is the dominant reason for people to buy local beauty products. While most people who use imported beauty products confessed that good and guaranteed quality is their reason to buy the products. And among many beauty product brands, Wardah (for local brand) and SK-II (for imported brand) are the ‘primadona’ for Indonesians. The details of these data is represented on the infographic above.

Nevertheless, this research has discovered another fascinating fact.

As we check further of our respondents’ answers, we figured out that actually, not all Indonesians know if a product is local or imported brand. There are 18% of Indonesians who thought that the beauty products they usually use are from local brands, while in fact they are imported ones. And 4% of our respondents also mistaken local brands as imported brands. Below are the lists of brands that often mistaken by Indonesians as imported brands and vice versa, plus the reasons why they choose to use/buy the products.

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Brand Awareness

Nowadays, we often see Indonesian public figures recommend/endorse certain beauty products on their social media account(s). However, most Indonesians confessed that their decision to use/buy beauty products are not really because of recommendation from them, but it is because of their friends or family’s recommendation and/or advertisements that they see on social media. And quite ironically, majority of people think that the ones who they found as the most suitable person to be the brand ambassador of a beauty product are Indonesian/local public figures (54% choose influencers and 24% choose celebrities).

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Local Brand Interest

The Government of Indonesia has prepared various efforts and programs to support the sales of local beauty companies [8], but are Indonesian people themselves interested to use local beauty products/brands in the future?

Yes, the result of this study found out that majority of Indonesians (54%) are interested. However, those who answered ‘not interested’ confessed that their satisfaction toward imported products and skin incompatibility toward local beauty products are mostly become the reasons on why they don’t want to use local beauty products in the future. You can check the detail of their answers below.

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