Jing Daily’s monthly KOL column tracks and analyzes the most influential figures and trends on China’s social media platforms shaping consumer behavior across the luxury, beauty, travel, lifestyle and fashion segments. Data provided by online performance measurement platform Launchmetrics.#
Prior to the pandemic, consumer market analytics firm WGSN predicted that wellness concepts would increasingly be incorporated into homeware.
In 2019, at the 34th HKTDC Hong Kong Houseware Fair and the 10th HKTDC Hong Kong International Home Textiles and Furnishings Fair, WGSN’s mindset trends specialist Charlie Clark explained the concept of “sensorial wellness.” This is an emerging trend whereby consumers place a high value on wellness, embracing not only their physical and mental health but also aspects of their lives at home.
The pandemic undoubtedly fueled this shift. Ray Veras, CEO at PJdaren, a service provider that connects brands with a community of over 4 million Chinese KOLs, explains that younger consumers are seeking solace from societal pressures and the lasting impacts of Covid-19 lockdowns, and are determined to transform their living spaces into comfortable and expressive sanctuaries.
Mordor Intelligence Research & Advisory projects that China's furniture market will grow from 725 billion RMB ($100 billion) in 2023 to 1 trillion RMB ($139 billion) by 2028, at a CAGR of 6.78 percent during the forecast period (2023-2028).
According to a 2022 Statista survey, 21 percent of Chinese respondents are willing to buy luxury household appliances, and 14 percent are willing to invest in luxury furniture. Notably, luxury tableware sets from Hermès and Dior, as well as home fragrances from Byredo and Diptyque, are popular categories in the mainland market.
In the wellness homeware sphere, influencers play a substantial role in guiding consumer behavior. “By sharing their personal experiences with wellness-centric products and homeware, influencers underscore the benefits of adopting healthier lifestyles. In the present context, a growing number of influencers prominently feature sustainable and high-end homeware products in their digital content, inspiring their followers to cultivate harmonious living spaces that foster holistic wellness,” says Veras.
Here, Jing Daily presents the mega homeware-wellness KOLs acting as trend catalysts, shaping consumer perceptions and influencing purchase decisions. Inclusion is based on follower growth on Chinese social media platforms from March 27 to June 28, 2023.
Living in Hubei in her self-designed 70-square-meter home, homeware KOL Yours Cutie records immersive videos (an evolution of ASMR, or autonomous sensory meridian response, videos) of herself at home.
Upon returning home, the blogger places her keys on a golden plate at the entrance and her accessories on a gold cactus ring holder. She then uses an auto-sensing soap foam-forming machine to wash her hands before changing into Lolita-style pajamas and turning on a vintage radio-inspired speaker to play her favorite songs.
She prepares dinner using cute yet high-tech utensils, and within a few minutes, she has a delicious meal along with a cup of homemade juice ready to be consumed. The day concludes with the blogger engaging in some exercises with a fitness mirror, enjoying a relaxing bath, and watching a film until she falls asleep. These highly soothing, slow-paced videos provide viewers with a glimpse into the KOL’s sophisticated life and have become immensely popular in China.
The B&O Beosound A9 is not only a modern design icon, but it is also the favorite speaker of Steve Jobs. Despite its prohibitive price of $3,999 (29,000 RMB), it remains on the wishlist of many young Chinese people. However, a young DIY home furniture blogger named Everyone's Nest, based in Sichuan, has managed to replicate this luxury speaker using just two pans purchased from a supermarket, along with electrical wires and other easily accessible utensils. Remarkably, the DIY version works perfectly. The video demonstrating the process of creating the speaker has garnered over 2.5 million likes, earning praise from many users.
Apart from his success with the DIY speaker, Everyone's Nest’s other videos on step-by-step house painting, creating futuristic sensorial furniture, and installing electric curtains are also popular on short-video platforms. These videos serve as excellent tutorials for users interested in crafting their own furniture to enhance their home interiors.
Mrs. Crab is a young mother with a daughter who actively shares furniture, accessories, and decor tips on Weibo to enhance people's home lives. Particularly for those working remotely, she believes in creating a distinguished and comfortable workspace within the home, separate from daily living areas, as this greatly contributes to work efficiency and work-life balance.
On Weibo, Mrs. Crab showcases various small yet aesthetically pleasing objects, such as glassware, vases, and plants, which contribute to the overall happiness of spending time at home. She has a preference for wood furniture, and her house is adorned with numerous plants, creating a refreshing ambiance. According to PJdaren's Veras, content that addresses the intricacies and challenges of modern Chinese society while promoting a healthier and balanced lifestyle tends to resonate strongly with audiences.
Tomato Month has become China's equivalent of Japan’s Marie Kondo, known for her expertise in organizing and decluttering spaces. Her content covers a wide range of topics, from conserving and organizing food in the fridge and kitchen to the proper placement of softener and detergent in washing machines, as well as tips on cleaning rice cookers and tackling the nooks and crannies of bathrooms. She provides detailed, step-by-step explanations and recommends the necessary products for each task.
This type of content has gained immense popularity among white-collar workers and students who live independently in small apartments, as they wish to maximize storage space while maintaining a tidy environment. The blogger’s videos are especially helpful for viewers seeking smart storage solutions that are multifunctional, movable, and layered, as these innovations can significantly expand a cupboard's storage capacity.
Feifei, a young retired hostess, decided to leave behind the hustle and bustle of mega cities after retiring. She now spends her time in a serene European-style countryside house, accompanied by her friend Wang Dali. A beautiful, spacious garden is visible from the plush velvet sofa in her living room, where she often enjoys stove-boiled tea.
Feifei's garden serves as her personal farm, providing her with fresh ingredients daily. She handpicks rosemary, tomatoes, and watermelons directly from it, using them to prepare healthy and delicious dinners and drinks.
Despite the peaceful and rustic setting, Feifei's kitchen is equipped with modern conveniences, including the latest dishwasher, popcorn cooker, and tea boiler. This allows her to escape the city's noise without compromising on her quality of life or dealing with unnecessary housework — a young person’s dream.
Content that emphasizes reconnecting with nature, managing stress, and distancing oneself from hyper-competitive communal spaces tends to generate significant engagement across various social media platforms and formats, says Veras. Feifei's videos showcase how young people are embracing this lifestyle, seeking a balanced and fulfilling existence in the tranquility of nature.
Meet Shelley, an introverted and laidback girl who shares her delightful and highly practical home appliance discoveries with the Xiaohongshu community, all the while living with her beloved teddy dog. Her videos cater to young people like her, who relish spending time alone at home but may find tidying up a bit of a challenge.
One of her most popular video series is titled Good Products For Lazy People, where she showcases five to 10 items that resonate with young individuals. Through these videos, viewers can discover innovative gadgets, such as a compact underwear washing machine, an auto-mixing cup for instant coffee or soy milk, and a nifty window cleaning robot. Moreover, she doesn't forget about her fellow pet lovers and shares numerous pet-friendly products to make life more convenient for them, too.
In China, the wellness industry is currently valued at $683 billion. Brands can tap the growing demand by leveraging influencers to showcase their products’ wellness features and enhance their appeal.
“Marketing efforts should emphasize self-care, relaxation, and disconnection from societal pressures. Brands could also curate immersive offline experiences that foster holistic wellness and are in sync with quality living trends,” says Veras.