China in-store News
Evowera hopes to clean up in electric toothbrush market
An employee of Evowera (right) introduces the company's electric toothbrushes to a customer at a Sundan electronic appliances store in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, in July.
Guangdong brand looks to export to North America, faces tough competition
Shenzhen Evowera Technology Co Ltd, a personal consumer electronics brand that was founded in Shenzhen, Guangdong province in 2017, and mainly focuses on developing electric toothbrushes, is stepping up its overseas expansion.
Earlier this year, the company launched its electric toothbrushes on Amazon for sale in the United States and Canada, and sales of the products have been growing continuously in the past few months.
Besides Amazon, Evowera launched its products on some boutique e-commerce platforms in North America, and the company is considering expanding its presence through some traditional sales channels in the region.
In the earlier stage for a company to typically expand its sales overseas, it is important to build brand reputation through different platforms, Evowera said. Its founders are engineers who used to work at DJI, a leading drone manufacturer, and they have been skilled in developing the propulsion systems for consumer electronics equipment.
"North America is one of the largest consumption markets worldwide, and it's a key strategic market for Evowera. Next, we plan to make more efforts in marketing, and sales are expected to grow further," said Liu Yihan, chief executive officer of Shenzhen Evowera Technology.
"We have been promoting our products through major social media platforms overseas, and we were invited to participate in some official events for Amazon, and the effect is good. Local consumer feedback about the products is mostly positive, and this gives us the confidence to further increase our investment," Liu said.
With top electric toothbrush brands like Philips and Oral-B having already taken certain shares in the Western market, it remains a challenge for emerging brands to grab mature consumers in developed markets. Product differentiation and breakthroughs in research and development have been critical.
The flagship model of its electric toothbrush costs about $180 each, and the price is in the midrange compared with other global brands, Evowera said.
Meanwhile, Evowera received approval from Amazon to enter markets in Germany and the United Kingdom in April, and it has sold products in the two countries. It is preparing to expand sales through Amazon in France, hoping to debut in that market in a few months.
Compared with some mature markets, the penetration rate of consumers using electric toothbrushes in China is still relatively low, and the figure came in at 8 percent. In South Korea, the penetration rate reached nearly 82 percent, the highest in Asia, and it is followed by 30 percent in Japan. In the US, it is 76 percent, and in Europe, around 40 percent to 60 percent, according to LeadLeo Research Institute, a market research provider.
"Good electric toothbrushes usually have low noise and the comfortable feeling of vibration to clean teeth. Compared with domestic brands, the technological advantages of foreign brands are not significantly outstanding," said Tong Wenhao, an analyst at Lead-Leo Research Institute.
"The manufacturing bases of both domestic and foreign brands are centered in Guangdong and Zhejiang provinces, and there is little difference in the performance of different products. Young consumers have shown an increasingly higher awareness of maintaining dental health, and electric toothbrushes boast a remarkable growth potential in China and the rest of the world," Tong said.
Evowera said it has developed technologies that focus on superimposed brush oscillation besides just simple left and right vibration, and such a design helps raise the cleaning efficiency of toothbrushes.
Moreover, with a strapdown inertial navigation system, consumers will be able to get reminders on the screen of the electric toothbrush about the area of their mouth that they did not take care of after brushing their teeth.
Domestically, sales of Evowera's electric toothbrushes on major e-commerce platforms such as Tmall and JD have been booming. In the first quarter of this year, total sales online surged about 12 times year-on-year, and sales of consumables like toothbrush heads have been growing steadily, the company said.
Evowera also cooperates with Lane Crawford, a luxury department store, and Sundan, a major electronic appliances store, to sell its products through brick-and-mortar stores in more than 40 cities nationwide.
"Despite the COVID-19 pandemic having a certain impact on offline sales, it won't stop us from developing offline sales channels and we plan to cooperate with more chain stores. We will continue to increase our investment in China and promote professional knowledge about dental health to more consumers," Liu said.
With its general assembly line located in the boundary between Shenzhen and Dongguan in Guangdong province, the plant will continue to raise its automation rate. The company said it cooperates with more than 200 long-term suppliers.
In the past few years, more domestic retailers such as Usmile, Xiaomi Corp and Soocas joined the electric toothbrush market, and their market shares have been growing. In the next few years, more competitors are expected to join the dynamic market and attract more funds from investors, LeadLeo said.