Selling in the Beauty Category on Amazon

The beauty industry is a behemoth. This $160-billion-a-year industry should be taken note of by any retailer, so it’s no surprise that Amazon is aggressively pursuing beauty brands. Everyone is talking about it too. From Buzzfeed to Bloomberg and Instyle to Refinery 29, the beauty and business worlds are responding to Amazon’s push into the beauty market and taking a stab at predictions of what’s to come.

But how easy is it for a beauty brand to sell on Amazon? Products so deeply connected to image and experience must be difficult to sell online with stores like Sephora and MAC offering value added services, like in-store makeovers and free samples. And these retailers don’t seem to be suffering, regardless of Amazon’s push to overtake a large portion of this market, but with Amazon Prime and the customer service that comes with services such as Fulfilled by Amazon, this could be a great opportunity for brands big and small to grow their customer base.

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There is a huge amount of variety in this category, as you can tell from Amazon’s 15 best selling beauty products in 2017. The cosmetic, hair care and skin care items all come from different brands, some of which are relatively niche, but luxury, producers. 

Now there’s news on the horizon that Amazon is going after the very high-end brands that would normally be reserved for boutique windows in well visited shopping areas, but some of the most recognizable names in beauty are resisting Amazon’s pull. Giants such as L’oreal and Clinique are still avoiding the platform, despite rumored courting from the ecommerce entity.

While they wait for the giants to come around, Amazon is building out an impressive list of luxury beauty brands. So, how does a beauty brand looking to reach new audiences and new heights make themselves visible to Amazon’s wandering eye? We’ll share some of our thoughts on what it’s going to take.


Beauty Trends for 2018

This is an industry that is being driven by the wants and needs of consumers. Much of the growth is happening in online environments among small players. Crowdsourcing, eco-consciousness and cruelty free policies are front and center for many shoppers and brands in the coming year. Being that these trends were all started by smaller brands, this could be a good opportunity for new players in the industry to stand out by selling their forward-thinking beauty products on Amazon.

Shoppers and brands can also expect to see a shift in focus, leaning towards clay, charcoal and other natural elements in cosmetic products. As well as a transition from creams over to oils, which is, once again, considered the more natural and effective treatment. Natural beauty is here to stay.

What does this mean for beauty brands on Amazon? It means that the consumers are more educated than ever about what’s in their beauty products, so brands should care about what’s in theirs. It also means there are plenty of opportunities to be had for new brands to capture the attention of the market through a platform like Amazon Beauty, with high quality ingredients, an emphasis on natural, and company policies surrounding testing.



What’s next for Amazon Beauty brands?

Amazon has made the beauty category ungated for the first time. Previously, brands needed to go through an approval process before being able to list in the beauty category. So while this news makes it appear like it should be easier than ever for beauty brands to sell on Amazon, they also introduced two new sub-categories that are invite only: Luxury Beauty and Professional Beauty. Brands can’t apply for approval in these categories, so they’ve been made even more exclusive than the beauty category was when it was simply gated.

Beauty brands wanting to be successful on Amazon have quite a few hoops to jump through, but if you have a quality product that gains you rave reviews, we’re optimistic that you can win the beauty buy box!


Get the low-down

At Bobsled Marketing, we’ve worked with many brands in the beauty category. We are compiling our experience and insights into a new White Paper, so don't forget to sign up for our mailing list to receive your copy as son as it goes live.

This guide to selling in Amazon’s beauty category will give you tips on everything from how to properly label and package your product, to avoiding and dealing with hazmat flags. We’ll also dive into how you can optimize your listings and take advantage of advertising opportunities on Amazon.  

And if you are a beauty brand looking to grow your Amazon presence, contact us to learn how Bobsled can help protect your brand and scale your sales in this critical channel.