Selling in the beauty category on Amazon is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, your products get in front of millions of customers, and on the other hand, your products have to compete with hundreds and thousands of other products. Almost all the name-beauty brands have already joined Amazon, which is why it can be increasingly difficult for a new brand to get its fair share of the market. In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about Amazon Beauty, the competitive landscape, the categories and valuable tips from our Amazon Beauty Consultants.
Table of contents
- Amazon Beauty – everything you need to know
- Top 10 tips to survive & thrive in the Amazon beauty category
Amazon Beauty – everything you need to know
In the summer of 2017, Amazon made the beauty category ungated for the first time in history. Before that, brands needed to go through a tedious approval process in order to list their products in the beauty category. The retail giant also introduced three new subcategories that can be accessed with a specific approval process: Luxury Beauty, Professional Beauty, and Indie Beauty. So, although Amazon seems to have opened up a beauty category for every seller, in reality, they have created an exclusive club where all the real selling happens. Selling outside this club means your brand will have a hard time gaining exposure, traffic and sales. Most of the name beauty brands fall into these coveted, invite-only subcategories, leaving the other seller on their own. Before we discover how can a brand outside this circle gain more exposure, let us first discuss each of these categories.
1) Amazon Premium Beauty
As per Amazon, Premium (Luxury) Beauty offers a “curated collection of the world’s most sought-after luxury brands.” This category includes brands such as unmistakable La Roche Posay and Haus Laboratories (Lady Gaga), along with some lesser known brands. Amazon doesn’t reveal what it takes how a brand can make its way to the Premium Beauty category, so until then, let’s keep on guessing.
2) Amazon Professional Beauty
Quoting Amazon, “Professional Beauty contains a curated selection of high-quality products that can be found in professional settings such as spas, salons and dermatologist offices.” This category contains all the items a professional might need to care for their customers’ hair, skin, and nails. Professional Beauty is further divided into two categories: Professional Skin Care and Salon & Spa.
3) Indie Beauty
Indie Beauty was launched in 2018 and is the newest of the three subcategories. It includes cosmetic and skincare brand which are not directly sold at mass retailers such as Target, Walmart or Ulta Beauty. Brands can be eligible for Indie Beauty store if they are at least 50% owned by an independent operator and not carried on by any major retailers. Amazon also states that brands need to have an active storefront, and all the products should be Prime eligible.
Top 10 tips to survive & thrive in the Amazon beauty category
So now, as we know the laydowns of the beauty subcategories, let’s talk about how you can make your way from the ungated to one of the exclusive clubs. Amazon wants to promote brands that are already getting attention and selling well in their retail environment or ungated category. The retail giant isn’t even interested in brands that are not recognized. If you are already selling in the Amazon Retail Beauty category and want to get noticed, here are a few tips to help you out:
#1: Do what Amazon does
Today, Amazon ranks alongside Walmart as a top destination for shopping for beauty products. With its super-fast 2-day shipping policy, competitive pricing and the widest selection of products, Amazon is snapping up the market share in the beauty industry. In short, customers come to Amazon because they have a pleasant experience. Do the same with your shoppers. Read the reviews and find what upsets them. Keeping that in mind, fix your product, the detail page, price, shipping or the images. In addition, conduct surveys with your existing customer and find what they have to say about your products, what are the top 3 reasons why they love your product & what are the top three reasons why they don’t. If you can solve these pain points and improve the shopping experience of your customers, then nothing can stop you from becoming a successful beauty seller on Amazon.
#2: Who says men don’t care for beauty products?
It might surprise you, but men buy beauty sellers more frequently than women. Obviously, they don’t go in the market to purchase highlighter and stuff, but they do care for their grooming. In recent years, the stereotypical notion that men shouldn’t be using skincare products has been receding. In fact, some studies estimate that the men’s personal care industry is predicted to hit $166 billion by 2022 and the market for men’s grooming will grow 8.9% through the year 2025. Men are exploring skincare products, products that can help groom their beard and hair, as well as cosmetic products.
#3: Woo Gen Z Shoppers
Where do Gen Z shoppers spend their most time in? Right – social media. They are mobile natives & social media greatly influence their lives. About 45% of the Gen Z’ers say that their purchases have been influenced by digital and social media influencers. So why not leverage social media to increase your customer base. Hire a beauty or fashion influencer and get them to advertise your product to increase reach.
#4: Build a brand
To say that the beauty industry has a little bit of competition would be an understatement. There is a pool of products, and it becomes difficult for the sellers to differentiate their product from the next. One of the best ways to stand out is by building a brand. When shoppers trust you as a brand, it would be easy to survive and thrive, no matter how cutthroat the competition gets. Although it takes time, effort, and investment to build a brand, the perks make it all worth it. Besides, Amazon offers several tools solely focused to build and promote your brand on the platform. And the best part is that they are free. Be it Enhanced Brand Content (A+ Pages) or Storefronts, all the sellers who have brand registry can leverage them to tell their unique story and showcase their ethics to the customers.
#5: Bring outside traffic
You do realize that if you have just listed the product, the chances of your product ranking on the first page is practically zero. So how are you supposed to get your products in front of shoppers? The best way to do this is by driving off Amazon traffic to your detail page. This supplementary traffic helps make you an impression before any extra noise comes in. As you get momentum in sales, your organic rank will increase and eventually, you’ll also rank with the big boys right on page #1.
#6: Know your target audience
Are you selling organic and all-natural products or a niche product for a specific skin type? Understand your target audience and work to bring them to your detail page. Once you identify your target audience, it would be easier to build a customer base. Your advertising campaigns, detail pages, images, everything should be targeted to woo your niche audience only. This will eliminate the shoppers who simply don’t value and aren’t interested in what you have to offer.
#7: Make prettier packaging
Your product packaging is synonymous with your brand. A beautiful and pretty packaging conveys a positive image about the contents. Make sure you look like those in Luxury Beauty stores and speak to those who are buying it. Don’t forget to follow Amazon’s packaging and shipping requirements, or else you will have a hard time getting the product shipped to the customers.
#8: Get more reviews
And when you think you have enough, get more. Reviews are the social proof that plays a critical role in increasing your conversion rates. In fact, without reviews, your PPC campaigns won’t even work because no matter how much traffic you bring to your detail page, it won’t convert if your listing doesn’t have enough five-star reviews. There are several white hat tricks to get more reviews on Amazon, including enrolling in Amazon Vine or Early Reviewer programs, utilizing product inserts and using 3rd party automated email responders. That’s not it. You should also reply to negative reviews responsibly so as to reduce their impact.
#9: Dress up your listing
Keyword-rich titles, informative bullet points, story-telling description, enticing images and branded A+ Content – your product listing needs to be at your best. Even if you are a relatively new brand, your listing detail pages should look like (and even better) than Amazon Luxury Beauty brands. The best way to do this is hiring Amazon Beauty Consultants from Aden Branding and letting them work their magic.
#10: Leverage Amazon Advertising
When you sell in the beauty category, using PPC isn’t optional. Advertising can help bring your product on the first page right beside the big-box brands. When done right, it can help you instantly increase your reach, visibility and traffic, which is extremely critical for your product, especially the newly launched products. Always remember that your advertising campaigns should have a snowball effect; gradually, it should lead to organic sales and brand awareness.