How Beauty Brands Can Be Competitive…

How Beauty Brands Can Be Competitive on Amazon

As with other retail sectors, Amazon is quickly dominating the beauty industry. Total beauty sales only increased 2% in 2016, while Amazon Beauty sales shot up 47% last year. For both independent and established beauty brands, gaining even a slight edge on Amazon can be incredibly lucrative.

Measuring your own merchant analytics is important, but for those who truly want to master Amazon a more important question emerges: How are you doing competitively? Which similar products are converting better than yours? What else is your target audience seeking, comparing and buying on Amazon? Let’s dive into some examples excerpted from our Health & Beauty Industry report, with real data from brands like L’Oreal, Crest and Conair.

Maybelline vs. L’Oreal – Battle for Mascara Market Share

Driving more traffic to your Amazon product page is great for exposure, but it doesn’t always translate to more sales. For example, mascara is a popular product on Amazon (the 6th most-searched term in the Beauty category), but determining the most “successful” mascara brand is more complex than it first appears.

Maybelline and L’Oreal beauty brands compete closely for mascara market share on Amazon; if we look at product page engagement for each brand’s top-selling mascara, L’Oreal appears to come out ahead by pulling a higher volume of sessions. But digging deeper into purchase and comparison behavior reveals otherwise:

Source: Hitwise        

Amazon Flash Sales – Tracking Flux in Product Demand

On September 15th Amazon launched a special “buy one get one 30% off” sale for a wide selection of beauty brands and beauty products. Tracking popular searches in Amazon’s Health & Beauty category the day before, during, and after the sale reveals what types of products shoppers tend to seek out during a sale.

Slightly more expensive beauty products, like hair dryers and teeth whiteners shot up during the day of the sale, while more commonly purchased items like mascara were more popular on regular days.

Based on what we know above, let’s take a look at how merchants selling “big ticket” items can select the right products to promote on sale days (when they are most in demand).

Conair: An Obvious Choice

Conair’s choice is fairly obvious when it comes to selecting the right hair dryer to promote during the Amazon sale. As we see below, the “Vagabond” dryer pulls slightly fewer product page sessions than the “Soft Touch,” but it converts better. People who visit the “Vagabond” are also more likely to purchase without comparison shopping further, making it an ideal item to drive traffic to during a sale.

Crest: A Less Obvious Choice

Teeth whitening is also a great product to promote heavily during a sale, but it poses a more complex decision for a brand like Crest. Their “White Luxe” kit initially appears to be the winner, because it pulls more sessions and total sales. But their “Noticeably White Whitestrips” kit has a higher purchase rate and last view rate, suggesting this product may convert better if it gets more attention and traffic. Crest might promote both products equally to start, and then A/B test their conversion rate to determine where to focus their spend.

The lesson? Advanced Amazon analytics are crucial for merchants to get ahead. Amazon is a rising force in the beauty industry, and getting a peek behind the curtain is a key advantage. Merchants must measure not only how your products are performing, but their relative purchase rate in relation to competitors. Learn how Hitwise can help with that here.

This report was excerpted from our Health & Beauty Report, which you can download here.

Source: Page sessions and purchase data pulled using Hitwise’s Amazon Product Tracker (learn more about this offering here) during the month of June 2017. Internal Amazon search data pulled 30 days ending 9/30/17. Sale data pulled using internal Amazon site search on September 14th, 15th and 16th of 2017.