With beauty being a $160 billion-dollar industry, Amazon is now aggressively pushing this market online. The trend is spiking, and many private label sellers have decided to take advantage of this.
Changing trends in the skin care industry
Amazon has ungated the beauty category at last. Before, there was a whole approval process to get ungated for this category. They also created the Amazon Beauty platform, which means there is a lot more opportunity for niche brands. To ensure that their consumers will have access to the best quality products, they created two subcategories for this platform called Luxury Beauty and Professional Beauty. For these categories there is an application process.
Due to the vast amount of information on beauty on the internet, consumers are more educated than ever about what is trending in the beauty industry. The market is currently driven by an environmentally friendly and eco-conscious consumer, especially in the online consumer community. This is great news for private label sellers, since it makes it easier to differentiate your brand from the great behemoths you are competing with in the skin care industry.
Determine your goal
It is quite obvious why Amazon has ungated the beauty category. They want to push the market for private label sellers, while still offering well-known, exclusive brands that already have a huge following. Your goal is to get out of the ungated beauty category, and into either the Luxury Beauty or Professional Beauty category, both of which require approval. The way you get there is by showing the value, quality and sales volume of your product.
The Professional Beauty category is described by Amazon as a “selection of high-quality products that can be found in professional settings such as salons, spa’s and dermatology offices.” These will include professional make-up stores.
The Luxury Beauty category is slightly broader. Additional to popular brands such as Calvin Klein and Burberry, they have also added a curated list of top-quality brands that are not as well-known. That seems to be your gap and is the exclusive club you’re aiming to be a member of.
How to be successful with skin care online
Check trends and blogs for the latest news on skin care products. Another excellent way to define your market as well as your competitors is by using a software tool such as AmazeOwl or Jungle Scout to access data on your competitors’ sales volume, median price, reviews and more. This way you can analyze your market and also your strongest competitors to improve on their strategies.
Skin care products online have a unique challenge. You cannot provide the makeovers, free samples and the personalized experience of brick and mortar stores. Therefore, your branding and photos should stand out from your competitors. Remember that your brand should tell a story, one that your target market can connect with.
Packaging and design are important aspects of your branding. Creative and innovative packaging can personalize the unboxing experience for your customer, and the result will be a memorable product. Work with a professional designer when you reach that mark. Make sure to adhere to Amazon’s shipment packaging requirements, such as a double seal on any liquid or powder product. There are also specific FDA guidelines for cosmetics that you’ll need to make yourself familiar with. You have some options with shipping. You can either do FBM (Fulfilled by Merchant) or FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon). With FBA, you will have access to prime shipping and several other benefits.
Ensure that your product claims are accurate. If you’ve differentiated yourself enough to compete, your potential customers need to know exactly why they should choose your product. Consumers spend a lot of money on beauty products and are very particular about the quality of skin care products. This also means that a customer will not hesitate to leave a negative review. Your strategy should be to encourage and even incentivize positive reviews through your branding.
Optimize your listings on Amazon’s catalogue. Since visuals are often most important, make sure that you get a professional to take your product pictures, and that they adhere to Amazon’s requirements. Apart from that, you also need an excellent title, high-ranking and high-volume keywords so that your product shows up on the first page of searches. Use these keywords in your product descriptions and bullet points for SEO purposes.
To initially gain some momentum and have your products show up, you can use Amazon PPC (Pay Per Click) ads. This data will also tell you what keywords customers are searching for, so that you can then add those keywords to optimize your listing. Another trick is to use the keyword searches to find a product that customers are looking for, but no-one is selling. You can literally do product research while you’re making money. Now apply what you’ve learnt and build your beauty empire!