The health and beauty markets are an impactful force in retail. Those markets involve many product categories ranging from healthcare and nutritional supplements to cosmetics and creams. The sales level of the beauty market is second only to groceries, with the former accumulating over 500 billion dollars annually.
As for online retailers, of course, Amazon is the largest one when it comes to the beauty market. Over the last years, a large myriad of veteran sellers has entered the highly competitive beauty market on Amazon, which is somewhat surprising given the numerous challenges stemming from the nature of this business. This article will explore some of the challenges, provide potential solutions, and give you an example of a successful beauty brand launch.
Top-5 challenges for beauty brands on Amazon
If there’s one thing buyers of beauty products are overly diligent about, that is how genuine the product they’re buying is. Should they become fearful of the lack of the above, they will send you many complaints and write negative reviews. That achieves a cumulative effect to the point when you may start receiving warnings from Amazon or, in the worst-case scenario, even get a suspension, despite your products being genuine.
Firstly, ensure your listing fully corresponds to the product you’re shipping to the buyer. Secondly, be diligent about what changes a brand owner makes to their products and modify your listings accordingly. It may be difficult, especially when you have thousands of listings, but it has to be done. Thirdly, respond to complaints promptly. Waging a petty war over a 15-30$ sale isn’t worth doing. Some customers are just not to be trifled with.
You may also receive counterfeit claims from other beauty brands if they think your products aren’t genuine for some reason or don’t approve of you as a seller. Receiving one or two of those is fine, more of a twisted norm even. Amazon will ask you to provide proof of the authenticity of your products. Invoices from suppliers or a contract with them will usually be enough. In this regard, having a solid relationship with the supplier is crucial. They are to be trustworthy since if they provide counterfeit products, you are also subject to blame for not being alert enough. Ignorance is no excuse. We will cover the topic of choosing the suppliers in the next paragraph.
Finding reliable suppliers
As most beauty sellers tend to be resellers, building a strong and healthy relationship with your suppliers is of utmost priority. Beauty brands on Amazon value their reputation and customers greatly. Therefore, don’t expect the deal to be easy.
“Soft skills”, i.e., marketing and negotiation, will definitely come in handy. When approaching a beauty brand, be friendly and open. Your main goal is to convince the brand representatives that you will be a good ambassador for their product. Sellers who visit the brand’s offices with refined presentations showing off their track record as a seller and citing their experience with other brands tend to be the most successful in their quest to obtain the beauty brand owner’s approval.
Category gating for beauty brands on Amazon
Amazon gates many subcategories of the beauty market; as such, you have to acquire permission from Amazon if you wish to sell these products. Luckily, about three invoices and a filled special form provided by Amazon shall suffice. However, for experienced Amazon sellers, that is but a formality. Amazon just takes safety precautions with regard to the quality of products you are selling.
Handling the sales
Beauty products aren’t the easiest ones to handle. But, quite the opposite, they have some unique challenges to them. For example, they are often liquids, creams, gels and other non-solids. As a result, some spoil after a certain time on the shelf, while others depend heavily on temperature and humidity. Each and every product requires special care when it comes to handling it.
Some issues may come up on the fly. Be sure to jump on them asap(e.g., right after a complaint). More likely than not, those aren’t one-off issues and, unless handled immediately, will cause damage to your reputation as a seller. Managing your customers’ expectations is also important. Should a product be a bit weird after extended storage, but isn’t spoiled yet, let your customer know about it.
Be diligent about how you store your products. Many of them require specific temperatures or humidity to retain their useful properties. Even sellers using FBA can’t be safe. Ensure your products are stored correctly. Once again, ignorance is no excuse.
The last tip we’re giving you is that you should sell your products more quickly. There are two reasons for that. The first one is expiration dates: they tend to be shorter for beauty products, so selling them quickly eliminates the need to dispose of them. The second reason is innovation. Brands are constantly improving their formulas; thus, your stock can quickly become outdated. Nobody wants to sit on large quantities of an older, inferior product. Even though you might want to sell your product for a higher price, we recommend you adjust the prices to avoid the unnecessary risk of not selling all your stock due to its obsolescence.
Advertising beauty products on Amazon
The Beauty and Personal Care niche is very competitive, as is obviously evidenced by the large number of companies that choose to market their products in this category. Here’s where it can get hard to actually make your product stand out.
Many shoppers are loyal to specific brands of Beauty and Personal Care products and may be unwilling to try a new brand. Most of the best-selling products sold in this category are well-established brands that can be found at most supermarkets and drugstores.
On top of that, shoppers who don’t already have a brand they shop with frequently have to spend a long time trying to decide between the options, which might also affect the conversion rate.
However, while challenging, it’s not impossible to achieve great results. Running a properly set up Amazon PPC campaign is a great way to win back customers from big brands and direct them to a smaller, more unique business.
Launching and promoting a beauty brand on Amazon
Now that you are familiar with the challenges faced by sellers of beauty products, let’s tackle the last issue: advertising. With Amazon, PPC advertising is not about getting tons of sales quickly. Instead, it is an investment in the future stability of your listings and reputation. Handling it manually can be done, but you are likely to be much more comfortable with using an Amazon PPC tool.
One of our customers selling beauty products started using our Zero to Hero tool on May 12, 2022, and the Automation tool on May 15, 2022. The results are mind-blowing.
Total sales have quadrupled since the middle of the month: from $3,736.00 to $13,338, with the ad sales showing an eightfold increase: from $1,367.00 to $9,526.00!
All of the above is only for approximately a thousand dollar increase in ad spend! Clicks have also skyrocketed, showing a 362% increase.
One simply cannot underestimate the importance of Amazon PPC in any seller’s life, let alone in the lives of those who chose such a competitive category.