According to a NielsenIQ survey, beauty was a top-shopped category during the two-day sale extravaganza. Twenty-seven percent of those who bought consumer packaged goods bought skin care; 26 percent, vitamins and supplements; 24 percent, hair care, and 18 percent, cosmetics.
“Beauty was the number-one CPG category that was shopped during Prime Big Deal Day. What surprised me the most was seeing the merchandising. When you went to Amazon on Tuesday and Wednesday, there was only one feature banner on the homepage, and it was a beauty banner,” said Jacqueline Flam, senior vice president of U.S. retail, beauty and over-the-counter at NielsenIQ.
According to the company, bestselling creator favorites included Laneige’s Lip Sleeping Mask and CosRX’s Snail Mucin 96% Power Repairing Essence, among those respective brands’ year-round hero products.
“Prestige beauty for Amazon is really shining in replenishment categories, and those categories that require a bit more homework and also easier replenishment online. We were seeing skin care shine very bright on Prime Day,” Flam continued.
That was also the case for skin care brand BeautyStat, said founder and chief executive officer Ron Robinson.
“This is for replenishment,” Robinson said of BeautyStat’s business on Amazon. He did note, though, that Prime Day allowed consumers to access the brand if they had previously been priced out. “When this sale comes, there is some discovery, especially given what we did with influencer, social media and traditional press. All of that was a way to get new consumers into the brand.”
BeautyStat’s sales were up 196 percent versus last year’s event, as well as up 77 percent versus Prime Day in July.
“We know our consumer is looking for bargains this year, so we’re really focused on those moments where she is going to be looking for a promotion and then go very big on that,” Robinson said. “What we did differently was take a whole 360-degree approach to the event, from influencers, traditional press and social. We saw that lift the site [traffic].”
The second prong of the Amazon strategy, Robinson said, was to get shoppers hooked enough to sign up for Amazon’s subscription feature. “This is a great way to recruit folks. Once they try it, they love it and they’re hooked,” he said.
For supplements, though, it’s more discovery-driven.
“Lemme is a premium supplement brand so we rarely go on sale,” said Simon Huck, Kourtney Kardashian Barker’s business partner for Lemme. “This was an exciting opportunity for a lot of customers to try a lot of different products, and we did an Amazon Live on the first day of Prime Deal Day.”
Across three categories, Lemme nabbed bestselling status, Huck said. “Half of America is buying on Amazon Prime and it’s so ingrained in their shopping habits, specifically with vitamins and supplements,” he continued. “This is a place where they are naturally shopping and exploring new brands. It’s such an obvious destination for us to be.”
In hair care, Amika exceeded last year’s numbers just in the first day alone. “In July, we promoted our bestsellers. This time, we decided to use our mid-level sellers — those items ranked 11 through 20,” said Chelsea Riggs, global president of Amika.
“We had done that last fall, and saw some really interesting gains in some of the products long-term,” Riggs continued. “It really helped to build that demand and that repeat customer, so we wanted to see if we could do the same this year with products that have a lot of potential.”
Riggs noted that it usually takes a year or so for a new product to gain traction on Amazon. Amika’s Perk Up Plus Extended Clean Dry Shampoo sold 88 times the typical daily average, Riggs said, and they sold out of that stock keeping unit’s inventory on the second day of the sale.
By promoting easy trial products at friendly price points, such as shampoos, dry shampoos and conditioners, it’s also not cannibalizing the core of the brand’s business. “It’s something we’ve been trying to figure out ourselves. Who is this customer, and what’s the best kind of product to be promoting. At the end of the day, I don’t want to put the original Perk Up Dry Shampoo at 30 percent off for people who will buy it full-price anyways,” Riggs said.
“You want to give your customers different opportunities for value, but between our own website, Sephora and Amazon, there’s plenty of opportunities where you could never buy something full-price. We want to avoid that as much as possible,” she continued.
To that end, neither Amika nor BeautyStat is participating in Amazon’s Holiday Beauty Haul, which starts Oct. 23. As consumers look for more deals across channels, though, it’s a tough line to walk.
“Of Prime Day beauty shoppers, 28 percent of them are planning to or have already shopped the Ulta Gorgeous Hair sale,” Flam said. “The beauty buyer is well aware of competitive promotions and really looking this holiday season. Retailers are doing a strong job of getting brands to lean in on promotionality in beauty during this time of year. The appetite is there from the beauty buyer to shop various sales, and not stay exclusively in one channel or one retailer.”