Amazon plans October beauty sale to attract first-time holiday shoppers

Amazon employees load boxes of orders at the company’s fulfillment center ahead of Cyber ​​Monday in Tracy, California.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Amazon plans to hold a beauty event in October with the aim of attracting early vacation buyers and strengthening the company’s position in a growing category, according to documents reviewed by CNBC.

A slideshow sent by Amazon to some beauty brands said the company is currently planning the event from October 4 to 25. The same information has been sent to some consulting companies that help run businesses on Amazon.

“We want to attract customers to Amazon during Black Friday week, but also in the long term with additional marketing levers,” Amazon wrote in the slideshow. “This is a unique opportunity for the selected brands to reach both more buyers and new customers. “

Amazon spokesperson Catie Kroon confirmed the document’s authenticity. She told CNBC by email that next month’s event would be called “Holiday Beauty Haul,” and added that the site will feature a number of product types, including perfumes, men’s skincare and skin care in winter.

Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, has long been trying to gain a greater share of the global beauty market, which generates $ 500 billion in annual sales. The company started offering health and beauty products in 2000, but its selection was initially limited mainly to consumer brands.

The beauty market is now of particular interest as consumers have flocked to the web to purchase makeup and personal care items during the pandemic. Online makeup sales jumped 40% in 2020 from the previous year, while sales of ‘personal care’ items such as shampoos, face wash products and lotions soared 59 %, according to market research firm 1010data.

Amazon hopes to use the event to drive traffic to upcoming holiday promotions, said a consultant, who has had discussions with Amazon and requested to remain anonymous because the discussions were private. The company began contacting beauty brands and consulting firms in mid-August to assess attendance at the event, said Jed Rawson, CEO of e-commerce consulting firm Pilawna.

Despite being largely stuck indoors during the 2020 holiday season, Americans have spent a record amount of money on their devices, according to Adobe Analytics. Online shopping in the United States in November and December jumped 32.2% from the previous year to $ 188.2 billion, Adobe said

In recent years, Amazon has expanded its ‘premium beauty’ sub-category to include more premium products and launched an independent beauty store to showcase new and emerging brands. It has also deployed specialized sections in haircare and its own skin care brand.

Kroon said beauty is one of the fastest growing categories on Amazon and is “ripe for innovation” in product discovery and presentation. Amazon is “uniquely placed to reinvent” the online beauty shopping experience, she wrote.

The October event could also help Amazon better compete with retailers like Ulta Beauty and Sephora, owned by LVMH, said Elaine Kwon, who was previously responsible for suppliers in Amazon’s fashion category and now heads the consultancy firm. Kwontified. Department stores are increasingly losing share of the beauty market to Ulta, Sephora and direct-selling brands like Glossier and ColourPop.

Kwon said Amazon has tried to increase its market share by showcasing more top brands on its site and experimenting with features such as a “clean beauty” label, which harnesses trends around natural products and sustainable.

“Sephora and Ulta have been very successful in protecting their customers,” Kwon said. “It’s the way Amazon is trying to reach these customers and give them a great experience that makes them think, ‘Maybe I don’t need to go to Sephora for all of these things, maybe that I can go to Amazon for this or that. ‘”

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