Gabby Barikian, Director of Marketing, Fortress Brand
Long before the COVID-19 pandemic, modern consumers were increasingly turning to e-commerce, shopping for everything from household items to luxury goods. More than a year and a half later, the e-commerce movement has skyrocketed and caused a shift in both consumer behavior and how brands bring their products and services to market.
For the beauty and wellness industries, what has been an upward trend for years in consumer passion for these sectors has only been catalyzed by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a McKinsey survey, 79% of participants believed wellness to be important to them, and 42% considered it to be a top priority. This movement shows no signs of stopping — it’s estimated that the global wellness market will eventually reach $1.5 trillion with an annual growth of 5-10% — a sign that health and wellness will continue to be a priority for consumers long into the future.
Perhaps the most dominant trend of all in the space is the evolution from an in-store experience to an online experience. This holds especially true with the rise of e-commerce and more specifically the growth of online marketplaces such as Walmart, Target, Kohl’s and the leading global marketplace, Amazon. At a time when customers are prioritizing self-care and predominantly shopping online, companies are able to provide unprecedented access to beauty, health and wellness solutions on online marketplaces. Where beauty brands once hesitated, they are no longer turning their noses up to the enormous customer bases online retailers can offer them. Instead, they are meeting customers where they are actually shopping, with Amazon being the top contender.
In 2020 alone, Amazon captured 32% of all beauty and personal care bought online with $23 billion in total sales, a 45% increase from 2019. It’s also reported that 63% of all consumers begin their searches on Amazon regardless of where they ultimately make a purchase, giving the retailer the advantage of capturing a majority of the market and meteorically rising as the biggest destination for beauty and personal care.
Combined, these factors are fueling huge opportunities for brands and online retailers. While Amazon can seem like an overly saturated ecosystem to navigate, the companies succeeding during this monumental shift are now adopting omnichannel strategies with online marketplaces like Amazon in mind in order to capture consumers where they might not have considered before.
Amazon is upping the ante for brands by expanding capabilities
What most brands have struggled with when considering an online marketplace like Amazon is the loss of brand control and the risk of cheapening their brand identity. To combat this hesitation, Amazon has responded by providing capabilities within its platform to give brands the tools they need to create the right branded experience on the marketplace, giving beauty and wellness companies the opportunity to uphold their brand reputation and expand their sales without diluting their aesthetic and identity.
Aside from the global reach, Amazon also opens up a breadth of merchandising and marketing opportunities for brands. Companies have the ability to create custom-branded storefronts that elevate brands’ online presence and educate customers about ranges of products. Brands can create landing pages, custom widgets, custom navigation and more to optimize a storefront’s user experience on Amazon. They can also create and upload branded content, categorize products and highlight seasonal deals and new products.
Newer features like Amazon Live and the Amazon Influencer Program also give brands the opportunity to explore new channels and grow their business through a network of trusted influencers and micro-influencers. As influencers become increasingly important in driving brand awareness, brands are realizing that leveraging these kinds of features will help drive traffic, increase engagement and create more sustainable growth. When a follower engages with an influencer’s content and visits their storefront, the likelihood of that customer converting is high as influencers maintain a high level of authenticity and trust with their followers.
With these enhanced offerings, it’s encouraging to see well-known brands embrace this omnichannel approach rather than show reluctance, including premium beauty brands such as Anastasia Beverly Hills, Stila, Sunday Riley and Philosophy. Even celebrity brands like JLo Beauty have included Amazon in their marketing strategy right from launch. It won’t be long before other brands get on board and launch their presence on the marketplace.
The drive of e-commerce and the influence of major online retailers like Amazon are unstoppable forces that continue to grow year over year. Because of this trending shift, customers are increasingly searching for beauty, health and wellness solutions on the Amazon marketplace; its marketing capabilities, inventory management and massive consumer reach only prove its dominance of the online retail space.
Brands may be thinking long-term in terms of growth, but so are online marketplaces — and it’s the brands that partner up with online retailers that are anticipating customer needs, influencing their shopping habits at every pivotal moment and truly reaping the advantages.