Webinar

How Beauty Brands are Adapting Their Amazon eComm Strategy

Wednesday, June 10, 2020
@
-

Rina Yashayeva

VP Marketplace Strategy
Stella Rising
Stella Rising

Webinar

How Beauty Brands are Adapting Their Amazon eComm Strategy

Thursdays
June 10, 2020
@
-

Rina Yashayeva

VP Marketplace Strategy
Stella Rising
Stella Rising

Webinar

How Beauty Brands are Adapting Their Amazon eComm Strategy

Date:

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Time:

-

Register Here.

Webinar

How Beauty Brands are Adapting Their Amazon eComm Strategy

Date:

Thursdays

June 10, 2020

Time:

-

Register Here.

Keep your beauty brand strategy fresh with Amazon Advertising

Date Recorded:

June 10, 2020

Recorded Webinar:

How Beauty Brands are Adapting Their Amazon eComm Strategy

Rina Yashayeva
VP Marketplace Strategy
Stella Rising
Stella Rising

If you missed this webinar, check back soon to view a recording.

Summary

eCommerce trends in the Beauty category are changing—is your Amazon Advertising strategy keeping up? This webinar breaks down current trends so you can optimize your Amazon eComm strategy today, and explores future developments for Amazon, advertising, and the beauty market to give your brand a window into tomorrow.

Key Takeaways

  • Buyers start with Amazon: Amazon is the #1 spot for beauty product research online, and a growing first stop for research across categories. 
  • Amazon is a top beauty seller: Roughly 75% of online beauty product shoppers have purchased beauty products from Amazon. 
  • DIY beauty is surging: Home beauty sales have been pedal-to-the-metal throughout the pandemic. But while sales of daily essentials rose in 2020, luxury product sales fell.
  • Online engagement is key: The beauty category historically relied on in-store engagement; today, compelling educational online content is essential.
  • Don’t forget to play defense: Bid on brand terms—even when your brand is ranking high—to maintain your spot and cross-promote products.

Related Resources

View All Webinars

Transcript

Melissa
Good time to get started, one minute past the hour, nine o’clock in Seattle, noon in New York City where Rina is. Thanks, everyone, for joining. I’m Melissa Burdick, President and Co-Founder of Pacvue. I’m here with Rina Yashayeva.

Rina
Yashayeva, almost. 

Melissa
Almost. Okay, I’m the worst. I usually just know people by their first names anyway, so that’s how we’re going to play again. 

Rina
Totally fine. 

Melissa
She is the Vice President of Marketplace Strategy at Stella Rising. For those of you who don’t know Pacvue, we’re an enterprise plaform for brands, sellers, and agencies to help them with eCommerce advertising across Amazon, Walmart, and now Instacart. Stella Rising is one of our partners, and Rina and I have something in common, which is that we both worked at Amazon for a while in the beauty category. I’m really happy to have Rina here today. She’s going to tell us a little bit about Stella, and then what her favorite Pacvue feature is that she likes to use. And we’ll get started with our beauty webinar today. Rina, take it away. 

Rina
Awesome, thank you so much Melissa, and thank you so much to Pacvue for having me today this morning. I’m thrilled to join to talk about beauty brands and Amazon trends. As Melissa mentioned, just a brief introduction as to myself, I lead marketplace strategy at Stella Rising focusing on growing beauty brands on Amazon. Similar to Melissa, my background is at Amazon. We were there at different times. I started off in Seattle where Melissa is, moved back to New York. I’m a die-hard New Yorker. I’ve spent most of my time in the beauty category managing some of the larger vendors, such as L’Oreal, and eventually moving over to launching dozens of new beauty brands. Took that experience over, brought it over to Stella Rising. So a little bit about who we are as an agency. We’re an award-winning marketing and media agency. One award we’re super proud of, we have a few on the left-hand side, is a Glossy award for brand/agency collaboration for a beauty brand. Beauty really is our core, it’s how we got started as an agency, and it is a majority of the business that we still hold today. We won last year, and we’re back for a nomination this year, so fingers crossed there. 

Some highlights of what we do. We focus on insights-based communication strategies, which leads into our full media services. This includes everything from paid social, SEM, SEO, and then of course, I’m here to talk about Amazon. We offer full Amazon services end-to-end. We optimize, advertise, and manage your business on Amazon. We also have an intelligence consulting practice. We support the buy and sell side in financial consulting. And lastly, one of the more unique features and one of my favorites of the agency is our research community. We have a proprietary research community called Glimmer. There are thirty thousand women who are just your everyday beauty lovers like you and me, and we talk to them all the time, every week to get their first-party insights to learn more about how they shop, what are they buying, where are they buying it. A lot of what we’ll be discussing today actually is research from that community. Super thrilled to be speaking specifically about beauty because that is really what we were based on, so let’s get started. 

Melissa
What’s your most loved feature of Pacvue, Rina? 

Rina
Just one? We use Pacvue for several things. One of the main ones is the bid optimization for advertising campaigns, and that can be an entirely separate webinar. That’s one of the main things we use Pacvue for. But my personal favorite feature is the Brand Audit. Internally we like to call this the report card, and I actually think that’s exactly what it is. You run this for a brand, so you put in the number of ASINs and it spits out a report card by number, zero to one hundred. One hundred percent, you’re an A-plus student. Eighty percent, you’re a B-plus student, so on and so forth. This takes into account a number of things. It takes into account your content, so that’s your images, your bullet points, your number of reviews, you’re a-plus content, and your character count. And I do think it’s a powerful overview because it’s one thing to come to a brand and say you’re not optimized, you should be doing more of this. Not everybody has that understanding. But to come to a brand and say you have a forty-five percent rating on Amazon, everybody understands what that means. 

What I have here is an example. This is a beauty brand that we engaged with on Amazon for some time, one of our current clients. They’ve been on Amazon for a while, but they just never optimized their business, whether it was a bandwidth issue, they weren’t prioritizing it. To show them that they needed help, we pulled the audit. As you can see, the one on top was original. Before we started engaging with them, they had a score of thirty-eight point five percent. This was driven down by their content, which was twenty-four percent. You can see that they had poor reviews, only had three point two stars, only three bullet points, and their copy was just not optimized. They were below the bullet points; they were below the average character count across the board. Taking this information is how we were able to work with the CMO and have them understand that they really did have a long way to go to optimize their business. From there, we prioritized their ASINs. We started working in groups of ten. We eventually optimized their entire catalog. We helped generate their reviews, built out their A-plus content, added more images. Thrilled to see that now we’re at a ninety-nine point nine percent. It took a while to get there, and we did it in phases. What this brand loved is that as soon as they presented this, they wanted check ins. Every time we would do a little bit of work, they would ask us for the next results and the next results. I would say certainly one of my favorite features. It definitely gives you a grade before and after when we began engaging with a brand so they could see just how much opportunity there is on Amazon. 

Melissa
It’s really, I think the important takeaway too, use Pacvue, use a different tool, but having some way to quantify and give people results is really a great way to speak to especially executives at a company, to be able to measure those results. That’s a great example, thanks so much for that. We promise, we’re really going to talk about beauty now. 

Rina
Awesome. We’d love to start with some trends in the beauty category, then go into optimizations for digital, kind of talk about what’s going on in the market with COVID-19 right now. Chat about some new platforms and technologies, and end with Q&A. You guys have the chat box, please feel free to add in any of your questions in the chat box and we’ll get to as many as we can when we get to them. 

I’d love to start off with some research. I gave you a brief overview of Glimmer. This is our research community. As I mentioned, we do a good amount of research with them, about where they’re shopping, how they’re shopping. This is actually one of my favorites. We asked our beauty community, before she even buys, where does she go to research for beauty products for the very first time? We got an interesting answer. The answer was Amazon. Sometimes people don’t necessarily think of Amazon as a place to research. We know that Amazon is a search heavy site. We don’t necessarily think of Amazon as a browse site. But the truth is, she is going to Amazon just to discover products for the first time. Despite the fact that she still shops before she goes to her specialty beauty retailer, Amazon is still a core element in her total path to purchase experience. Fifty-eight percent go to Amazon for the first time just to research, followed by D2C, followed by the brand website, and then the store website, and the social media after that. 

So let’s take a look at the next slide. After she does her research, where does she actually completing her purchase? Three-fourths of our audience said that they’re shopping on Amazon for beauty, surpassing all of the other retailers. This is then followed by Sephora and Ulta, and then you have Walmart and Target. Not surprisingly, DTC, or the brand website, comes in last at forty-one percent. Realistically, she can be discovering at Sephora or Ulta for the first time and then buying on Amazon, or she could be reading reviews while she does go to the store and buy in store. I do this all the time. If I’m in a Sephora, I’ll just read the reviews and still buy it in store, but you’re using Amazon for that research aspect. Really understanding that the consumer is omnichannel. She’s everywhere at all times. The majority of where she’s shopping is Amazon. 

And here’s why: convenience, variety, and price. These are the top three reasons as to why she’s turning to Amazon. She could shop there at night, have the full variety, there’s two million brands on Amazon. She has selection, as we call it at Amazon. And then of course the shipping part. She appreciates the fast shipping, the free shipping, especially if she’s a Prime consumer. And then lastly, she loves that she can cross shop. Thirty-one percent of consumers say that they can shop for other things as well, and this just proves even more crucial now during COVID, where she’s really turning to Amazon to fill her cart for everything at the same time. 

Speaking of COVID, in the past few months: as I mentioned, our community is highly engaged, so we’re talking to them all the time. When COVID-19 hit about three months ago, one of the first things we did is we turned to Glimmer, we turned to our community, and we asked them how they’re feeling and what they’re doing. Are they shopping? Are they not shopping? We found that eighty percent of the audience agreed that to some extend they were shopping for products online more often now. That makes sense because brick and mortar stores were closing across the country, so they really had no other choice but to go to eCommerce. We dug deeper, and we asked: where? Twenty-three percent were choosing Amazon for their beauty needs. Seventeen, Sephora.com. Eleven, Ulta.com. This is interesting because her behavior remained consistent and loyal to Amazon. The research we talked about previously was pre-COVID; now this is during COVID. She’s going to Amazon even for beauty, and realistically, this is where she’s getting her essentials, her face masks, her groceries. She’s prioritizing that, but then of course, she can get her beauty there as well. I don’t think you and I are any exception there. A few days ago I actually decided to count how many orders I had placed since I started in quarantine three months ago. Melissa, do you want to take a guess at just how many items I bought on Amazon just since we’ve been in quarantine for the past three months? 

Melissa
I would say eight. 

Rina
So close. Ninety. Is that normal? Definitely a good amount of beauty in there, but ninety purchases just on Amazon alone in the past three months. I guess we’re a little biased there. 

All of this goes to show that Amazon is one of the places that she’s going, but eCommerce as a whole is blooming in beauty, even during the global pandemic. Looking at some of the numbers, health, personal care, and beauty projections in 2020, seventy-two billion, up thirty-two percent year-over-year. This is the second fastest growing category after food and beverage. Beauty accounts for ten percent of all eCommerce sales. Looking at our portfolio specifically at Stella Rising, as I mentioned, a majority of our business is beauty, our beauty revenue is actually up fifty-one percent versus the prior period, pre-COVID, and up thirty-five percent year-over-year. This is being driven by our skincare brands, our self-care brands. Self-care and wellness are really growing in beauty right now, while consumers are focusing on themselves during this time. The chart that we have on the right is from eMarketer, a poll that was taken pretty on, in March when this was all just starting. It said that consumers are sixty-five percent more likely to purchase cosmetics and personal care digitally during the pandemic. This was actually higher than food and beverage, which I thought was fascinating. This just goes to show that food and beverage is not necessarily something that you are comfortable with shopping online. Now we’ve all had to because we have no choice, but beauty came in first here. 

Now let’s look at all of these same exact metrics, but for Amazon. Amazon 2020 projections for the year: twenty-three billion, this is post COVID, up forty-five percent to last year. Similar to total eCommerce, beauty is the second fastest growing category, so once again, after food and beverage. We know that grocery is number one on Amazon, growing exponentially, sixty-two percent, and beauty is right behind them at number two. I spoke to Amazon in mid-April, and they mentioned that in February, the entire beauty business was up thirty percent to last year. That’s pretty normal because thirty to thirty-five is standard growth for them year-over-year. But then by April, they were up sixty percent to last year. Of course, this was skewed towards things like hand sanitizer that fell into the beauty category, but it still captures some of the other products that we’ll talk about. I think what’s truly crucial to note is that thirty-two percent of all retail eCommerce beauty sales happen on Amazon. One third of every beauty item that’s purchased online is bought on Amazon. I think that’s absolutely crucial to understand because if you’re not there, you’re just missing out on a huge chunk of the opportunity. Once again, looking at our portfolio, our Amazon beauty client portfolio, we know that in the beginning, there were definitely challenges. Once COVID hit, Amazon prioritized space in its warehouses. It started making room for essential items, such as hand sanitizers and facemasks, and therefore vendors received smaller PO’s, some stopped receiving them altogether. And sellers had restrictions. Some could send, some couldn’t. For the brands that were deemed essential, their business was up, they were doing great, but for the rest of us in beauty, there were challenges. March week four was really the lowest point. Sales really began to decline March week one. You have the chart right here on the right side, and the lowest point, revenue dropped thirty-eight percent. People were driven by panic buying, prioritizing their essential items. Starting from March week four, we really began to see things pick up. We’ve really seen a steady incline since then, and right now, revenue is actually up fifty percent to pre-COVID. It’s very much inline with our total eCommerce business, and our brands are very hopeful for the future. I feel like we’re definitely over that hump, but now that inventory is back, shipping times are back, shipping was sometimes late two weeks, sometimes even three weeks for the items that were not deemed essential, and now they’re back on the incline. 

What exactly was she buying all these months while she’s at home? Getting into the actual beauty trends for the past several months, we know that salons and spas were closed due to COVID-19, so consumer behavior shifted towards DIY. All those services that she couldn’t get in salons, she was doing it herself. People learned how to cut their own hair. I cannot even imagine, but this is what people were doing. Hair clippers were the top search term May and April. Just to give you an idea, it was in the three hundreds in February, spiked to number one in April and stayed that way strong in May. Speaking of hair, hair dye up three hundred percent since February, but not only regular hair dye, really seeing the crazy colors. Green and pink because people are staying home and they don’t have to go into the office, they’re actually taking this time to dye their hair crazy colors while they’re at home. It’s been a huge trend. Hair oils, giving themselves at-home treatments. But then with the majority of Americans staying at home, they’ve been washing their hair less. Hair washing and styling frequency have declined short-term. That included shampoo, conditioner, and hair-styling products. And of course searches for hairstyles overall have declined. 

Then we have nails. Nails have been growing like crazy in the past few months. Whereas top searches on Amazon were always around makeup brushes, makeup organizers, essential oils, they’ve moved towards gel nail polish, then they moved towards something longer lasting, dip powder, polygel to do their own services while salons are closed. Overall, gel nail polish increased almost eight hundred percent since February on Amazon. Looking at those numbers on Google, up twelve percent to last year. Some of those brands were Peppi Gel and Daisy DND that had really high growth to last year. Then, waxing, once again since salons are closed, women are turning to services themselves. Waxing kit increased one hundred fifty percent since January, and it’s maintained a super strong position as number eight in both April and May.  

Looking at some of the other categories, we know that skincare has been really resilient over the past few years. It’s been the fastest growing category globally, up twenty-six percent growth over the past five years. It’s been proven to stay that way, even during a global pandemic because consumers are practicing at-home self care, in lieu of getting facials. We see that accessories and face devices were significantly up, so something like a derma roller or a Jade roller. I love my Jade roller, cannot live without it. Jade rollers are certainly having a moment. They’re up one hundred twenty-six percent to last year on Amazon. Sunscreen went through a little bit of a rough patch because customers were staying indoors, vacations were canceled, spring breaks were canceled. She wasn’t really going outside. Down thirty-two thousand searches on Google. Now that we’re going into the sunny season, it is slowly coming back, now that we’re heading into June, July, and then Amazon orders are up. We know cosmetics has always been challenging, especially in the last few years. What’s working during COVID is actually face bronzer, up forty percent. I do think this is an interesting one, not something that I would have naturally expected. And then eye products. Eyebrow gels, eyebrow tinting, eyelash products, you know we talked about the lipstick effect and how during the recession, that was an option and women tend to buy lipstick more. However, we’re all wearing masks, so lipsticks are actually down seventy-five percent, and the focus is now on the upper half of our eyes. Then we have fragrance. As people were staying at home more, fragrances have declined forty percent from January to April. We saw a huge increase in May, but that was due to Mother’s Day and then it kind of evened out. Even though fragrances, people weren’t purchasing it for themselves, because social situations were less, she wasn’t really going anywhere, where the fragrance category saw growth was at-home fragrances. Candles, both on Amazon and off Amazon, saw huge growth, twenty-five percent for candles. On the right, we just have a great visual. You can see this great visual as to the V-trend. Very similar to the performance that I shared with our own brands, which you see that sharp decline, but everything is really picking back up because consumer interest is rising again, which makes me very hopeful. Melissa, I’m going to turn it over to you to walk through some recommendations post-COVID. 

Melissa
Awesome, thanks so much. There’s been a lot of, the prestige brands have been big hold outs on Amazon. They’ve always seen Amazon as mall of the mess. There’s been a lot of them like Nike putting their basics on Amazon and then pulling off. The reality is that Nike has a very big direct to consumer business, so if anyone has the ability to do that it’s them. With all this traffic coming to Amazon, stores being closed, there’s more traffic here than ever, so it’s a really great time to reconsider if you’re not direct on Amazon, to be because your customers are there. And they’re going to find you there even if you’re not direct. This is an example of Bobby Brown, you know when you search Bobby Brown mascara it's really a good idea to own your own brand on Amazon and be able to control that. You can see here that they're not doing that and it is a great opportunity to conquest as well, when you have maybe not so great detail pages and a great opportunity to be able to pay to be in the placements on those page that are highly trafficked. People are coming there. Content matters even more now so you know that's been a big focus of a lot of agencies building great content and that probably will just continue to accelerate. And really being able to explain color. Color has been one of those really difficult things explained on Amazon. We kind of have got in the past a little bit more about replenishment but more and more, and there will be more tools we'll talk about in a second around AR VR that will help people understand the color that they need, but being able to create the content that you need for digital is really important. On the next slide you know the other thing is also thinking about engaging and informative content across platforms. I like Haus Labs because they're an Amazon exclusive brand. They're doing a lot of content across platforms that drive to Amazon. If you're looking for examples of brands driving from Instagram to an Amazon look at haus which is Lady Gaga's cosmetic brand as I'm sure all of you know. If you look at Instagram and YouTube and then I'd be remiss to not talk about Tik Tok which is kind of my new favorite thing. Really a much more upper funnel platform for beauty especially but leveraging influencers to talk about your brand as well. This was definitely my, one of my most favorite kind of ads that was very native and very relevant to the time. If nobody, if you haven't seen it I really recommend after this webinar to Google Eva Longoria talking about L’Oreal how to how to color your roots during this time frame. It just was a really great example of a very relevant ad during this time frame and oh guess what it shows up on the Amazon detail page as one of the videos because it's pretty informative about how she does it. It is a really great tie-in example of leveraging that content that was created and you know really helping to describe your products on Amazon. 

Rina
Melissa, I love that you mentioned haus. I'm actually wearing it both my eyes and my lips right now. I love haus, I think that Gaga did an amazing job when she chose to launch on Amazon. I'm sure she had the choice of every single retailer. She chose to be exclusive. She said that Amazon let her do whatever. I'm sure they had less requirements versus something with Sephora. But even with the amount of content that they launched. They went straight to building an amazing store and they went straight to their A-plus content. All of their media including their social, their organic social, their paid social, their DTC, everything drove to Amazon and that's why they're doing so well because they prioritize it. I always love using haus as an example and I happen to love their products. Then speaking of content, all the content you mentioned off Amazon is so crucial and just as important as their content on Amazon. As we learned in the beginning, she is going there to do her research. She's paying attention to everything out there. As a brand you have a role to educate your consumer. Here I have three examples of A plus content that we build all of our A-plus in-house at Stella Rising. Here are three examples that I wanted to show you. A-plus content if you guys are not familiar is enhanced content. It lives below the fold, underneath your bullets, underneath your images. It serves the purpose of educating your consumer through custom images, enhanced content. We've seen that by doing so you are actually increasing your conversion and these pages have shown to increase sales up to 10%. On the left hand side for one of our fragrance clients, Clean, of course when it comes to fragrance the most important thing for any fragrance brand is our notes because we're doing the impossible. We're trying to sell fragrance over the internet. We cannot smell it, so it's our job to bring that aligned and as we talk about the fact that it has notes of lavender, and really just display that through the screen. In the center we have a brand specifically focused on menopause skincare but what was important about this product is how to use it. It's a pretty new market. Products out there in the market, they are really just pioneers, they're just reinventing the category as a whole. How do you use this mist on your neck, on your wrist, on your face, educating her because just these bullets are not enough. We find that she needs a lot of education especially when it comes to new products. Then on the right-hand side we have a haircare brand, African pride. The focus here was really on ingredients, the fact that it had castor oil and shea butter that was really important. A lot of the content that we do, and a lot of content that we talk about brands like haus labs, they took that opportunity to educate their consumer past just the bullets because the consumer is looking at the entire page. If you guys don't have A-plus content,  definitely make it a note to start designing some 

Shifting gears, now that you have your content, your pages look amazing, it’s time to actually drive some traffic. Shifting gears into the number one factor that will really accelerate your business on Amazon and that's advertising. Advertising is actually how we got started in the space because we are a media agency. We had our experience advertising on Google, we put that into Amazon, and then we started partnering with people like Pacvue, which really helps us optimize our campaigns. The truth is it is never enough to just have good products on Amazon if nobody can ever find it. Just like you have your set budget on Google and on Facebook, super important to have your separate budget on Amazon. We advertise to increase traffic, to build awareness, to drive revenue, but also to protect yourself against the competition, and of course to feed that very famous Amazon flywheel. Looking at the numbers, Amazon Advertising, there are two pieces to it, there’s search and display. Search is about seventy-five percent. Display is the remainder. Overall, Amazon advertising revenue is forecasted to by thirteen billion in 2020, growing thirty-three percent year-over-year. It’s growing faster the Facebook, Twitter, and Google because brands are realizing that they need to have a presence to advertising on Amazon as well. Melissa’s going to go through some of the details on how to do that. 

Melissa
First of all, I hope I’m not offending anyone in the audience if you are part of the Clarisonic brand, but I thought I would just pick on this brand a little bit because it really supported the argument that I wanted to make. We’ve talked about the increase of traffic coming into Amazon with stores closed. Clarisonic is a good brand you can find at Nordstrom and on Amazon directly. It’s really important now more than ever to also protect your brand and to keep up the awareness and branding. It is a lot harder to regain that lost share when you do have competitors coming in and conquesting you, which is what is happening here with Clarisonic. Just to expand upon this even more, when you search Clarisonic skin brush, the paid placement is the Sponsored Brand ad, which is the first one underneath the toolbar, and then the Sponsored Product ad are both niche competitors that have come in. It’s very important to note too that the Sponsored Product ad, that is the left hand side, it’s a nine ninety-nine brush head replacement, versus the Clarisonic which is three times the price. Especially as we head into a recession, people are going to be coming in looking for lower price items. This is a way that this niche player has come in and taken market share from Clarisonic at a lower ASP. And you can even see the first review talks about how it’s even better than the product that comes with it in the first place. This why it’s really important, if you’re Clarisonic, to be protecting your brand, to be making sure that you’re showing up in those paid placements. When you are the market leader, you have a target on your back, so really understanding where you are in the market and what’s happening to you. There’s some things you can be looking at like share of voice that helps you track this. 

On the next slide, we have a few best practices around advertising, ensuring an offense and defense strategy. This is evergreen but especially now. When people are coming in and searching for you brands, what we recommend is, they’re already looking for your brand so they know it. It’s a good opportunity to trade them up, to go to higher ASPs, higher pack sizes. But if they don’t know your product, or they’re just coming in looking for face brushes or whatever it is, then category, competitor, non-branded terms, really that’s an opportunity to get awareness of your product and come in with your lower ASP, smaller count, pack size of your portfolio. We want to look at this, putting this into practice on the next slide, let’s take OPI nail polish as an example. When you search OPI nail polish, the first paid position, you’re really looking at that more premium, higher ASP product, their thirteen dollar item. Then the first organic placement is their lower ASP, their everyday product, that’s a little bit lower price. That’s a great example of someone knows OPI, they’re coming in, they’re searching for it, and it’s a great way to upsell them into the brand. Haus does a similar concept as well. When you come in and search for Haus Laboratories, you’re shown a multi-pack, higher ASP, forty-eight dollar product that has portfolio colors. Then the first organic position is a lower ASP. That’s that in practice.

Now we’re going to talk about new platforms and technologies, trends as well. Like I said, finding color, even from my early days as an Amazon vendor manager, I think I was one of the first beauty buyers at Amazon. Trying to figure out color and color swatches, people didn’t even have the assets, let alone the ability to determine color. I really think that this whole online movement, will people really want to try on color in store? Probably not for a while at least. All of these augmented reality technologies are going to come to play. The question is are you working with these technologies today? Have you identified a partner and developed the right assets? That’s a core takeaway to be thinking about right now. On the next slide, Amazon has partnered with ModiFace. You can see this on their detail pages. I’ve heard whisperings that there’s going to be more coming to play around this. I think just asking your retail partners, how are they developing AR tools, how are they helping you play into that with them, is a really good idea. 

Like I said, during quarantine, my eleven-year-old daughter has been teaching me Tik Tok. That’s been one of the things that I’ve been trying to learn. I did do a panel a couple weeks ago with Ekta who leads digital at elf cosmetics. They’ve really been a big pioneer of beauty on Tik Tok. According to her, Tik Tok is a game changer. We started with a challenge, and that’s one of the things these beauty brands are starting to do is these challenges, created a campaign around it that went viral – celebrities, millions of views. What we’ve learned is that it’s an opportunity for product launch, influencers reviewing, and sales skyrocketing. This is a really great campaign. One of the biggest things that I recommend is download Tik Tok if you haven’t already, check out this challenge because it’s been this huge viral sensation. It’s much more upper funnel of course. The other thing too, I was talking to someone yesterday, but Tik Tok is fun. And during this time of COVID, it’s really accelerated. It’s kind of an escape. You can get away from all of the horrible news. Everyone’s doing these dances, and they’re having fun. It’s a really great platform for beauty enthusiasts. 

Rina
Moving into some key takeaways. As we find ourselves on the other side of the pandemic, hopefully, things are still slowly opening up across the country. New York just started phase one a few days ago, but we’re acknowledging that brands are still being cautious about an impending recession. They’re being careful about their dollars and how they’re spending on advertising. Just some actionable ways for driving success on Amazon, summarizing everything we just spoke about. We spoke about content. If right now your business is slightly down, if your business is being impacted negatively, this is actually the time to focus on your content. Take that time, build out your images, enhance your content, perfect your score, and really lay the foundation. Once you can start advertising again, you only want to drive traffic to pages that look one hundred percent. Inventory, I’m so happy to say that things are back to normal. I’m a little scared to say that, but for sellers, the beauty category was a lucky one because the beauty category as a whole was actually cleared to send in FBA. The household category, the baby category, the beauty category, they were cleared and not like you’re in apparel that wasn’t deemed essential, and that category wasn’t cleared to send to FBA. We recommend eight to twelve weeks on hand, but honestly it all depends on your lead time. In terms of advertising, don’t stop. That is the number one word of advice. If you stop, then your competitors are going to take over. We always break out advertising into two parts, defense and offense, branded and non-branded. We set our goals at a top-line level, but when we optimize, we optimize by tactic. 

My favorite way to close off any Amazon conversation is to always think outside of the buy box. We cannot live in an Amazon bubble. Everything you’re doing off of Amazon has a direct impact on Amazon.