While the jury is still out on Amazon’s foray into prestige cosmetics, the e-tailer has made advancements in conquering the skin care category. Earlier this year, Elizabeth Arden became an official distributor on the Amazon Luxury Beauty store – a big win for a retailer known for its low-priced, mass market products.
Amazon has traditionally been the go-to site for budget skin care and its average price per product is $18.86 (compared to $61.66 on Ulta), but it could soon be where shoppers stock up on higher end brands. It is luring prestige shoppers with the launch of a Professional Skincare page that offers rich content and guided selling beyond what is available on retailer websites and the majority of beauty blogs. The page also features an ingredient glossary, skin care articles, a guide on choosing a dermatologist, and a dermatologist finder that links to Yelp reviews and books appointments.
While how-to videos, celebrities, and influencer campaigns drive the majority of cosmetics purchases, many customers have a clinical approach to skin care. Active ingredients, product effectiveness in correcting a problem, and dermatologist opinion are factors to be considered before making a purchase. Furthermore, skin care brands lag behind their color cosmetics counterparts in offering rich content and guided selling on their site. Amazon has realized this gap in the marketplace and has the potential to succeed.