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Just like in the U.S. and U.K., Amazon is the most visited retail site in France. However, Amazon has 1.5x lower market share in France than in the U.K. In the Beauty category, especially, Amazon has yet to make headway in convincing prestige beauty brands to distribute on its site. Just 16% of brands in L2’s Beauty France Index distribute on Amazon, compared to 56% on Sephora.

An abundance of established beauty e-tailers could explain Beauty brands’ ambivalence to Amazon.fr. Marionnaud and Nocibé have developed rich digital ecosystems that weave creative content with e-commerce. They also leverage brick-and-mortar locations with extensive shipping and delivery methods, offering click-and-collect, next-day delivery and free shipping and returns. Beauty brands lack the resources to offer these services in DTC and therefore distribute these e-tailers; 51% distribute on Marionnaud and 50% distribute on Nocibé.

Furthermore, French brands have been able to defend themselves against the gray market, more so than brands in the German and U.K. Beauty Indexes. Only 74% of beauty brands in the country can be found on Amazon vs. 100% of U.K. and German Index brands.

However, this does not mean French e-commerce growth will always favor these online beauty department stores. These stores have experience slight marginal declines (-0.3% growth) despite increasing beauty e-commerce sales in the country. As a result, these e-tailers are working harder to retain brands. And for emerging, independent beauty brands Amazon is an opportunity for visibility. London-based W7, for example, is one of the most visible brands for organic search on Amazon, and appears in the first page of search results for 46% of colour cosmetics keywords (second to only Maybelline). Participation in Amazon’s merchandising programs – banner offers, Amazon Premium, and multiple delivery options –propel brand sales as well. W7 participate in those features and accounts for 45% of “Best Seller” makeup palettes on Amazon.fr.

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