Consumers favor third-party e-tailers over brand sites when buying Hair Care products online, which is likely why L2’s Insight Report observed Consumer brands focusing e-commerce investments on those e-tailers. Meanwhile, Professional brands paid more attention to brand sites.
Consumer brands dramatically increased investments in e-tailers this year. Of the 47 Hair Care brands L2 has tracked since 2013, 57% link to third-party retailers, an increase of 14% on the year. In contrast, the number of brands offering direct-to-consumer e-commerce barely changed, edging up from 28% to 30%.
Consequently, Consumer brands have greater visibility on mass e-tailers than Professional brands. Their product pages also boast more extensive features. On Walmart’s site, 54% of Consumer brands enhance product pages with in-depth descriptions and even videos, as opposed to a mere 8% of Professional brands. On Amazon, Consumer brands are more likely to participate in programs like Subscribe & Save and Prime Pantry. The L2 study found that all Index brands available on Amazon Prime Pantry (23%) were Consumer brands.
Taking a different tack, Professional brands focused on controlling sales by selling products directly. They outnumbered Consumer brands when it came to employing sponsored links, moving shoppers away from e-tailers to purchase directly on brand sites. One-third of Professional brands tracked by L2 sold directly to consumers online, while 31% of brand sites let consumers report unauthorized sellers. All brands but one employed salon finder features that put shoppers on a path to offline purchase, suggesting that Professional brands have a different strategy for success than Consumer brands.
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