Amazon has made no secret of its designs to become a leading destination for prestige beauty brands, and it’s firing an opening salvo today with the launch of a dedicated area for men’s grooming.
Rebutting one common criticism — that the site’s visual presentation is the opposite of a prestige environment — the area’s homepage is a marked departure from the e-tail behemoth’s usual clutter, featuring a jaunty black mustache icon and large clean product shots as category landing areas.
“The Men’s Grooming store allows us to introduce a more curated shopping experience for men,” said Chance Wales, Amazon’s director of health, beauty and personal care, of the site, accessible at amazon.com/mensgrooming. “We’re very focused on providing a streamlined experience for the man who already has a grooming regimen and wants to be able to make purchases from one destination seamlessly. We are also offering a more editorial-rich experience for the man who wants to explore products, read reviews and change up his grooming regimen.”
In all, there are six categories, including shave, body care and skin care, and a range of prestige and mass products, including Gillette, Axe, American Crew, Ahava, Dove, Nivea and Baxter of California, a newcomer to the site.
Men’s Fitness magazine has partnered with Amazon on content, such as “5 Steps to the Perfect Shave.” J.P Mastey, creative director for Baxter of California, will also provide editorial content, Wales said.
Editorial sections include How-To Guides, designed to offer various steps for achieving results (such as kissable skin and trendy hair); Problem Solvers, designed to provide simple, one-product solutions; Men’s Essentials, intended to be a one-stop destination for purchasing everything for different regimen needs, and J.P’s Top 10, where Mastey’s content will live.
“The feel of the overall site is organized, so it’s easy to discover and purchase grooming must-haves,” Wales said, noting that he believes it is an example of how Amazon is enhancing the overall look and experience of shopping on its site. “We are always listening to our customers, and we know men are eager to have a destination just for them.”
In an interview in February, Wales cited Nielsen research indicating that Amazon’s current shopper base of 188 million active customers accounted for 74 percent of all offline cosmetics purchases in the previous 90 days — making the opportunities in beauty and grooming extremely significant for Amazon.com. At the time, Wales said, “2013 is Amazon’s year of beauty,” but offered few specifics. “We are planning on ending the year with a much different customer experience and selection than the one we currently have.”
Also in February, Karen Grant, vice president and global beauty industry analyst at the NPD Group, complimented the e-retailer’s skills in making customers feel like they are a part of a community, a strength Amazon is leveraging with the new men’s grooming area. “They give you product information, tell you what other people think about it, tell you what other people who bought it also bought,” Grant said. “Because there are so many people shopping with them, you feel a trust. You know they are going to offer you the best deal and unbiased information and convenience.”
Also, she said, home shopping channels such as QVC and HSN proved that brands selling in those alternative channels didn’t cause consumers to trade down. “If they play the Amazon card similarly, it will allow [smaller and midsize brands] to have a broader reach with consumers, rather than people thinking they’ve lost their prestige status.”
The new men’s grooming site is the latest move by the $61 billion Amazon to grab a bigger slice of the beauty and fashion pie. Later this year, the e-tailer will open a 40,000-square-foot photo studio in Williamsburg, in Brooklyn, that will shoot its fashion photos. In March, Amazon teamed with 10 Crosby Derek Lam to launch a store on the site dedicated to the contemporary line, its most visually sophisticated dedicated shop for fashion.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews