Muge Erdirik Dogan, general manager, Amazon Beauty, Amazon.com, wants to clarify three e-commerce-related questions to beauty brands that might be skeptical about selling online.

“Can the online experience preserve the brand equity — the brand equity so many of you worked so hard to build? Does the online space apply to beauty? Is the beauty customer online and is she shopping for beauty products online today?” Erdirik Dogan, who has spent the better part of the past decade at Amazon, asked the audience. “The answer to all three is yes.”

Acknowledging that customer behavior is undergoing a profound change — with path to purchase evolving as more and more brands build e-commerce sites, social media presences and standalone apps — she noted that 75 percent of consumers start their shopping journey online. These customers, never without their phones, can check their mobile devices more than 100 times a day.

“Think of all the quick buying this enables. With all the information at the customer’s fingertips…they can research any time they want on their terms,” Erdirik Dogan said, listing popular products and trends that consumers head online to research such as BB Cream, CC Cream, contouring, strobing and micro-needling devices.

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Today, indie brands, rich content and an auto replenishment option are driving Amazon Beauty’s growth.

Adoption for change is occurring faster than ever, Erdirik Dogan said, and a leading trend on Amazon Beauty — which initially rolled out its Luxury Beauty Store in October of 2013 with 24 brands including Nars, Stila, Ahava, StriVectin, Dr. Brandt, Burberry fragrances and L’Occitane — has been successful with niche brands.

She noted that incubating niche brands with very little to no distribution outside of Amazon has been part of the strategy to grow Amazon Beauty since the beginning. While she didn’t name specific brands, she did say that the rate at which customers are discovering and shopping for these products is “remarkable.” In some cases, “the velocity of sales [of these niche brands] reached the velocity of mainstream brands on Amazon Beauty. They became bestsellers.”

She credited the process of product discovery as instrumental in this. Product is front and center, she said, and bringing the products to life through content allows the customer to “feel the click of a lipstick cap” or “the pigmentation and the silky application of an eyeshadow.”

Loyalty is also a key facet of Amazon Beauty’s business. The average customer replenishes their skin care five times per year, and the site’s auto replenishment option has been a major growth driver for the segment over the past two years, Erdirik Dogan added.

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