If you’re an Amazon seller who specializes in Beauty and Personal Care products, chances are good that you understand the importance of taking some time for yourself.
Why shouldn’t that attitude extend to your Amazon strategy?
After all, every PPC campaign needs a little TLC every once in a while.
This is especially true in the Beauty and Personal Care category (which also includes the subcategories Health and Household). In a space dominated by big brand names, having a solid strategy is absolutely essential.
So if you’re currently selling or interested in selling beauty and personal care products on Amazon, read on to learn how to clean up your PPC campaigns and beautify your listings to win over customers.
Factors That Influence Sales and Ad Performance in the Beauty and Personal Care Category
To say that there are a lot of factors to consider in your Amazon advertising strategy would be an understatement. There are hundreds of tiny decisions to be made constantly when you’re launching a new product or campaign.
But, zoom out for a minute.
Before we get into the details, let’s take a look at the big picture by breaking down this category’s conversion rates.
|No. of Transactions||Avg. Price||Conversion Rate||No. of Transactions||Avg. Price||Conversion Rate|
|No. of Transactions||Avg. Price||Conversion Rate||No. of Transactions||Avg. Price||Conversion Rate|
When you’re focusing on overall conversion rates in a category, you’ll want to look at two main factors: 1.) Product Variations and 2.) Price Point.
- Product Variations:
From foundation color to shampoo for various hair types—there will be a LOT of variation in this category. This is something you’ll want to keep in mind because the longer a shopper takes to weigh their options, the less likely that they’ll make a purchase.
- Price Point:
The average price in Beauty and Personal Care in the U.S. marketplace is $19.09 (averaged between the four broader subcategories). Typically, higher product prices require a higher level of commitment, which slows down the buyer’s time to make a final decision. So, if you have a higher priced item, you’ll get a larger return on ad spend, BUT you’ll need to spend more of that return figuring out what converts.
This is a broad look at the category and the general obstacles to conversion. Now let’s look at some specific factors that will play a role in your sales and your advertising strategy.
Sunscreen and Scrunches: Understanding Seasonality and Trends
When you’re building your PPC strategy, you have to take the potential impact of trends and seasonality into account. It’s better to have an understanding of what products work when, than to throw money away trying to optimize for keywords that are just better left for next time.
Overall, there’s going to be very little seasonality in this category. (Hopefully, if you clean your house year round, and if you take vitamins, for example, chances are you’ll continue to take them throughout the year.)
Beauty and Personal Care, however, is one of the most extensive categories on Amazon, and there are certain subcategories that will be more susceptible to trends and seasonality.
Let’s say, for instance, that you sell supplements. Although demand is there year-round, you’ll likely see a spike in sales starting in January after people make their New Year’s Resolutions. The same could be said for self-tanning products once summer rolls around.
Another interesting thing to note here is that you may also see some differences across not just seasons but also regions. For example, sales of sunscreen would be at least somewhat regionally-dependent since some parts of the world remain hot year-round and others have more defined seasons.
So, in addition to addressing seasonality, you have to consider which climates create the most demand (e.g. sunny hot climate vs. rainy moderate climate).
Finally, we can’t talk about consumer behavior in this category, especially for beauty products, without talking about trends.
Take scrunchies for example. Just a couple years ago, not many people would have been willing to wear one out in public. Now, they’re practically a staple for buyers in certain demographics. They were even a top product in this category for a decent amount of time.
But be careful! Trends, by definition, lack staying power. Make sure you’re not putting all of your eggs (or should I say scrunchies?) in one basket.
Beauty Contest: Scoping Out the Competition
As we talked about in the beginning, in the Beauty and Personal Care category, you may end up facing some stiff competition for the crown (a.k.a. increased market share). You’ll need to take into account potential competition from national brands—and there are a lot of them in this category—in addition to Amazon’s own brands.
Here’s where it can get tricky.
Buyers form strong connections with particular Beauty and Personal Care items. (How many of us have been using the same shampoo for most of our adult lives?)
In that case, they may be hesitant to try something off-label. At any time, you’ll notice that most of the top products in this category are tried-and-true brands available at most supermarkets and drugstores.
Plus, if a shopper doesn’t have a go-to brand, it usually takes them a long time to make a decision. Let’s use deodorant for this example (since thinking about this part makes me sweat).
There are tons of variations in scent, application type, strength, and so on. Because of this variation, it will take much longer to make a decision, and the conversion rate for this product is likely to be lower.
And that raises yet another potential issue—ratings and reviews. You can expect a wide range of reviews because your buyers’ reactions to the product and its perceived effectiveness can be highly subjective. (That’s just the nature of the beast for sellers in this category.)
With all that said, it’s not impossible to do well, even against big name brands.
Name brands take up primary positions on market share, but there are ways to make your product more appealing and steal away customers from these giants. Although reviews and ratings can be more subjective in this category, it is possible to build up a base of loyal and satisfied customers to bolster your brand with a quality product.
As for brick and mortar competitors, there’s a good chance that staple items, like floss, are cheaper on Amazon than at your local drugstore. When you take that into account (not to mention the time it takes to physically drive to the store and find what you’re looking for) many people prefer to check off their shopping list from behind their computer screen.
And finally, when it comes to competition from from Amazon itself, the company has two ways of entering a product space on its platform:
- Amazon-sourced/produced brands, one example being AmazonBasics
- Amazon-acquired brands, like home security company Blink
Amazon-sourced/produced brands tend to be somewhat generic, which presents an opportunity to smart sellers. It’s possible to make a play for market share and go up against Amazon as a third-party seller.
To grab victory directly from the e-commerce giant, you need to beat Amazon in quality.
Even with the Amazon name behind it, a product is only as good as the value it provides to its customers. Providing a great product (with sale ingredients!) and getting the social proof (in the form of reviews and ratings) to back it up can actually help you to come out on top.
Clean Sweep: Crafting a Winning Advertising Strategy
Now that we have a solid overview of the circumstances you’ll need to consider as a seller in the Beauty and Personal Care category, let’s narrow in on advertising strategy.
Now, in general, I recommend that 15-20% of your sales should come from paid advertising. This, however, is just a rule of thumb.
If, for example, you’re promoting a new or relatively unknown product, it won’t have had enough time to perform well in organic rankings. In that case, it’s more likely that about 70-80% of those sales will come from paid.
Sales on very mature products, on the other hand, will come more from the organic side, partly because you’ll be able to transfer some of the learnings from your paid strategy into boosting your organic ranking. Plus, Amazon’s algorithm favors products with high conversions, so you’ll
organically climb in rank once you start making sales.
Top Keywords in Beauty and Personal Care
As you already know, just like the right product can make or break a look, the right keywords can make or break a campaign.
When it comes to keyword strategy, there are always a few category-specific considerations that you’ll want to keep in the back of your mind. First, let’s take a look at the terms that currently rank near the top in this category:
Top Keywords: Beauty
- Makeup Brushes
- Hair Dryer
- Makeup Organizer
- Face Mask
- Nail Polish
- Vitamin C Serum
- Essential Oils
- Curling Iron
Top Keywords: Personal
- Electric Toothbrush
- Beard Trimmer
- Bath Bombs
- Oral B Replacement
- Brush Heads
- Sonicare Toothbrush
- Oral B Electric Toothbrush
Top Keywords: Health
- Essential Oils
- CBD Oil
- Essential Oil Diffuser
- Heating Pad
- Protein Powder
- Fitbit Charge 3
- Diffusers for Essential Oils
- Compression Socks Women
- Blood Pressure Monitor
Top Keywords: Household
- Toilet Paper
- Paper Towels
- AA Batteries
- AAA Batteries
- Rechargeable Batteries
- Trash Bags
- Paper Plates
- Rechargeable AA Batteries
Like products, keywords may go through spikes and drops throughout the year. Take a look at the Health subcategory for example. The appearance of Fitbits on the list may surge after a recent release or, like some other health products, just after the New Year or before summer.
One more thing I want to point out is that CBD Oil happened to make this list. In the past, Amazon banned these items, but as they became more acceptable (and legal), Amazon lifted the ban, and now, CBD Oil is a top keyword.
While Amazon has reversed its decision on that particular product, there are still certain terms and types of content that trigger Amazon to de-list your product or disallow you from running ads (like “libido,” “weight loss,” and “booster”). Unfortunately, no comprehensive list and the decisions are often subjective. This is something, however, that you’ll want to keep your eye on.
Sprucing Up You Listing
What makes a great listing?
A great listing helps the shopper to overcome any objections by providing clear, relevant information in an attractive format. It understands the problem that your potential customer is trying to solve and gives them the information they need to make a quick decision.
So what does that actually look like? Let’s take a look at an example:
Why It Works:
- The title is SEO-focused while still attracting readers.
- The title includes high volume, relevant keywords (“Sunscreen,” “SPF 70+”).
- It includes examples of features (“Spray,” “Water-Resistant”).
- Common concerns (“Oil-Free,” “Broad Spectrum”) are addressed directly in the title.
- It uses punctuation to break up the title for readability, which helps to attract even more customers.
- The images used in this listing are high quality and well varied.
- All images are high resolution.
- The ingredients and packaging are displayed clearly, which many shoppers will be looking at closely
- Overall, I would suggest that this brand include more images, including lifestyle images and infographic images demonstrating the benefits.
- Plus, using three very similar photos of the product are repetitive instead of persuasive.
- The list of features is complete and well structured.
- The listing addresses common concerns (“Designed for Wet Skin,” “Hypoallergenic”).
- Each point begins with a product benefit before specifications, which will help to draw in potential customers.
- Overall, this section has a good basis, although it is a little too brief.
- I would suggest adding more detail while demonstrating product superiority compared to competitors (e.g. Lasts longer than traditional sunscreen).
To understand a potential customer’s buying triggers, you’ll need to learn what problem they’re trying to solve and what information they need to learn.
Then, once you know the buying triggers behind your audience, that knowledge will allow you to make intelligent corrections along the way, ultimately leading to a well optimized, high-converting listing.
I hope this has helped you to identify the potential pitfalls—along with the amazing opportunities—for sellers hoping to gain market share in this category.
As always, our goal is to help people become category Kings and Queens and dominate their niche—whatever that niche may be. With that being said, if you want to make some major moves, we can help. Apply below.