The short answer—it depends!
Selling hair care brands on Amazon takes some work. However, those who are prepared to manage this channel will be able to take more full control of their brand, reaping benefits like increased exposure, brand trust, and revenue-generating opportunities.
Should We Open an Amazon Store?
To take full advantage of these rewards, treat your hair care brand on Amazon just like you’d treat your website or your relationship with a distributor. Here’s a checklist to consider before opening an Amazon store:
Amazon is ideal for brands who:
- Sell direct to retail
- Exist on Amazon through non-authorized sellers
- Can manage the required margin
- Want exposure to a large audience
Amazon is not recommended if:
- You have exceptional control over your selling channels, and your products aren’t showing up on Amazon.
- You are not concerned about someone else selling counterfeits of your product on Amazon.
- Selling on Amazon will create a drastically negative impact on your current selling channels.
- You require controlling the buying and shipping experience for your customers.
- Your products are developed for a very exclusive audience.
- You have a very tight profit margin.
Things to Consider Before Selling on Amazon
Taking control of your brand.
Selling on Amazon allows you to take control of your brand image, product pricing, product quality, and authorized sellers within the Amazon marketplace. You can truly own your products by registering your brand and providing the legal documentation required to keep others from selling your items.
Removing the possibility of counterfeits.
Counterfeits are one of the biggest problems for brands on Amazon, especially in the beauty and hair industry. Your reputation and customer loyalty are at stake when quality control is removed, and non-authorized sellers are allowed to distribute your products.
Considering your current selling channels.
Simply put, distributors might stop partnering with you if they don’t have semi-exclusive rights to your products, especially in the professional hair industry. If you choose to go direct-to-retail on Amazon or elsewhere, you reduce the benefit to distributors.
Managing the shipping experience.
Amazon fulfillment centers have requirements and processes that might not fit your brand, especially if you have a sustainable or eco-friendly element to your story. Plastic bagging is required to ship liquid goods, and you can’t control the box your products are put into. You also might not be aligned with the story of the other items shipped alongside yours.
Selling to the appropriate audience.
Amazon doesn’t currently have an area just for the licensed professional, which means any professional products like color or treatments will get into the hands of the consumer. A non-pro might attempt the process, and if it doesn’t go well, you’re sure to receive a bad review. Buyers quickly complain, especially in the beauty and personal care category, negatively impacting your product and your brand reputation.
Preparing your profit margin.
There is a fee through Amazon (starting at 99¢ per item sold), but you can also expect to pay for advertising and sponsorships to increase exposure. Advertising is certainly not required but is necessary if you want to be seen. There’s a great deal of competition for any category, but beauty and personal care is one of the fastest-growing industries, specifically consumable beauty products. You can expect to dedicate up to 35% of your profits to commissions, advertising, and account management.
How to Get Your Brand on Amazon
Seller account & brand registry.
In order to sell on Amazon, specifically in the beauty and personal care category, you’ll need to provide appropriate FDA documentation, manufacturing practice certification, liability policy information, and more. It’s a hassle, but you have to appreciate the gated nature of the category. Amazon doesn’t allow just anyone to sell in this area. Once you’re approved with a seller account, you’ll complete the brand registry, which will enable you to create your storefront and allow users to follow your brand.
We all know that ‘content is king.’ On Amazon, that means providing information to help the shoppers find your product. Keywords and target demographic are two important things to include with your initial upload. We’ve learned that it’s simpler and more efficient to provide complete and accurate information with the first upload than to go back and audit your products.
On Amazon, this is known as “A+” content. This means additional text, imagery, and videos that can be applied to your products. You can include brand-story information or product-specific details. One of our favorite elements is the comparison chart—with this, you can visualize the differences between products while promoting additional items.
Once your brand registry is processed, you can create your mini-site on Amazon. This is done quickly through drag-and-drop design and dynamic product widgets. You can create multiple pages and even access stats for your store.
Hopefully, we haven’t scared you away from selling on Amazon, but it’s not a decision to make lightly. It’s certainly not a quick and easy process to implement and is not exactly hands-off once you get started.
To learn more about opening a store on Amazon, contact Jori Lawatsch, Brand Strategist & Project Manager at iBeAuthentic, at firstname.lastname@example.org.