Described by Amazon as its “biggest” Prime Day ever, the two-day discount shopping event had some big beauty winners.
According to Amazon, beauty brands Laneige and NuFace were among the top sellers across categories. Health and beauty was the second most popular category on Prime Day for consumers, based on survey data from market research company Numerator. Twenty-eight percent of Numerator’s respondents said they bought items in the category. As premium beauty brands have made their way onto Amazon, they’re adapting to the platform with promotions for price-conscious consumers, strategic ad buying and social media promotions driving to Amazon.
Thanks to Prime Day, July became NuFace’s highest sales month ever in its four-plus years on Amazon, reaching nearly $2 million for the Prime Day July 15-16 time period. Its total sales are approaching $3 million so far this month. The brand’s year-over-year Prime Day sales growth was 160%. Through July 14, it had seen 30% year-over-year sales growth overall in 2022.
NuFace’s Amazon strategy has been a “rising tide lifts all ships approach,” said NuFace CEO Jessica Hanson. The brand’s hero Trinity microcurrent device, which retails for $339, was its best-seller, thanks to an enticing discount, influencer buzz, and search keyword bidding both on and off the platform.
Discounts were especially helpful for NuFace, which discounted each product differently for Prime Day. The average discount was 31%, with the Trinity discounted to $217.
“Most of our business is done at full price,” said Hanson. That makes a discount day an especially big draw for the brand’s devices that are priced in the triple digits. In the past, the brand has done 20-30% discounts for Prime Day and Cyber Week on Amazon.
Laneige, meanwhile, was a newcomer to Amazon after launching its shop in March 2022. It saw the biggest boost in sales from its hero product lip sleeping mask, which is also currently the No. 2 best seller on all of Amazon for beauty.
According to Angelica Bautista, director of Amazon and e-commerce at Amorepacific U.S., both the lip sleeping mask, which was marked down to $17 from $24, and the brand’s Lip Glowy Balm were top sellers in both unit and dollar sales. Laneige’s lip sleeping mask in berry was the most popular.
Bautista said the brand took a “strategic, 360 [degree] approach” to Prime Day, focusing on five “pillars”: supply chain, content, strategically curated assortment, brand exposure and awareness, and capitalizing on a key consumption period.
Unsurprisingly, price is a big selling point for Amazon Prime Day consumers, especially at a time when inflation is causing more price-conscious shopping. Based on Numerator data, 34% of shoppers said inflation caused them to wait for Prime Day for something they wanted to buy.
“Historically in the beauty space, brands haven’t been as keen on discounting on Prime Day, but in the last couple of years, brands have been more interested in investing in Amazon moments,” said Amanda Gordon Hinshaw, vp of client services at SuperOrdinary. SuperOrdinary manages Amazon sales for a range of premium beauty brands including Herbivore, Peace Out Skincare, Biossance, Gisou and Boy Smells.
Social media marketing was also important in driving Prime Day sales. Both Laneige and NuFace leveraged TikTok, which has shown a direct correlation to Amazon sales spikes, thanks to hashtags like #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt.
“TikTok has been blowing up for us,” said Hanson, who noted that the brand seeded products to influencers ahead of Prime Day and that said influencers mentioned the Prime Day sales in their videos.
For Laneige, “We heavily utilized TikTok and Instagram to drive awareness and create demand in the days leading up to Prime Day, and actively reposted all content from our pool of influencers to drive additional traffic during Prime Day,” said Bautista.
Amazon has been working to court premium beauty brands in recent years, offering both luxury and premium beauty sections for those that want upscale shopping experiences. Laneige worked directly with Amazon, said Brian Lee, head of business development at Amorepacific U.S. “The preparations for a best-in-class launch were years in the making, in close partnership with Amazon’s Premium Beauty Team,” he said.
Ad buying is also a crucial part of beauty brands’ success on Amazon.
“There is a new audience that we’re reaching with Amazon, and that’s where we see that there’s so much synergy in how we’re actually spending our media dollars,” said Hanson. The brand strategically bid on a range of both branded and unbranded keywords on Amazon for the event, including organic search terms such as “tool,” “device,” “microcurrent,” “anti-aging” and “skincare.”
Branded term buying was especially important this year, said Hinshaw, who said bidding on a brand’s own keyword is a way to “protect and defend the space.” According to data from SuperOrdinary, category keyword CPCs actually decreased 20% across all ad types, while branded keyword CPCs increased 22% across all ad types.
For NuFace, Amazon is expected to become a growing sales channel. Amazon was the channel for 8% of the brand’s total retail sales last year, placing it among its top five retail partners. That chunk is on track to reach 10% and make Amazon one of NuFace’s top three retail partners this year.
Hanson predicts more consumer purchases of premium beauty on Amazon in the future, based on current consumer behavior trends that prioritize not just price, but also speed. “It’s about convenience. [When] shopping on Amazon for other things that you invest in, in your home or in your life, the speed of delivery is a big motivator,” she said.