What Sells on Today’s Amazon?
There is a saying “know yourself and your enemy, and you will never lose.” Hence, we ought to pay attention to the sales and promotions of neighboring stores at all times. For the same reason, we should not neglect to follow the consumer trend on Amazon closely. On Amazon, the largest competitor for beauty supply retail stores and an e-commerce giant, what sells well? We analyzed the search trend on Amazon for the past two years as to beauty products and ranked the best sellers.
Coronavirus has changed the shopping pattern of general consumers dramatically. During the pandemic lockdown, as all brick-and-mortar stores closed their doors, consumers started to make their ways to online shopping. According to a consumer survey organization NPD, online shopping increased about 40% during the COVID-19 crisis.
Now, we start to wonder if consumers will return from online shopping when the COVID lockdown ends. To answer this question, we analyzed the consumer trend on Amazon. This article is written solely based on Amazon statistics, and it does not cover all beauty supply e-commerce sales. Any conclusion based on our analysis should be limited to Amazon.
Understanding Amazon Consumer Trend
To illustrate the consumer trend on Amazon and its shift in time, Junglescout.com provides statistics on the frequency of keywords entered in the search box on the first page of Amazon.com. We analyzed the trend in Amazon search frequencies for the past two years using the following twelve keywords that we believe most relevant to beauty supply retail: (1) wigs, (2) human hair bundles, (3) braiding hair, (4) eyelashes, (5) eye shadow palettes, (6) nail kits, (7) lipsticks, (8) lip gloss, (9) masks, (10) hair clippers, (11) hair dye, and (12) hair growth.
< Consumer Analysis of Amazon’s Beauty Products in 2020>
From April to June, search on DIY beauty products hit the record high on Amazon.
During the lockdown due to the pandemic, the twelve beauty keywords were searched much more frequently than before. In most product criteria, record high numbers of searches were recorded on Amazon. For the same period, the top five products that showed the most increase in Amazon search were (1) masks (+12,156%), (2) hair clippers (+1,306%), (3) braiding hair (+717%), (4) hair dye (+516%), and (5) nail kits (320%). Excluding the masks, the most increase in search frequency occurred in at-home personal beauty care categories, also known as DIY beauty products.
An interesting fact was that lipstick was the only product that did not see the increase in Amazon search. We can guess that the more you wear masks the less you need lipsticks. It was also noted that when people wear less masks during hot summer, the search for lipstick ticked up.
After the reopening of businesses, most DIYers including braiding hair consumers returned to beauty supplies.
While the Amazon searches on braiding hair products during the April–May period increased 717%, it quickly returned to its normal numbers after the reopening of beauty supplies (-82%). In addition, similar trends were noted for hair clippers (-76%) and hair dye (-64%).
Autumn, the wig season, sets another record high for Amazon searches in October.
At the time of writing (late October), Amazon search on wig products has rather increased compared to during the coronavirus lockdown in April–May. If you compare the last May and October, the search frequency was increased by 160%. Among the twelve beauty keywords, excluding masks, the most searched keyword in the last week of October was none other than wigs. It may be partly due to the Halloween in late October, which brings seasonal demand for wigs, but if you compare the same period in the previous years, you see a more dramatic increase this year. You need to keep tracking the rising trend and analyze the market in depth.
On the other hand, other than wigs, hair growth products have received consumers’ attention due to the cold and dry weather. As the temperature dipped and the air became drier, people were naturally paying more attention to scalp care.
Popularity of DIY products, such as eyelashes, nails, hair clippers, continues beyond October.
The DIY products, namely eyelashes, nails, and hair clippers, have seen the most increase in search during the pandemic and continued to be the top most frequently searched products on Amazon in October. The increased popularity of hair clippers and nail kits must be a sign that the DIY trends among consumers who avoid going to hair salons and nail shops and try to do their hair and nail at home are here to stay.
It also proved that the prediction of “focus on eyes” beauty trend due to the mask wearing in response to the pandemic of airborne disease was right. Eyelashes are also among the most popular product categories on Amazon.
Lip gloss over lipsticks under masks
During the pandemic, Amazon search on lip gloss products have seen an increase in contrast to the decrease in Amazon search for lipstick products despite the overall sales increase on Amazon. Experts in cosmetics voiced that “younger consumers are probably purchasing more lip glosses to quickly and easily fix their makeup after putting on and taking off masks” during interviews with BNB.
Amazon search dramatically increased for beauty products from 2019 to 2020
Excluding only two products, namely lipsticks and human bundle hair, 10 out of 12 beauty keywords BNB researched have seen an astronomical increase in frequency compared to the same period last year. This dramatic increase must reflect the current circumstance where consumers heavily rely on online purchase to cope with social distancing measures in response to COVID-19.
However, this might be a too simple answer because Amazon searches increased very drastically over 2018–2019 period as well. We can more adequately conclude that the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the recent trend of increase in Amazon sales.
How would customers react after being accustomed to online shopping on Amazon and other e-commerce platforms when the pandemic ends? To answer this question properly, we will revisit this issue next year about this time of the year. Hopefully, COVID-19 will no longer be with us.
<Past Two-Year Amazon Statistics by Products>
<A summary of beauty products sold a lot on Amazon!>
(Oct. 1. 2020 ~ Oct. 31. 2020)