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09/15/2021

Amazon reportedly confirms October beauty event

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Amazon is reportedly running a major beauty promotion in October.

Amazon’s push into beauty continues with reports of a holiday event.

The retail giant is acknowledging it will target beauty shoppers with a major online promotion, called “Holiday Beauty Haul,” that will last through most of October 2021. According to CNBC, a slide deck the e-tail giant sent to certain beauty brands and consulting firms indicates it will hold Holiday Beauty Hall from Oct. 4-25, 2021. Amazon reportedly hopes to use the event to help drive traffic to other holiday promotions it will host later in the season.

CNBC quoted an email from Amazon spokesperson Catie Kroon that confirmed the slide deck is an authentic company document. The email revealed Amazon plans to call the event “Holiday Beauty Haul,” and that beauty product categories including fragrance, men’s grooming, and winter skincare will be included in the promotion.

“We want to draw customers back to Amazon during Black Friday week but also long term with additional marketing levers,” Amazon said in the slide deck it sent to beauty brands and consultants. “This is a unique opportunity for selected brands to reach both more shoppers and new customers.”

Kroon also told CNBC that beauty is one of the fastest-growing categories on Amazon, and that beauty is “ripe for innovation” when it comes to product discovery and presentation. Amazon is “uniquely positioned to reinvent” the experience of buying beauty products online, according to her email.

Amazon has been selling beauty products since 2000, starting out with mass market products and gradually adding higher-priced brands. In more recent years, the e-tailer has introduced digital offerings aimed at beauty customers, including a virtual cosmetic try-on experience enabled by artificial intelligence (AI)-based augmented reality (AR technology) from ModiFace.

In April 2021, Amazon also extended its presence in the beauty sector into brick-and-mortar space by announcing it will open its first-ever hair salon, in London’s hip Spitafields district. The company said it will trial the “latest industry technology,” including augmented reality hair consultations that will allow customers to see what a new hair color or style looks like on them before they make the change. 

October 2020 was a major promotional month for Amazon, as its annual Prime Day sales extravaganza was pushed from its usual mid-July timeframe to Oct. 13-14 to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. This enabled the company to gain Prime Day revenue during the all-important fourth quarter, which also includes the two major retail industry holiday sales events: Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Amazon does not typically release detailed separate sales figures for its Prime Day event, but analysis from Digital Commerce 360 indicated that in the 19 countries (including the U.S., U.K., and Canada) where Amazon held Prime Day Oct. 13-14, 2021, the e-tail giant generated $10.4 billion in sales. This represented a 45.2% increase from the estimated $7.16 billion global sales performance during the 2019 edition of Prime Day. 

While the 2021 edition of Prime Day may have generated more than $11 billion in revenue, according to Adobe Digital Economy Index data, these sales were registered in the late second quarter. Hosting a blockbuster beauty event in the fourth quarter could help Amazon make up for at least part of the revenue differential resulting from the Prime Day shift.