During Q2 2018, both HPC and beauty reflected some notable changes in consumer habits. Some are seasonally-influenced, such as the strong sales of summer skin care products, while others suggest a long-term shift in how people shop, such as Amazon’s growing share of the luxury beauty market. Amazon is clearly committed to strengthening their role in this space going forward as evidenced by the acquisition of Pill Pack, an online pharmacy service, noted One Click Retail.
Taking a closer look, at the segments, One Click Retail noted that mass skin sare, the long-standing top category in the Beauty product group, is highly susceptible to seasonal conditions. In Q1 2018, solar protection made up about 9% of this category; in Q2, that proportion doubled to 18%, with sunscreens entering the top product spots (Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen was the No. 5 Beauty item of Q2). Sun Skin Care has also seen greater YoY growth than other subcategories: sales of Mass Skin Care products grew by 35% overall, while solar skin care sales grew by 55%. The category continues to be led by Neutrogena, but coming in at No. 2 is Elta MD with its line of “clinical strength” sunscreen and skin care products exhibiting significant growth.
Smaller sun care brands such as Sun Bum and Supergoop are also rapidly rising in rank. Supergoop is a luxury beauty brand benefiting from the rapid growth in popularity of luxury products on Amazon. During Q2 Derma Skin Care, including high-tier anti-aging/sun protection products, was the No. 3 Luxury Beauty subcategory and grew by 63% YoY. Sun Bum, alternatively, has achieved this growth by responding to the values of environmentally-conscious consumers, according to One Click Retail. Sun Bum’s reef safe sunscreens are an attractive product for shoppers concerned about the ethical implications of their purchases. This indicates a strong shift in consumer behavior: in 2017, the term “reef safe” was rarely used in search, but during Q2 2018 it was one of the top 50 terms among shoppers searching for sunscreens.