Daily Insights

How to Make Waves Online

By: Alizah Asif Farooqi | Aug 12, 2019

The online distribution footprints of hair brands are growing.

Consumer brands are trying to tap into the prestige hair market, which was the fastest-growing beauty category for the second year in a row, and professional brands are trying to supplement declining brick-and-mortar salon sales. Across both professional and consumer categories, brands are flocking to Amazon. Compared with the second quarter of 2018, the number of Ulta or Sephora brands distributing on Amazon have increased 16% and 25%, respectively according to Gartner L2’s report on the topic. At the same time, hair-specific traffic on both specialty retailers has grown by less than 1% year over year, indicating online category growth on Ulta and Sephora may be stalling.

Although the average prices of best-selling products on Ulta, Sephora and Amazon are similar, each retailer has category strengths and weaknesses. Brands should exploit these differences to inform assortment strategies and goals on each.