As eCommerce continues to grow, more and more brands are exploring the benefits of selling their products on Amazon. Amazon is currently the largest online marketplace in the world, and the opportunities for brands to reach a massive audience are unparalleled. However, as with any online sales platform, there are challenges and limitations that brands must overcome to maximize their success on Amazon. For high-end beauty brands, one such challenge is navigating the Amazon Premium Beauty program.
Amazon Premium Beauty (formerly called Luxury Beauty) is an exclusive program that allows select brands to sell their products on Amazon’s platform within the gated “premium beauty” category. We’re reviewing everything you need to know about Premium Beauty, including the pros/cons and tips for maximizing your success in the program.
What is the Amazon Premium Beauty Program?
The “premium” category is used to differentiate high-end beauty items from mass-market or drugstore products. The program includes both vendors and sellers (both 1P and 3P sellers). Vendors can apply to be a part of Premium Beauty, and sellers who are invited to the program can list their products in the exclusive category.
Many brands within Premium Beauty are also sold in luxury retail stores such as Nordstrom, Sephora, and Ulta. Some popular beauty brands in the Premium Beauty category include Buxom, Babor, Elta MD, Emma Hardie, Dermalogica, and others. View the full list here.
The program is designed to help Amazon provide a better shopping experience for customers who are looking for high-quality beauty products. As a result, the program has strict requirements for brands to join, and once accepted, brands must meet certain standards to maintain their membership.
In this post, we’ll explore the details of the program, including its benefits, requirements, and challenges…
Benefits of the Amazon Premium Beauty Program
The Amazon Premium Beauty program offers several benefits to both customers and brands.
Benefits for Customers
For customers, the program provides access to a curated selection of high-quality beauty products. The program ensures that all products meet certain standards, such as being free of harmful ingredients and having positive customer reviews.
Benefits for Brands
For brands, the program offers access to a massive audience of customers who are actively looking for high-quality beauty products. Being a part of the program can increase a brand’s visibility and credibility on Amazon, which can lead to higher sales and customer loyalty.
The program also provides brands with opportunities to participate in promotions and events, such as Amazon Prime Day and the Holiday Gift Guide, which can further boost sales.
Additionally, there are some content differences for listings within Premium Beauty vs regular products sold on Amazon. Product detail requirements: premium beauty brands are allowed 3 bullet points (as opposed to 6) for Description, Benefit, and Suggested Use.
Lastly, Amazon’s “Premium Beauty” program has a “brand gating” benefit for brands enrolled, meaning that Amazon will restrict third-party resellers from listing gated brands’ products. This is one of the biggest advantages of the program, as it allows brands to maintain more control over their brand image and remove unauthorized 3rd party sellers.
“Premium Beauty is an essential tool for brands that face the challenge of unauthorized sellers on Amazon. By leveraging the “gating” power of Premium Beauty, brands can effectively protect their listings from the damaging effects of counterfeit products and maintain full control of the Buy Box.”– Judy Park, Director of Business Development at Envision Horizons
Requirements for Joining the Amazon Premium Beauty Program
As mentioned earlier, the Amazon Premium Beauty program has strict requirements for brands to join, including…
- Brand Registry: To be eligible for the Amazon Premium Beauty program, a brand must first enroll in Amazon’s Brand Registry program. This program allows brands to protect their intellectual property and trademarks on Amazon.
- Minimum 4-star rating: Brands must have a minimum 4-star rating or higher on Amazon. This rating is based on customer reviews and is an indicator of the quality of the brand’s products.
- Minimum Number of Reviews: Brands must have a minimum of 50 customer reviews on Amazon for each product they wish to sell in the Premium Beauty category. Check out our post on using Amazon Vine to generate initial reviews on Amazon.
- Product Quality: The quality of the brand’s products is crucial for being accepted into the program. The products must be safe and effective and meet all relevant regulatory requirements.
- Professional Images: Brands must provide professional-quality images of their products that meet Amazon’s image guidelines. This includes images that are high resolution, properly lit, and show the product from multiple angles.
- Accurate and Detailed Product Information: Brands must provide accurate and detailed product information, including ingredients, instructions, and warnings. This information must be consistent with the product’s labeling and meet all relevant regulatory requirements.
- Compliance with Amazon Policies: Brands must comply with Amazon’s policies for the program, including pricing, advertising, and fulfillment. Failure to comply with these policies can result in the suspension or termination of the brand’s membership in the program.
It’s important to note that meeting these requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the Amazon Premium Beauty program. Amazon evaluates each brand’s application on a case-by-case basis, and acceptance is at Amazon’s sole discretion. Additionally, Amazon may require additional information or documentation from brands to verify their eligibility for the program.
Challenges of the Amazon Premium Beauty Program
While the benefits of the Amazon Premium Beauty program are clear, there are also challenges that brands must navigate to maximize their success in the program. Here are some of the key challenges:
- Increased Competition: Because the program is exclusive, there is a limited number of brands that can participate. This means that the competition within the program can be fierce, and brands must work hard to stand out.
- Product Quality Standards: While the quality standards of the program are designed to ensure that only high-quality products are included, they can also be a challenge for brands. Brands must ensure that their products meet the standards and maintain them over time.
- Program Requirements: The program requirements for the Amazon Premium Beauty program can also be challenging for brands to meet. For example, the requirement for a minimum of 50 customer reviews can be difficult for newer brands.
- Adherence to Policies: Brands must adhere to Amazon’s policies for the program, including pricing, advertising, and fulfillment. Failure to comply with these policies can result in the suspension or termination of the brand’s membership in the program.
Tips for Maximizing Success in the Amazon Premium Beauty Program
Envision Horizons has extensive experience in the beauty category on Amazon and has several tips for maximizing success in the Premium Beauty program. Here are some of the key tips:
- Focus on Quality: The quality of your products is essential for success in the program. As previously mentioned, brands must ensure that their products meet the program’s standards and maintain them over time. This includes using high-quality ingredients, providing accurate product information, and delivering excellent customer service.
- Build a Strong Reputation: Building a strong reputation in the beauty industry is important for success in the program. Brands should focus on building relationships with customers, influencers, and other industry players to build their reputation over time. More specifically, maintaining positive relationships with Amazon contacts can help expedite processes and give you a better chance of being admitted into the Premium Beauty program.
- Leverage Amazon’s Tools: Amazon offers several tools and resources to help brands succeed in the program, such as advertising, promotions, and customer reviews. Brands should leverage these tools to increase their visibility and sales on the platform.
- Monitor Competitors: With increased competition in the program, it’s essential for brands to monitor their competitors within Premium Beauty and stay up-to-date on industry trends. This can help brands identify new opportunities and stay on the cutting edge.
- Stay Compliant with Amazon Policies: Staying compliant with Amazon’s policies is essential for maintaining membership in the program. Brands should familiarize themselves with the policies and ensure that they are following them at all times.
Cost of Joining the Premium Beauty Program
There is a cost to joining the Premium Beauty program in the form of increased fees. Brands can expect FBA fees to go up from 15% to 30% to maintain premium beauty status.
There are also multiple other fees associated with selling on Amazon that brands must be aware of. Here are some of the fees/costs that brands may encounter:
- Referral Fees: Referral fees are a percentage of the sale price that Amazon charges for each product sold on the platform. The referral fee for beauty products is typically 15% of the sale price, but it can vary depending on the product category and price.
- FBA Fees: Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a service offered by Amazon that allows brands to store their products in Amazon’s warehouses and have them shipped to customers. FBA fees include storage fees and fulfillment fees, which vary depending on the size and weight of the product.
- Advertising Cost: Brands may choose to advertise their products on Amazon to increase visibility and sales. Advertising fees vary depending on the type of ad and the targeting options selected.
- Professional Selling Plan: Enrolling in Amazon’s Professional Selling Plan costs $39.99 per month, in addition to other selling fees.
It’s important for brands to understand these fees and how they can impact their profitability on Amazon. By carefully managing costs and optimizing their selling strategies, brands can maximize their success on Amazon. Check out our 50 Page eBook on How to Improve Amazon Margins to learn more.
The Amazon Premium Beauty program offers many benefits for brands looking to sell their beauty products on Amazon. However, it also has strict requirements and challenges that brands must navigate to maximize their success. By focusing on quality, building a strong reputation, leveraging Amazon’s tools, monitoring competitors, and staying compliant with policies, brands can maximize their success in the program.
Ultimately, the Amazon Premium Beauty program offers a unique opportunity for beauty brands to reach a massive audience of customers and build their reputation in the beauty industry.
Working with Envision Horizons
Looking to scale your beauty brand on Amazon? Envision Horizons is a full-service agency providing top-notch Amazon Growth Solutions. With a wealth of experience in the Amazon beauty category and deep connections at Amazon, Envision Horizons can help take your brand to the next level. Don’t settle for anything less than the best when it comes to growing your Amazon presence. Contact Envision Horizons today to receive your free growth plan– and see the results for yourself!