Is Amazon Helping or Hurting the Salon Hair Care Industry?

Is Amazon Helping or Hurting the Salon Hair Care Industry?

“Omnichannel” has been a buzz word used by salon hair care marketers in recent years. Initially, only the brave ones were sticking their nose outside their well-known salon environment to seek new channels of distribution for their products, carefully expanding their sales into retailing due to the fear of losing their professional status. But in recent years, this has shifted. Diversion has been hurting sales, and products unwanted by marketers on physical or virtual shelves of various retailers were a reality that needed to be taken back under control, especially with the fast development of e-commerce.

In the United States—the biggest salon hair care market of those tracked by Kline in our Salon Hair Care Global Series study—e-commerce giant Amazon has reinvented itself in the middle of this transformation. The online retailer provides marketers an alternative to cut through diversion by offering them controlled sales of their products on their dedicated platforms Salon & Spa and Luxury Beauty. Other retailers have also been working with salon hair care brands to offer a dedicated space in their stores. In fact, Sephora and Ulta continue to be key resellers of salon products.

Many major salon hair care brands in the United States market already have a large share of their sales generated through retail. This includes brands like Kao’s Oribe, Henkel’s Sexy Hair, It’s a 10, and Unilever’s Living Proof. With all the expansion outside salons, an important question to ask is: What does a professional or salon brand mean in this blended retail-salon universe?

Furthermore, Amazon keeps coming up with new ways to be involved in the professional industry. Earlier this year, the retailer behemoth opened its new professional beauty store with salons and stylists as target clients, thus becoming a direct competitor of professional-product distributors. While Amazon’s impact on the salon industry is difficult to measure, the new edition of our Professional Hair Care Retailing and Amazon Impact on the U.S. Salon Hair Care Market will seek to shine light on these crucial developments. Kline will interview various salons and independent stylists directly to understand how Amazon acting as a distributor influences their purchasing patterns. This second edition will also continue to explore brands’ most successful sales strategies outside the salon.

To gain access to the first edition of our Professional Hair Care Retailing study, analyzing the sales of professional hair care brands in department stores, specialty stores, or online in key markets such as the United States and the United Kingdom, please contact us.

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