Q&A with the Category Experts: Holiday Tips for Health and Beauty Sellers

November 5, 2019

The account management team at ChannelAdvisor works with brands and retailers every day to optimize their e-commerce operations and grow sales across hundreds of online channels. With the holidays fast approaching, we decided to sit down with experts from several top categories to get their last-minute advice for the upcoming season. 

Up next: health and beauty. The health and beauty segment is second to only food and beverage in e-commerce growth, with eMarketer estimating over $53 billion in sales by the end of 2019. We asked Leah Maddox, one of our account managers, which strategies and tips should be top of mind for health and beauty sellers over the next couple of months.

Q: It’s early November, what are the most important things health and beauty brands and retailers should be doing RIGHT NOW to prepare for the holidays?

Your promotion calendar should be in order now! More and more, shoppers are starting early. We expect heavy promotions to begin by this week, and many Cyber 5 deals are now beginning on the day before Thanksgiving, if not earlier. 

The last ship day for two-day shipping is Friday, December 20, so brands and retailers who can guarantee free, two-day shipping will benefit from those late shoppers.

It’s also important to note: this holiday season is six days shorter than last year. So be sure to plan budgets and promotions accordingly, and be ready to handle larger volume of orders late in the season as shoppers scramble for holiday gifts

Q: Which marketplaces should these sellers be focusing on?

The heavy hitters in the health and beauty categories are Amazon, eBay, Walmart and Google Shopping Actions. These are all must-haves for our sellers today. There are also a number of emerging marketplaces putting renewed marketing efforts behind their health and beauty categories. 

Rakuten and MassGenie are two particularly interesting marketplaces. Rakuten’s recent consolidation of former subsidiary Ebates has brought a lot of new women shoppers to the site, and MassGenie’s presence on social media is a natural fit for this category. Wish is another growing marketplace that would make a good fit. 

Each of these marketplaces will have their own promotion calendar lined up for the holiday season, so figure out what they intend to market and how you can most effectively plug your products in.

Q: What specific digital marketing strategies should they keep in mind over the next couple months?

Make sure you’re investing in the right areas! An overwhelming majority of beauty searches happen on mobile today. Think about how you’re structuring your campaigns and applying modifiers to maximize mobile visibility and return.

Also, it’s good to know that Google is seeing 11% more beauty searches than this same time last year. This means there are more potential searches and interest in your product. At the same time, Google is reporting 50% more ads for those same searches. What that tells us is interest is growing, but competition is growing faster.

The brands and retailers who will get ahead this holiday season are the ones who have a strategy for how to tackle the competition and maintain high visibility.

Q: What role will social media play in the holiday season for health and beauty sellers? How can brands and retailers specifically leverage these channels? 

Absolutely the first question should always be: Am I in the right mix? It’s important for sellers to know who their customers are and where they are. 

A recent study between Google and Kantar showed the tremendous importance of YouTube for this category throughout each step in the shopper’s journey. And it makes sense. With the rise of social media and YouTube influencers and the ease at which shoppers can see how new trends or products can be applied, YouTube is a natural discovery vehicle for many of our clients.

With the rise of YouTube for Action, brands and retailers can ensure their content has clear calls to action and apply intent-based audiences to reach the right people.

Q: Do you have any final thoughts or takeaways for health and beauty sellers? 

  • Promote and promote early! With the shorter holiday season, consumers have already started looking for great deals.
  • Increase and budget your ad spend. Being visible across increasingly competitive channels is key.
  • Free shipping is a MUST!
  • Be where your shoppers are and optimize your content for all channels! Whether it’s marketplaces, Google, Instagram or YouTube, make sure you understand the landscape and are optimizing content for each goal.

Want more online strategies for the upcoming holiday season? Download this eBook, Your Roadmap to Holiday 2019 E-Commerce Success, for more insider knowledge on leveraging industry trends, setting your ad budget for the entire season, maximizing digital marketing campaigns, optimizing listings and more.

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