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June 7, 2019

The Face Makeup Category on Amazon Shows the Dominance of a Single Brand

The Face Makeup category on Amazon has the common “crescent moon” pattern we have seen in several other categories. That means there are few brands in the High IQ Brands quadrant, an empty Large Leakers quadrant, and a high concentration of brands in the Niche Performers through to the Laggards quadrant. 


This BrandIQ Quadrant benchmarks brand performance by the critical disciplines of supply chain operations and marketing. Who is best able to both drive and fulfill demand on Amazon in this category? The metric that underpins marketing is Share of Voice (how often your brand appears in organic or paid search results), and for operations it’s revenue leakage (how well are you able to avoid losing sales because shoppers are unable to buy your product because it’s unavailable, lost buy box to 3Ps, etc.). Given Amazon’s ever-increasing complexity and speed, mastering both is not simple.

High IQ Brands


Three out of four isn’t bad. L’Oréal has two brands in the High IQ Brands quadrant – Mabelline New York and L’Oréal Paris – and one in the Niche Performers quadrant (Nyx). Its only stumble is Garnier which is in the Laggards quadrant. And even then, Garnier is barely over the line – just a stones throw from the niche performers quadrant.

Maybelline New York and L’Oréal Paris are the top two overall marketers in the category with 6.5% and 4.1% share of voice, respectively. Both are strong advertisers, though not tops in the category. Covergirl (P&G) actually has the top paid share of voice at 7.1% to Maybelline’s 5.9% and L’Oréal’s 6%. It naturally follows that they are the #1 and #2 for organic share of voice.

Maybelline and L’Oréal are top-notch when it comes to supply chain. Their revenue leakage is a minuscule 2.4% and 1%, respectively. Neither brand is under threat at this time.

Niche Performers


There are seven brands in the niche performers quadrant, with a fairly broad range of Amazon performance metrics. Mario Badescu is the top marketer with 2.2% share of voice, while Gold Bond (Sanofi) brings up the bottom at 1.5%. Nobody is shooting the lights out here, but these brands do excel at delivering on the demand they generate.

Things really open up when we look at the supply chain though. Mario Badescu has a category leading 0.3% revenue leakage, while Rimmel (Coty) is losing 8.9%. Rimmel’s primary challenge is availability issues. The same is true for Gold Bond, which is leaking a similarly high 8% of revenue, again, due to availability issues. Revlon is losing 6.2% of revenue, but for the opposite reason. Revlon has moderate issues with 3Ps taking the buy box. No brand has a significant problem here per se, but they certainly should be paying attention to their weaknesses.



Within the Laggards quadrant, Garnier and Physician’s Formula are the top performers with only their 14% and 16% revenue leakage (respectively) holding them back. On the share of voice side, the brands in this quadrant aren’t doing half bad considering how crowded the category is. Their shares range from 1.5% (Missha) to 2.7% (Physicians Formula). Not bad given the top category brand only has a 6.5% share of voice. Only Physicians Formula is making a real effort on AMS.

Physicians Formula and Garnier have a realistic chance to fix their revenue leakage issues. Physicians is suffering on the availability side (losing 13% revenue) while Garnier stumbles on the 3P side (losing 10%).

Look-alike Categories


The Face Skin Care category on Amazon is quite similar in structure to the Face Makeup category. In both, the vast majority of brands are pushed down into the Niche Performers and Laggards quadrants. The main difference is the top marketer in face skin care (Johnson & Johnson) is in the Large Leakers category, whereas in face makeup Maybelline demonstrates strong supply chain execution and so is situated in the High IQ Brands quadrant.


makeup_keywords_amazonOur data was drawn from an automated, daily analysis of top keywords in the Amazon L3 Makeup > Face category over a one-year period. Our method focused on 1P brands and their associated SKUs. Marketing performance was determined by analyzing Share of Voice which essentially divides how many times a brand appears in search results, by the total available slots in the search results. Our system looked at both organic and paid ads for the top keywords discovered for the Makeup > Face category on Amazon. Our system focused on page 1 search results and the product page for each SKU. Each appearance of the brand in organic search and paid ad slots was given equal weighting. Revenue Leakage was determined by an algorithm that analyzes inventory availability of the SKUs on the product page and translates that into estimated revenue missed for each brand due to things like a SKU being Currently Unavailable, Inventory Encumbrance, Item Under Review, a 3P seller taking the buy box, etc.

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