Amazon’s beauty sales in the US, its biggest market, reached US$340 million in the second quarter of this year – 40 percent more than in the second quarter last year.

According to One Click Retail’s latest data, Amazon’s sales also increased in Canada (75 percent), France (65 percent), the UK (30 percent) and Germany (5 percent) in the same period.

Amazon, which stocks a broad range of beauty brands including salon favourites Eminence Organic Skin Care, Image Skin Care, Clarins, Dermalogica, Aveda, SkinCeuticals, Paula’s Choice and Murad, is due to enter the Australia market within the next three years.

Releasing the new report, One Click Retail CEO Spencer Millerberg said that despite the retailer’s growth in the beauty sector “the beauty market has always been a challenging one for Amazon”.

“The cosmetics industry relies so heavily on experiential retail (free samples are proven to influence purchase decisions) that eCommerce can’t compete at the same level as it does in most other product groups,” he said.

(image supplied by One Click Retail)

“However for the most part, when consumers buy mass market skin care products they know the brands they like and they stick to them – making Amazon the perfect place to shop.

“Make-up and cosmetics are a different story, however.

“Make-up is a cheap luxury, something that makes people feel good without breaking the bank, so during the recession sales of mass market cosmetics actually went up.

“Now that the recession is behind us, the growth is happening in premium and prestige makeup, which relies more on specialty outlets and experiential retail.

“Mass cosmetics are experiencing strong growth on Amazon in North America and makeup is the strongest category in France, but overall the beauty product group is still dominated by skincare.”