Is Amazon the beauty industry’s secret collaborator?

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

Amazon is beauty industry’s secret collaborator? OZNaturals says yes
Craig Romero, co-founder of the indie skin care brand OZNaturals uses the online retail site to outguess consumer expectations, identify winning ingredients, and crowdsource actionable feedback.

Just last week Cosmetics Design sat down with Romero in Palm Beach, Florida, where OZNaturals has its headquarters to find out how the company is leveraging Amazon to build a better beauty brand.

Word search

Beauty often looks to visual digital tools like Instagram to determine what consumers love now and what they want next.

But thanks to the sheer volume of digital data and consumer insights available online, multi-brand ecommerce sites like Amazon have a wealth of information to mine, if one knows where to look. As a pet project Romeo studied the site intensely for months and couldn’t help but notice how frequently skin care terminology turned up in consumer searches.

By happenstance he met Angela Irish, (now OZNaturals co-founder and president) around that same time in 2013 and the two teamed up to put her skin care wisdom in conversation with his data analysis. And so the brand began. OZNaturals launched its first product in April 2013.

Made without

It’s common wisdom that consumer ingredient concerns have impacted personal care product formulations and that products ‘made without’ phthalates, parabens, and sulfates are sought after by shoppers looking for so-called clean beauty alternatives.

Through feedback on Amazon, Romero also found that consumers are “concerned about applying Phenoxyethanol and Sodium Benzoate to their skin.”

“Even though these ingredients are widely used in almost all skincare products, we found a way to eliminate them and make our formulas much cleaner than before,”​ he tells Cosmetics Design.


“Amazon reviews drive sales,” ​Romero tells this publication. He not only believes that the peer reviews function well as word-of-mouth advertising but also that competitive star ratings on the site can both set a brand apart and give a brand leverage with conventional retailers.

“Amazon customer reviews let us know within a few short weeks if a product is widely accepted and well-liked or has any potential issues,”​ he says.

“We learn how customers experience our products at each touch point and this allows us to better tailor that experience over time by optimizing our formulas and/or packaging,” ​Romero tells Cosmetics Design.

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