Amazon's subversion in areas such as the consumer electronics or voice assistant market is well known. However, the retail giant has quietly become the largest online beauty product seller.
Amazon currently accounts for 36% of the U.S. online beauty market, Bloomberg reported. This figure represents Amazon's sales, including sales from sellers in its market.
Department stores in the United States have been affected by the decline in passenger traffic, and sales of supermarkets and drugstores have stagnated. Amazon has been eating away at these backward revenues.
According to the data of one click retail, an e-commerce analysis company, Amazon reported that the sales of beauty products increased by 43% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2017. Popular cosmetics has become the fastest-growing category of beauty products in Amazon - once the territory of chain pharmacies such as CVs.
However, Amazon still faces challenges from professional retailers such as Sephora and ulta. Both companies performed well offline and physical stores.
In the third quarter of 2017, ulta's e-commerce sales increased by 62.9% year-on-year to US $119.8 million. The retailer also opened 100 new stores in 2017.
Last year, Sephora opened its largest store ever in New York - 11300 square feet of space, selling more than 13000 products. Although e-commerce is the cornerstone of its business, its ability to experience the brand in the physical space is still its most powerful advantage.
In addition, there are problems in the high-end beauty market.
Most of the brands sold on Amazon are mass market. In contrast, relatively high-end cosmetics companies such as Clinique, EST é e Lauder and Dior, which sell products through ulta and Sephora, have little overlap with Amazon.
For beauty companies, image is crucial. Selling products on Amazon does not have the luxury image traditionally wanted by high-end brands.
All this may change, especially the beauty counters in department stores are also vulnerable to sales prices and discounts.
Revlon has started selling Elizabeth Arden on Amazon; Other luxury brands such as Elemis, natura Bisse and Anastasia Beverly Hills followed.
In response, Amazon is creating a special section for luxury beauty products on its website.
These efforts are paying off. For Amazon, luxury beauty, including professional skin care, hair care and beauty, was the company's fastest-growing category in 2017, with a year-on-year increase of 47% and sales of $400 million.
Another area Amazon can aggressively enter is its own beauty brand.
Affordable retail competitor target has just launched its first exclusive perfume brand. This 48 perfume series called "good chemistry" is one of the major initiatives of the retailer to invest in the beauty industry.
Amazon has done particularly well in its own brand consumer goods, and its clothing is getting better and better. In the past few months, many of Amazon's more than 40 private brands have been launched.
Analysts say Amazon's biggest move may be a big acquisition - whole food supermarket is an example. Similar moves in the beauty industry could have devastating consequences.