In the second edition of our category deep dives using Commerce Intelligence, we wanted to take a look at the Baby category, and more specifically Diapers, to understand the strategies and tactics for the Best Sellers within this highly competitive category. We analyzed the Best Seller data from Amazon US’s category of Baby>Diapering>Disposable Diapers for the first quarter in 2022, until March 17, when this data was pulled and analyzed.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Pampers held strong every month we tracked and secured the top spot amongst the competition. Huggies, Luvs and Mama Bear traded off for second and third throughout the almost 3-month period, with Amazon’s private label Mama Bear holding in on the #2 spot more frequently the first two weeks of March. The data from the top 3 Best Sellers shows that brand name and reputation matter – proving any brand that attempts to break into this category will need to offer something that these household names do not.
Unlike other categories where product variations can impact the average price of the product and leave an overarching look at the category unreliable, we were eager to see what could be learned about pricing in the Diaper category. For example, the price of a 43” television compared to a 65” TV will be so drastically different that averages don’t offer brands in the category much guidance. However, even within the Diaper category, pricing and bundling strategies prove that pricing needs to be unique to a brand’s selling plans.
Out of the top 4 highest ranked brands (Pampers, Luvs, Huggies and Mama Bear), Mama Bear has a considerably lower average selling price (ASP) overall. Mama Bear has an almost ~$30 lower ASP amongst its product offerings in Q1 at $9.88, while Pampers, Luvs, and Huggies hover around the ~$37-39 ASP range for the same time period.
However, when digging a little deeper, we saw that this is likely due to strategies from brands like Pampers who offer practical bundling solutions, like diapers + wipes (Huggies example), that will drive the ASP up.
If there is one item parents go through a lot of – and never want to run out of when needed -it’s diapers. That’s why understanding the variation options from the best sellers was so interesting. Commerce Intelligence provides price scraping capabilities not only for your own catalog, but for competitor auditing purposes as well. This helps provide a more holistic category view to identify where you and top competitors shake out.
The top selling brands frequently employed a 2-step or 3-step variation theme for a more organized interface, allowing consumers to navigate through various product offerings quickly. As seen in the Mama Bear example below, providing a wide range of size counts grouped together for easy, organized browsing is one of the most successful tactics within this category.
The most common theme which was used across 4 out of the 5 Best Sellers is a 2-step combination of Size and Style. These variations are more frequently used compared to variations like color or pattern. Whether due to an infant moving up in size, a family’s travel plans or home storage – having size options is crucial to ensuring you can meet the needs of parents with this essential product within their child’s early years.
The impact of Variations/Variation themes on sales rankings can differ between categories. For examples, in categories where Size may have a larger impact on conversion (i.e. for Diapers), Variations may be one of the most impactful attributes. To help you dig deeper into the nuances and provide a hierarchy of key actionable attributes to focus on for your catalog, Commerce Intelligence’s Boost report can rank various attributes from most to least impactful, specific to your category.
Reviews cannot be overlooked, even for everyday household products like Diapers. In fact, a category like this one, with lots of variations in size and count, means there are even more ASINs that need to meet the threshold of star ratings that will help ensure the product is searchable and trusting for consumers looking to buy.
Luvs and Mama Bear top the Average Review count. It should be noted that these 2 brands also have the lowest number of total products on Page 1 which could account for inflated averages. The Honest Company rounds out the charts in 5th place each month, signifying many low-rated products (indicative of new product launches or disorganized variation strategy—see Variation Themes Chart).
Variation strategies remain a great, cost-free way to optimize your product listings in search. If available, participation in the Vine Program can also be an effective way to boost new product launches without having to wait for organic reviews. Commerce Intelligence capabilities can help your keep track of your current variation standings against top competitors, while ratings and review reports can help pinpoint products in your catalog that may need more immediate action.
If you’re looking to play in this space, there’s a lot to learn from the winners in the category. Diapers is a category that needs to always been buttoned up and provide parents with the convenience, pricing and variations that they need. There is no slow season here; so as long as people have babies that need diapers, the brands that support this category need to understand what works and commit to an always-on strategy in order to win.