Unmasking Face Masks

What we know about face masks on Amazon and how to win in this category.

July 7, 2020 - By Kathy Cummins

Face Masks


We’ve heard it from the CDC, the WHO, various State Departments of Health, and even the cast of Hamilton: wearing a face covering or mask helps slow the spread of the coronavirus.  Numerous sellers and manufacturers have approached HINGE GLOBAL expressing interest in selling face coverings or masks on Amazon.  This article shares our market analysis of face masks on US Amazon (click here to download a full copy).

Market Analysis of Face Masks on Amazon: 

The cloth + disposable face mask category size on US Amazon is ~$237MM over the past year, or ~$106MM since March 1 (the approximate start of the pandemic).  There are over 300,000 face mask SKUs being sold on Amazon in the US alone.  Given market saturation, Amazon and Walmart.com are no longer accepting new sellers for face masks and PPEs.  Not surprisingly, the top brands in both disposable and cloth face masks are white-label importers. Most new face mask listings appear generic and indistinguishable from one another.

Sales for face masks on Amazon has recently shifted in favor of disposables.  Disposables now contribute 52% of total face mask dollar sales (up from 28% on March 1).  However, the average price per unit for disposable masks has plummeted since the end of March.  Prices have dropped from $29.99 on March 11, to now only $15.54 on July 1 (a price that is comparable to cloth masks).  Because of this dramatic drop in price, dollar sales for the category have also dropped 45% for week ending June 23 vs prior week.  Search continues to be high though, and face masks continue to be the #1 item searched on Amazon.

Recommendations:  

If you are trying to sell new cloth face masks, you may want to try selling custom-printed cloth masks directly to universities, schools, and essential businesses.  Manufacturers who are offering a product with a meaningful advantage in either comfort and efficacy may still be able to build a business but may need to sell on other channels (eBay, your own dot-com, or other retailers).   If you are already selling face masks or gaiters online, be sure to incorporate strong copywriting.  Search terms related to face masks are varied!  Investment in PPC will also be required to win search, and recognize that price per click rates are increasing.  Reach out to us if you need help!

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