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Cosmetics and beauty products are without a doubt one of the most popular product categories on the Old Continent. As a result, there are thousands of online stores selling them across Europe. Selling and shipping products have their own requirements, though, and cosmetics logistics have never been easy (for instance, due to continually monitoring expiration dates). To make this endeavor more straightforward, online stores and companies selling cosmetics use services that streamline logistics processes. Cosmetics fulfillment provided by a 3PL company is one such service. If you run an online store selling beauty products, you ought to find out more about this solution, as it can make your life much easier!
According to the E-commerce in Europe 2020 report, 19 million customers in the UK have bought beauty products online at least once over the past year. In Germany, it’s 18 million and in Poland–10 million. It doesn’t really matter where you look; cosmetics are popular all over Europe:
Although the beauty market is thriving and attracts many new players each year (primarily because it seems to be covid-proof), the distribution itself is quite challenging. For starters, you need a cosmetics-friendly warehouse. Each beauty product has specific storing requirements (chiefly regarding temperature and humidity). Subsequently, you have to take care of appropriate transportation (to ensure that products you ship don’t get damaged) and expiration date monitoring.
And this is where cosmetics fulfillment steps into the game and facilitates your work. You see, it’s a logistics outsourcing model where a 3PL company deals with these processes for you.
What is fulfillment?
In essence, this service is relatively straightforward. You work with an external 3PL company, frequently referred to as a logistics center (or fulfillment center). This company is responsible for everything related to shipping beauty products in your store, including:
- Goods inbound
- Storing products in a warehouse (yes, typically, logistics centers provide clients with their own warehouses so that your store doesn’t need one anymore)
- Picking and packing orders
- Shipping them (which comprises cooperating with carriers)
- Dealing with returns and complaints
From the end customer standpoint, the 3PL company remains invisible. Customers still place orders in your store, and you are still indicated as the sender. However, everything happens outside of your company so that you don’t have to allocate additional resources (space, employees) to deal with logistics.
What do cosmetics fulfillment services include?
If you run an online store with cosmetics, you surely already know what requirements and regulations have to be met in order to sell beauty products safely and lawfully. As Omnipack’s (company offering cosmetics fulfillment) experience shows, the following elements are critical:
Frankly, it’s one of the major challenges related to storing cosmetics. You have to maintain the proper temperature all year round. On the one hand, it can’t be too high in summer (you need an efficient cooling system), and on the other–too low in winter (you have to store cosmetics in a properly heated space). When it comes to Omnipack warehouses–all these conditions are met. Their warehouses are both heated and ventilated, which allows them to keep the right temperature adjusted to the specific product requirements.
EXPIRATION DATES MONITORING
Cosmetics fulfillment requires constant expiration date monitoring. If you have just a few products in your inventory, you can try to do that manually (before shipping each product).
However, when you store tens or even hundreds of beauty products, this solution becomes ineffective and too time-consuming. Omnipack uses an advanced warehouse management system that allows them to keep permanent insight into expiration dates of all product batches. As a result, it’s possible to distribute cosmetics in compliance with the FEFO rule (first end, first-out), according to which products with the shortest expiration date ought to be shipped first.
Many customers purchase beauty products as gifts for friends and family. In such a case, the possibility to personalize the parcel becomes significant. Moreover, customers often expect ecological packaging or tailoring to a specific occasion. As a part of the personalization service, companies use inserts and name vouchers. It’s the role of the professional logistics center to provide their clients with extensive personalization options.
Although branding and personalization go hand in hand, personalization is focused on the customer, while branding highlights the seller. Branded packaging, boxes, and additional elements (such as duct tape) help you build brand awareness. Certainly, you can come up with more branding options; it all depends on your creativity!
What is different about fulfillment in the beauty industry?
We can shortly sum up that you should significantly think about monitoring your products when you’re selling beauty products (primarily concerning expiration dates and storing conditions). Secondly, consider the aesthetic look of your parcels. In the beauty industry, appearance plays a key role, especially when it comes to premium products.
Suppose you’re looking for ways to optimize your logistics; think about beauty fulfillment. Although this service is relatively new, more and more companies on the European market use this external support in storing and shipping products, and they find it extremely helpful!
Frankly speaking, if you have an experienced logistics company by your side, you can save a lot of time. And if your store ships over 1,000 parcels per month–you will save some money, too! In the case of large online stores, using an external logistics company is more profitable than hiring more and more warehouse workers.
If you would like to find out more about eCommerce fulfillment services, get in touch with Omnipack. They will willingly answer all of your questions, and after a short consultation, Omnipack consultants will provide you with a cooperation proposal and a quote.
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